Travels With Dick and Judy

Follow us in our trials, triumphs and tribulations, while on the road in our motor home "The Liberty Belle". We chose to forsake the conventional lifestyle in our 3,000+ square-foot home to move into a 40-foot Winnebago Ultimate Freedom. Travel with us as we take you on the road with us in our new lifestyle.
I may grow older, but I'll never grow up!

Friday, August 29, 2014

RV vacation continued-Natchez Trace Parkway and Shiloh National Military Park-July 31-August 2,2014

Finally, after much anticipation, we left David Crockett State Park near Lawrenceburg, Tennessee on Thursday, July 31st, and began a leisurely drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway (the “Parkway”) – beginning at milepost 364.5. The maximum speed limit on the Parkway is 50 miles per hour, which Dick particularly liked – since Dick was driving our 40-foot motor home (“MH”) and towing our Subaru outback.

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When planning this tour, a great book to buy in hard copy is Guide to the Natchez Trace Parkway by F. Lynne Bachleda, which I ordered from Amazon and which was recommended by our friend Peggy. The first mistake we made was not reading the book more thoroughly to know what was along the route. The book starts at Natchez, Mississippi and ends at milepost 444.0, with a short drive to Nashville, Tennessee. If/when we do this drive again, we will definitely start at Natchez and go north.

Our friend Janice was not sure the Parkway drive would hold the interest of our 13-year-old grandson Logan, and she was right, as always. We quickly realized that the book would give the history of an area at a particular milepost but, quite often, would tell you what had been there and was no longer there. It was also difficult to read the book and take in our surroundings with 3 of us in the MH. There were also areas that were not RV accessible. One day, I would like Dick and I to drive the Parkway (possibly in our vehicle) and hit the highlights. I particularly want to visit Natchez-under-the-Hill and Vicksburg National Military Park (which is at milepost 38.0). I say all this to, hopefully, help others considering this drive – especially with kids. Now, back to our drive!

Around milepost 352.9, we detoured off the Parkway and stopped at the Wayne County Welcome Center in Collinwood, Tennessee – a stop we would have never made if not on the Parkway. The volunteers in the Welcome Center were very friendly and had complimentary homemade goodies for their visitors – and lots of exhibits for viewing. A very relaxing stop!

Back on the Parkway, we drove a few more miles and took a lunch break at Cypress Creek (milepost 343.5) – with some neat photo opportunities.

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Shortly after getting back on the Parkway, we  realized this was not what we had expected on our trip with Logan. I checked our book and saw that Shiloh National Military Park (“Shiloh”) was at milepost 320. When we asked Logan what he wanted to see and do on this trip, he said he wanted to visit an old cemetery – although, after seeing one, he said he had seen enough for this trip. Perfect!

According to our book, Pickwick Landing State Park (“Pickwick”) was not too far from Shiloh, so we called ahead and made a reservation for 2 nights. It was quite interesting because we left Tennessee, entered Alabama, then Mississippi and, finally, re-entered Tennessee before reaching Pickwick, which is near Kounce.

Pickwick must be a little known Tennessee state park located on the Tennessee River. The sites had lots of trees, but were not very level – which presented a challenge since our jacks would not extend for us to level the MH. It was a great workout going uphill and downhill from the front to the back of the MH for the next 2 days! Another great park to visit when in the area – Pickwick Landing.

The good news is that Tennessee state parks have a 25% senior discount, and they have no entrance fees (which is similar in Arkansas, as well). I wish Texas would take the hint, as we paid less for 2 nights than for 1 night in a Texas state park. We had no sewer connections, but we had water and a 50-amp electric connection.

After getting set up, we went a few miles into Kounce for a few groceries and looking for a Red Box. NOT! We did find a "video store" and checked out a couple movies (DVDs, but not Blue Ray) for a movie night – the next 2 movies in the Bourne series. By the way, Logan has found a new favorite action hero – Jason Bourne!

Once back at the park, Logan gathered firewood left at another campsite, he and Dick lit a campfire and Logan roasted marshmallows.


The next day (Friday, August 1st), we headed over to Shiloh and, after parking, went to the Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center, viewed artifact exhibits from the Shiloh battlefield and watched the award-winning interpretive film, Shiloh: Fiery Trial. The film was 45 minutes long, but worth every minute, and brought to life this battle as we never learned in our history books.

Here are a few basic facts! The Battle of Shiloh took place on April 6 and 7, 1862, and involved about 65,000 Union and 44,000 Confederate troops, resulting in nearly 24,000 killed, wounded and missing. Horrific!

An interesting fact is that: “In Shiloh’s bloody aftermath, the dead of both armies were hastily buried across the battlefield. The U.S. dead were later re-interred in Shiloh National Cemetery (1866-1868), and the mass graves of Confederate dead preserved through the creation of Shiloh National Military Park in 1894.” If I ever learned such details in any history class, I have certainly forgotten them in the 45 or so years since graduation from high school!

After leaving the Visitor Center, we walked through the Shiloh National Cemetery, which overlooks the Tennessee River.



We then took the driving tour through the battlefield, stopping and walking around various points of interest, taking pictures and soaking in the history. We were particularly impressed with the Confederate Monument (probably in part because we are from the South), which commemorates where Confederate troops encircled and captured nearly 2,100 Union defenders of the Hornet’s Nest – all of which is explained in detail on the tour.


At one point on the driving tour, we stopped by the Shiloh Church, which was the Methodist church from which the battle got its  name.



I could go on and on about this tour, but I do not want to lose all of our visitors. Check out to plan a trip or for more information, and see more photos of our visit in the photo album below.

What a somber visit for all of us, but part of our history - and thank you to our friend Janice for suggesting that we check it out!

At this point, we asked Logan if he would like to bypass the Parkway and make a trip to the Gulf Coast in Mississippi and the beach. He thought this was a great idea so, after returning to the MH, we began making plans for the next few days – and that will be a story for another day.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed traveling with us! See ya!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

RV Vacation continued-David Crockett State Park and more-July 28-31, 2014

Our plan was to take the Natchez Trace Parkway south from Tennessee. First, though, Dick wanted to tour the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, so we made reservations at David Crockett State Park near Lawrenceburg, Tennessee for a few nights. Then, we could pick up the Natchez Trace Parkway from that area of the State.

We got a slow start on Monday, July 28th, and it was very stressful getting out of the campground and to the interstate on narrow, winding roads – but we only had to travel about 100 miles. We took a lunch break just up the road from Lynchburg and the Jack Daniel’s Distillery , which we planned to visit the following day.


After our lunch break, we traveled about 60 miles further to the David Crockett State Park (David Crockett State Park), which was a beautiful park with a lot of history and, again, since Davy Crockett was at the Alamo, we thought it would be interesting to visit the park and museum – plus the park was near the Natchez Trace Parkway. We were disappointed that the sites were not as clean as we were accustomed to as park hosts in Texas state parks. Also, we were told that we could combine 30 AMP and 20 AMP to make 50 AMP, but that was not the case – so we could only run 1 AC at a time, which would not cool as we were accustomed to. The area was beautiful, plus the park had an Olympic-size swimming pool, the David Crockett Museum and the David Crockett Falls. When we found out that the pool was closed on Monday and Tuesday, we extended our stay through Wednesday night to visit the pool and museum.

Once set up in our site, we had homemade pizzas for dinner!


The following morning, we made the drive to Lynchburg, Tennessee, with our first stop being lunch (since we missed breakfast) at Southern Perks Café & Bistro in the historic downtown area.


Following lunch, we walked around the downtown area, browsing, shopping and taking a few pictures.

Another old courthouse in a unique town!


Logan with Jack Daniel!


Grampa and Logan
Following our walk around downtown Lynchburg, we headed a few blocks over to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery to sign up for our tour. Tours are free of charge and the wait was not too long, plus the visitor center has lots of interesting exhibits detailing the history of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Logan is obviously not drinking age and I am allergic to alcohol, but the tour was very informative and interesting. For those who would like to sample the whiskey, there is a tour for a nominal fee, but you must be at least 21 years of age. Another interesting fact about this area is that the county is dry and, therefore, you cannot buy any alcoholic products (so we had to drive to another county to buy souvenir bottles of Jack Daniel’s to bring home). For more information, check out and, to see more pictures of our visit, check out the album below.

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When driving through this area on our way to the park and while looking at the map, I realize that my third cousin, Chris Ogden, and his wife Dianna lived about 20 miles from Lynchburg. After contacting Chris through Facebook and talking on the phone, we made arrangements to visit their home in nearby Winchester, Tennessee. After a slow, but beautiful, drive through the country, we met Chris and Dianna and had an awesome visit. How we had never met Chris on trips my family made to visit Dad’s family in Lexington, Kentucky when I was younger and that Dick and I made after we were married will always be a mystery to us. My paternal grandmother was an Ogden (Nora Ogden Tolin), and Chris and I have the same Great Grandfather, George Washington Ogden, Sr. Chris brought out an old Ogden family album, and some of my Dad’s family were in it – and so was I at about 1-1/2 years old! Thank you, Chris and Dianna, for an enjoyable afternoon, and thank you, Chris, for sharing your genealogy research with me – and I promise to get you the information on my family in the near future. Hope to see y'all again someday soon!

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Also, Chris, thank you for the dinner recommendation at Marvin’s Family Restaurant in Fayetteville, Tennessee. Fortunately, we did not have very far to drive back to the park after dinner. Can you believe that this buffet was $6.95 per person for dinner – plus desserts?!

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As promised, on Wednesday, July 30th, Logan went swimming in the park’s Olympic-size swimming pool, while I read and went for a dip and Dick took a few pictures in the park. The pool was very nice, plus cool and refreshing!

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After Dick picked us up, we drove over to the David Crockett Museum, which was not as great as I had expected, but we did get some pictures and a bit of a history lesson – and I loved Logan’s poses!





What a busy few days in this area of Tennessee! Thanks for stopping by and please let us hear from you.