Murdo Girl…the road trip..burning rubber

I have always wanted to see the Blue Ridge Mountains so I was pretty excited to drive from Boone, North Carolina through some of the Pisgah National Forest, by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were driving the motor home and towing the Jeep, so it was slow going but we didn’t mind. We pulled off onto several turn-outs so I could snap some good pictures of the beautiful mountains and the trees which are already starting to turn.

The photograph below doesn’t look authentic, but it has not been retouched other than to crop it a little.

We were on our way to spend a couple of days near some friends who live in the Ashville area. 

Our friends had warned us that part of the parkway was closed due to the debris caused by the storms that had pushed up from the hurricanes. We got that message yesterday, so this morning Kip called to check on the road conditions and the recording said the road was open to all traffic.

The drive had been awesome, but we were ready to get out of the mountains. Imagine our dismay when with only two miles to go, the road was barricaded.

Remember, we were driving a 38′ motor home and towing a Jeep. I hadn’t mentioned this to Kip, but I thought I had detected a little bit of a smokey smell…like burning rubber from using the breaks constantly.

Thankfully, we had not gone past the road that led to the Mt Mitchell State Park. Surely we would be able to turn around there. 

It wasn’t as if we had a choice anyway, but we were a little disappointed to find out we had to drive to the summit of Mt Mitchell where the museum and gift shop are to find a parking lot big enough for us to get turned around. 

Once we got turned around, we had to back track about fifteen curvy miles before we got on a different road. (The lady at the visitor’s center had printed a map with an alternate route down the mountain.)

I don’t think I took any pictures while on that road. I was on the drop off side going down, and I was positive I could see smoke coming off the tires. We finally made it out and all is well that ends well, right?

Except the story doesn’t end there. I had searched for an RV spot close to Ashville where I thought our friends lived. I must have missed the ‘area’ part. You know…the Ashville ‘area’. It turns out we’re an hour and a half away. We’re closer to the friends we plan to visit next. We’re moving somewhere tomorrow.

If you see three dogs and a cat trying to hitch a ride, tell them Kip and MG need them. We need both of our brains and theirs to make it through the day. 

I guess what they say is true. Ignorance is bliss.

Murdo Girl…the road it for the long haul

We never imagined that we could have such beautiful weather. These past six weeks have been almost perfect. Pretty remarkable considering the number of states we’ve been through and the miles we’ve covered. It’s been beautiful everywhere. (A little warm in SD maybe, but I’ll take it.)

Wakey-Wakey, Sammie. It’s time to take a hike!

After our walk through the woods, we pulled out of the Cumberland Gap National Park in Virginia, and headed for the Cracker Barrel restaurant. 

I think I caught Kip with a mouthful. That’s pure maple syrup in the bottle.

After we finished our light repast, we headed for the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library, which was just down the road, but back in Kentucky.

A replica of the chair President Lincoln was seated in when he was assassinated.

My pink Queen T-shirt is reflected in the picture above. I included the bit of trivia below because I had forgotten that we used to eat raw potatoes with salt on them when I was a kid. Did you?

The museum was great. We left there and headed for Davy Crockett’s birthplace. Kip wore his fave DC shirt.

On the way, we stopped to see this incredible view from a roadside Veteran’s memorial.

I took a few more pictures on our drive.

The Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in Tennessee, is down a narrow and winding road, which is what Kip had to navigate much of the day. I don’t like heights, so I could only look in the direction that was away from the plunging valleys.

I have never seen a coonskin cap with the coon’s head on it. 

(Below) Apparently, Davy was quite a story teller.

Get ready for some sensory overload. Our drive from Tennessee to North Carolina took us through Cherokee National Forest and several large towns in beautiful settings.

 (A little side note: we drove right by four Good Will stores…two were having fifty percent off sales. You’re killing me Kip!)

Around two o”clock, I called the Flintrock RV Park in Boone, North Carolina and asked if they had a pull through full service site. The guy said, “Yup.”

I asked if he needed a CC to hold it. “Nope…just come on home honey,” he said.

We pulled in around 5:30.

It’s a very nice park by a rolling creek just like in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The couple in the spot next door invited us to have dinner with them. (Campers are such good people.) We had to decline because the dogs needed a long walk. Poor Kip…those doggy bags can get pretty heavy.

Murdo Girl…the road trip..where am I?

We began the day at the Whispering Hills RV Park in Georgetown, Kentucky.

After a beautiful drive…

We stopped for the night at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Middlesboro, Kentucky. At least I think it’s in Kentucky. One thing I read said it’s in Virginia. We’re very close to Tennessee too.

Tomorrow morning we will take the dogs for a long walk on one of the many trails in this park that goes on forever. Then we plan to get our home on wheels folded up again and hit the road early. We spotted a Cracker Barrel in Middlesboro and they have a great breakfast. Kip and I believe in replacing every calorie we walk off..with two calories we consume. Food has never tasted so good.

Today, I took a quarter into the truck stop because I know it takes a quarter to weigh yourself on their scales. Some of them have the added feature of a Confucius saying. I chickened out because I saw several people standing around talking by the scales, and who wants to weigh themselves with a bunch of people looking on?

I guess I’ll just have to continue on in blissful ignorance. I might not be ready yet to know how many extra lbs I’ll be taking home with me. I can’t judge by how my clothes fit because everything I own, stretches. I just hope Kip doesn’t make s contest out of it. Before this trip, I had no idea how competitive he is. 

None of that matters anyway. We both feel like we’ve benefited from this trip in countless ways. We feel good!

I’m going to cut this short tonight because this is the second time I’ve written it. The first time was so much better. The park has a lot of trees and the internet connection comes and goes. For some reason I lost the whole thing. I don’t think I could go through that again tonight without screaming.

Puleeze…do not make her scream. I’m finally getting some “scratch the cat” time and I’m drifting off to sleep. 


Murdo Girl…the road trip..the Ark Encounter

We needed to take the dogs for a long walk this morning before going to see the Ark Encounter, so we drove the short distance to Georgetown and looked around what turned out to be another beautiful little berg. In the interest of time and space, I’ll put some snapshots on here that are pretty self explanatory.

The Court House

Kip looking longingly at the bakery.

The home of Georgetown College. I just noticed Kip had his finger in this one…oh well.

Main Street has quaint little shops on both sides.

A beautiful home on Main Street


The Ark Encounter

I hope I can describe the Ark Encounter in a way that does it justice. Seeing the Creation Museum first really set the stage for today, but we sure didn’t expect the Ark to be this massive, even though we were told it’s just like the one God told Noah to build.

According to the Bible, God was so dismayed that man had become evil and selfish, He planned to flood the earth and wipe out all mankind.

This shot shows the ramp Noah and his sons built to get all the animals on board.

God told Noah to build an Ark with one door. When God shut the door, it depicted his justice and mercy. The wicked world outside the door perished, but those inside were rescued.

In preparation for the flood God planned, Noah was to build an Ark big enough to hold two of every living thing.

The flood waters would cover all of the world. God said the animals and birds and all things he wanted saved would come to the Ark when it was time. 

It took Noah and his sons seventy-five years to build the massive structure. 

The Ark we saw was built to the exact specifications, per the Bible, as Noah’s Ark. It is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. It is the biggest timber frame structure in the world.


Noah was to bring his wife, his two sons, and their wives. They were the only human beings who were saved from the flood.

Noah and his family in prayer at the beginning of the flood.

The stables

The cages for the smaller animals. Several species that were on the Ark have since become extinct.

Depictions of Noah and his sons working on the Ark

I hope you can enlarge this enough to read it. It’s very thought provoking.

The reptiles and amphibians were kept here. 

The Ark had to carry fresh water and nourishment to last an indefinite length of time. It was really interesting to see the different methods they used to store everything.

The Ark and all of it’s inhabitants drifted for one year before God allowed the water to recede. 

The exhibits explain how the earth was impacted by the flood. Places like the Grand Canyon were created in a relatively short period of time. Water erodes the earth quickly.

God promised he would never flood the whole world again.

The grounds around the Ark are beautifully landscaped. The whole story of the Ark is presented in a way that really makes sense. Kip and I highly recommend the Ark Encounter.

Murdo Girl…the road she’s cook’n

I like to try new foods… I’m usually very willing.

I write down every recipe…the light ones and the filling.

I buy the right ingredients…no matter what they cost.

Then when I start to make the dish…the recipe is lost.

Did I put it with the others… still waiting to be found?

I know I’ve seen it somewhere… it has to be around.

I look high and low…I search near and far. 

It isn’t in the kitchen. Did I leave it in the car?

Did I write it on an index card? I have to laugh at that.

I usually find it someplace strange… like underneath the cat.

What did I write it on? I wish I had a clue.

It could be written on the back of a bill that’s now past due.

I found a recipe today for a soup I’ll soon be make’n.

Do you know where I can buy a pound of pumpkin bacon?

Please don’t make me move…

Don’t look at me. I hid it last time.

The cat won’t help us, so I’m in her bed.

Don’t worry Kip…I’ve got it covered. No pumpkin bacon soup for us…

Is this stove gas or electric?

She went to the store. It’s Lav’s fault. She told MG she liked bacon donuts.

We’re in high cotton tonight in Georgia, Kentucky. To the Ark tomorrow!

Murdo Girl…the road trip..all over creation

I doubt there are many places in the USA where you can be in three states within fifteen minutes. Kip and I left to go to the Creation Museum early this afternoon. We had the GPS on and as we pulled out of the RV park, which is in Ohio, the lady’s voice said, “Welcome to Indiana.” We drove about five miles and the voice said, “Welcome to Kentucky.” We’re right up in the corner where the three states meet and the Ohio River weaves between them.

(You can make the pictures bigger by tapping on them or widening them with your fingers.)


The Creation Museum

The Garden of Eden 

The Serpent 

The museum turned out to be a fascinating experience. It was informative, inspiring, and thought provoking.




 The displays were surreal.

The most perfect lamb was sacrificed before God sacrificed his only son. Jesus was called the lamb of God.


Adam with his son, Cane

Methuselah was the oldest man to ever live. He was 969 when he died right before Noah’s flood

Noah building the Ark

Archaeologists and scientists have learned so much through the years. Their findings disprove claims that the earth and man evolved through millions of years. Instead the findings substantiate the Bible’s teachings that the earth has only existed for 6,000 years, and heaven and earth and all living things were created in the timeline of the Bible.

I’ve only touched on the way this museum brings the Bible to life by explaining the 7 C’s of history…

I don’t claim to be a scholar of the Bible, and I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching, but I will tell you, I learned a lot and I’m glad I had the experience. I think Kip agrees.

I took these pictures just now right outside our door…looking out over Indian Springs Lake.

I took this barn picture on the way back from the museum. You can almost imagine a barn dance going on there. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Tomorrow we have the Ark experience.


Murdo Girl…the road trip..heading for Kentucky

Today was moving day. We didn’t have to check out until 2 pm, so we took our time packing up and walking the dogs on the beautiful trail by the Wabash River. 

We finally pulled out of Lafayette about 11:00. Our goal for the day wasn’t that ambitious. We wanted to get as close as we could to the Creation Museum, which is in Petersberg, Kentucky. 


Here are pictures of the beautiful scenery along the way. 

We went by this

And this

And it rained most of the way… like this

As usual, we didn’t plan ahead because we didn’t know exactly what day we would be heading for Kentucky. As soon as we got on the road, I started the hunt.

It took a while, but I found an RV park only ten miles from the museum. I was told we could have the last spot if…we could be there by no later than 5:00. When I asked why, the lady said it was down by the river and someone had to help us, so we had to get there before they closed the office. A little unsettling, but hey…it was closest by far to the museum. I didn’t even ask how much. I already figured it would be high. 

We pulled in at 4:32. This was the 2nd time on this trip we got the last remaining spot for miles.

I was standing beside the RV when I took this picture of the lake. There is a walking trail on the other side.

After such a long hard day, I was still able to muster up the energy to cook. Yes, I said cook. I made dinner from scratch. I used all fresh ingredients and even dirtied two pans. I found a recipe online for french toast and bacon. Come to think of it, bacon might not be considered a fresh ingredient. It was apple smoked, so it must be cured with burning apples which means it has fruit in it, right?

Kip really liked it. He said he especially liked the bread I used.

I even washed the dishes. I’m turning over a new leaf.

So we’re settled in and Kip is paying the bills with a little help from Dollie.

We’re going to the museum tomorrow. It’s a 75,000 square foot museum that’s supposed to bring the Bible to life. It sounds really interesting. I’ll let you know how it goes in my next blog. 

I should find another recipe to cook tomorrow, but I don’t know if I will.

¬†Murdo Girl…the road trip..Tippecanoe and good food too!

Well, Molly outdid herself. She could outdo me every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Her real Indiana style dinner was scrumptious. I was afraid Kip was going to lick his plate and serve himself dessert. He leaned back in his chair and said, “I can’t remember when I last had a meal like this. It must have been when my mom was still alive.” Kip’s mom was a great cook too, so I wasn’t offended.

The meal was comfort food all the way. Molly served chicken and noodles in a tasty broth over mashed potatoes, with sides of seasoned green beans, cheesy broccoli, and freshly baked dinner rolls with homemade crab apple butter. All that was followed by apple pie alamode.

We enjoyed every bite. Our stomachs have gotten to the point where if they get an inch of room in them, they demand to be filled to the brim again.

Cary, Molly and Kip. (We had dinner in the sunroom of their beautiful home.)

Molly has a sewing room as big as our RV and as I said, their home is beautiful yet comfortable. I have come to the conclusion that she really was robbed of the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award, but what can I say? Those multiple choice questions are tricky.

Earlier, Molly and I got our pedicures. They didn’t have the sparkly orange polish, so I toned it down some. Oh look, I had my Murdo pants on.

This morning Kip and I took Pattie and Sammie to the groomer’s. Cyndie had to stay home with the cat and she was not happy about it! I’m talking about the cat. She likes her alone time.

Molly and Cary met us at the groomers and took us to the Battle Ground Museum where we learned about the Battle of Tippecanoe, which was fought right where they built the museum. William Henry Harrison won the battle with the Indians of Wabash country. It’s a great story.

After seeing the museum Kip and I went back to the RV to walk the dogs. It was such a nice day, we decided to go see the Wabash and Erie Canal near Delphi, which is only a short drive from where we’re parked.

The canal starts here with the Wabash River and goes 486 miles North to Lake Erie where it ties into other canals.

We’ve seen a lot of little old towns on this trip. This replicates the little town built on the canal.

(I like how both of these pictures turned out.)

Tonight, we had dinner with Cary and Molly at Grindstone Charley’s where we consumed another Indiana specialty, grilled pork tenderloin sandwiches.

We have had such a wonderful time with the Clines. They recently sold their business and will be leaving Thursday for a month long vacation. The first stop is Ireland. Retirement is wonderful. They recently purchased an RV as well.

Kip and I will pack up and leave tomorrow. We’ll be headed for Kentucky. We’re excited that we get to see yet another part of the country.

Murdo Girl…the road trip..a BCHOT goes to Lafayette¬†

We’ve been having a great time in Lafayette, Indiana. We got here Friday and we’re staying until Wednesday. We love our spot at the Wolf family RV Park. The dogs love it too because we log a lot of steps on the many well kept trails along the Wabash River.

The photos in Saturday’s blog were also taken here.

We ate breakfast at this cafe in the little town of Delphi which is up the road about eight miles.

Our reason for coming to Lafayette was to visit friends Kip met while attending college at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. I met Molly and Cary 36 plus years ago when they came through Casper while on vacation. Although we’ve been in touch off and on, we haven’t seen them again in all those years.

Since we got the RV and began our extended yearly road trips, we have seen family and friends we hadn’t seen in far too many years, and quite possibly might never have seen again.We have great fun exploring this beautiful country of ours and never have to leave the comforts of our own home or the companionship of our fur babies.

Molly and Cary are the kind of people you can immediately feel comfortable with and they’re lots of fun. They have shown us their beautiful city, and we’ve eaten at some great places.

Lafayette is the home of Purdue University.


The Lafayette Brewing Company was a great place to eat, but my favorite eatery so far is the pizza place we went to for lunch today. The pizza and salads were exceptional and the rooms were decorated with all kinds of antique toys. I can’t remember the name of the place, but I’ll find out for you tomorrow when I go back to get the denim jacket I left there.

Molly is going to fix a traditional Indiana dinner for us tomorrow. It sounds like she’s a wonderful cook, so we’re looking forward to it. They came to our place tonight for a cook-out. In fact they brought the hamburger meat for Kip to grill. I put together some broccoli salad, potato salad, and a wonderful warm peach cobbler served with vanilla bean ice cream. By put together, I mean I bought them all at Walmart and put them together on the table. 

Cyndie and Molly

Cary, Molly and Kip. It was pretty dark. I’ll get some better pics tomorrow.


This brings to mind an irony of sorts. You might remember a blog I wrote last year about the award I won in high school. It catupulted me to new heights and now my name is recognized all over Murdo, SD and Mabank, TX. I don’t think I would be where I am today if I had not been awarded the Miss Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow pin. (I received the award again post-humorlessly at the reunion last summer. It was given to me by Patti and Judy…the Dykstra sisters. I thought Patti had sacrificed her BCHOT pin, but she later told me she found it on ebay. I lost mine, so either way I was touched. Plus…Judy made me a delightful collage featuring symbols of all the qualities Betty Crocker must have expected the winner of her award to embody.

Well, I don’t want to belabor the point, but sadly, Molly got beat out of the award she thought would surley be hers. It happened fifty years ago, but I can tell she still harbors some resentment. Sorry Molly…that had to hurt.

Molly and Cary recently bought a traveling home. Kip and Cary are taking it to Indianapolis tomorrow to get it fixed (long story). Molly asked me if I wanted to go with her to get a pedicure. Do you think she read my blog about my orange nail polish with sparkles in it? The stuff I spilled on my kitchen floor while painting my toes.

I’m going with Molly and I’ll treat myself to a pedi, but not a mani-pedi. My manis aren’t in good enough shape yet.

Well, it’s late and I must get some rest or I’ll fall asleep tomorrow in the middle of my very first traditional Indiana meal… made by a BCHOT wannabe.

Murdo Girl…the road trip..I get the message

It’s already Friday night again. The days and weeks are flying by, but I don’t like to think about that. I don’t want to believe that we now have more of this road trip behind us than ahead of us.

Have you ever looked forward to something so much that you dread the time it will be over, before it even starts? Am I getting too deep into the weeds here?


I took every picture in this post just today!

Mother Nature has taught me some things.

Don’t forget to look up…

Don’t forget to look deep inside

You never know when you’re going to run into the past.

Even cats have bad days

God always says good night and good morning.

If you feel like you’re dying, surround yourself with life.

If life becomes a tangled mess, get back on the right road…and get a dog!

This one has me stumped!

If it hasn’t moved in 3 hours, it probably isn’t real.

If you have no idea where you are or where you’re going, and your GPS looks like this, get off the road and reboot!

We moved from Illinois to Indiana and I set foot in another state for the first time…Awesome juice!