Friday, August 19, 2011

35th State: Indiana - Lake Monroe (Aug. 19, 2011)

"Back Home Again in Indiana"... by cracky.. you know you are a Hoosier at heart when you enter the state and first thing you get excited about is seeing a White Castle. I know what I’m having for dinner, and it won't be coming out of a grocery freezer. Wahooo!

Got to Lake Monroe, south of Bloomington, IN at a very large boat launching area off Hwy 446 at the causeway crossing the lake.  Great place.  No signs posted about “no overnight parking, etc.”  No speed boating was allowed on the East side of the causeway, so it was very calm and serene.  It was late in the day, but the sky was clear and I thought the sunset might be nice.  Still very hot and humid.  Oh, golly, I’m so tired of this kind of weather.

I got within about four paddle strokes of this guy before he took flight.  That was the highlight of this paddle for sure.
There were some signs of shoreline development but for the most part the banks were fairly natural and wild.  And there were some mighty big fish in there… that often splashed water into the kayak.  A couple really startled me.

If the weather had been cooler, I might have gone back out in the morning and kayaked up that inlet.  Looks inviting.

Smooth smooth water.  And I enjoyed the sunset very much from the middle of the lake… you can see hints of pink in the water.  Thought I was getting a good video clip of the setting sun, but it didn’t SAVE to my camera… probably because the battery was getting low?
After a good night’s sleep, I headed into Nashville, IN to visit the Brown County Antique Mall, owned by a high school friend, Cheri Clevenger.  Lovely store.  We visited off and on between her numerous customers.  Busy place. 
If you get down to Brown County Indiana, be sure to drop by and say high.  It’s 3 miles East of Nashville at 3288 East State Road 46.  Website: . Open all year long, seven days a week, except just a very few holidays.
I found this wonderful opal and silver bracelet there which I was dying to buy for my granddaughter Tori, but I just didn’t have the money to spare… since I have to repair my computer this month.  Would have been the prefect gift for a horse-lover born in October.
Cheri, you are a trip.  Thanks for the concert, the melon, the company and the laughs.  And as grandmas go, you are the tops.
Leaving Nashville, I headed west and arriving in Bloomington, I began recognizing familiar streets and decided to look up my old house.  There it is… just a little cottage.  They have added a porch, new windows, and new siding is going on.  The yard however is all grown up with weeds everywhere.  But it was fun to see it.  I spent a little more time driving around town… remembering… times gone by.  Too many memories really, of being a single parent of two little boys, and working and putting myself through college.
Finally, I said goodbye to my old Alma Mater (Indiana University) and headed westward again, ever westward, this time to catch up and visit with one of my first cousins I haven’t seen in decades.

Westward Hoo!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

34th State: Kentucky - Fredericks Landing (Aug. 18, 2011)

I drove from Springfield, OH where I was visiting friends, to Cincinnati, OH where my great great great grandparents (Sarah Ann Palmer Mason and husband Aurelius Mason) were buried.  I wanted to find and visit their graves.
Sarah Ann Palmer and Aurelius Mason
The young girl is Ethel May Mason, their granddaughter, my great grandmother.
It is one of the biggest cemeteries I have ever seen and I got lost several times.  A caretaker met me in the “section’ with his little computerized locator… and helped me find the spots… but there were no stones.  They are not even buried next to each other, but a couple rows apart.  Disappointing.
I then drove across the Ohio River to Covington, KY where they had lived and found the intersection and took photos.  I don’t know exactly which house or lot they might have lived with… my records only say Banklick at 11th Street.   This is 11th Street… and the Church of God is on Banklick at 11th Street. That’s it at the end of this street.
Interesting little neighborhood which is very upscale and being re-vitalized.  I liked it there.
I studied the maps and waterways looking for a kayaking location and found Fredericks Landing, Wilder, KY Boat Launch, put in, kayaked several hours, and then hauled out and spend the night in the lot. Very nice facility, with shelters, picnic tables, nice lawns… very nice and well kept, which began about 8am next morning…waking me out of a very sound sleep.  I paid $2 to park there, asked what time I had to be out… lady said… people fish there all night. Get there before business closing hours, City building is two building north of the entrance to landing.  Vandwellers, this is a good spot, clean and safe.
I can’t say it was an exciting paddle, but peaceful and smooth… only saw three other boats… not a lot of wildlife, except this snake and a pair of cardinals and some turtles.  It was hot and humid and all I could think was to get out of KY, get done with IN and head west.  So, I headed toward IN to visit a high school classmate, a first cousin, and other folk in Central IN before heading to IL.

Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.