Early morning, and time to depart from Tishomingo State Park. The lake looks delightful, and we were sorry to leave.
A cool morning, but promise of a warm sunny day.
It was clearly Spring, and we could move our trailer from its precarious perch by the lake, and enjoy another beautiful journey through the Natchez Trace.
More dogwoods, and a peaceful sunny drive through a corner of Alabama, and then to Nashville. Our plan was to head for the Ohio River, and we had booked Easter brunch on the 100-year-old steam paddleboat –Belle of Louisville.
Then came the phone call: “The river is too high, and the cruise is cancelled, but we can still do the brunch on this wonderful old steam boat. OK?”
Of course, and we headed for our half-way point near Nashville with keen anticipation. We could even imagine the calliope playing as we munched our way through tasty goodies and surveyed the river scene. Then came another phone call: “The river is way higher and we cannot even reach the docks in Louisville. Sorry, but we will refund the money.”
Sadly we looked at the map, and decided that we would go to the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, and perhaps catch the famous boat another year. Of course we had to visit the big cave, and headed down the valley on the “tour”.
The Ranger was somewhat partisan, and explained how the cave was used for salt-peter mining for explosives during the Civil War, though “those Yankees could not hit the broad side of a barn anyway”. Later, the explosive ingredient was used “to liberate us from the British in the War of 1812.” Not quite the way we saw things, but the old mine workings were interesting.
Further back in history, the pre-historic people lived here, and used rushes to light their way. Mysteriously they left around 2,000 years ago, and the caves were not discovered again until our own era.
A variety of wildlife lives in these huge and extensive caves, and although my picture of a hanging bat did not “work”, I managed a so-so picture of a camel back cave cricket, which is also known as a menace in dark basements in this area!!
Above ground the deer wandered about, and seemed more sensible than most. This one even watched for the traffic before crossing the highway.
The weather held fair and we wandered about this spectacular National Park, and found some interesting hazards. An ominous road sign led us to the Green River Ferry, and of course we came to a STOP as instructed.
The ferry itself was basic, and driven by one paddle-wheel. However we noted that it did have toilet facilities, in case anyone was caught short on the long journey!
Then it rained … and rained still more. It changed to heavy rain, and then became torrential. Seeing little point in walking around the wet woods, we headed for Cincinnati, where we had a site booked, and plans made for final condo-shopping before the end of this crazy journey.
The rain increased … the wipers stayed on “fast” … and even the Interstate slowed down since it was seriously awash. Over the Ohio River which was amazingly full. Never mind, we had a nice site booked in Winton Woods. We located it by looking hard through the lancing rain during lightning flashes, but in the end it proved to be a little too damp!
Even the boathouse was marooned (like the Belle of Louisville), and this was clearly not a suitable place for two senior Canadians to camp! The sports field was under several feet of water, and this park was totally and irrevocably CLOSED. We had to admit defeat.
To those who worry about these things, rest assured we did find an alternative spot, in nearby Lebanon, and while this was semi-awash there were a few well drained areas. The rain continued, and this has been the wettest April in Cincinnati history.
Most of the tornadoes were south of here, and we were relieved. Then this morning we heard that Fergus had experienced a tornado, so it’s bad all over, eh? But the rainbow promised a better day tomorrow, as we float north to Cleveland, and then into Ontario once more. It really CANNOT be wetter than here!
John (and Elaine who keeps my spirits up)