We’ve been on the road full-time for over two months now. And loving it! Which explains partly why this blog is so far behind in posts. You see we’ve been so busy living the life I’ve been just a little negligent writing about the life. I’ll try to do better.
We left Kennesaw Mountain and stayed with a cousin overnight who cooked a wonderful meal. And, later stayed at his place in Florida that included it’s own little swamp.
Then headed elsewhere in Florida to catch up with some other van-dwellers roaming around in the warm weather. At Goose Pasture, Layla and Libby had a lot of fun playing and digging. Yes, that’s our dirty-faced girl.And we caught up with Cuzzin’ Dyck there along with Trisha. The time at Goose Pasture camp was good. It also allowed me to catch a few sound bites for a future project. I’ll drop the hint that it’s another meditation audio track based on this clip from a friend. Click hear for a taste… Forest flute extended.
We moved from there to a piece of private property and then on to stay nearer the coast. Once again since our plans are always “etched in jello” even that changed. We made a stop at another vandwellers nicely wooded lot and enjoyed seeing Robert again.
Time to “leapity leap” as Brenda says…
I think our next stop was… who am I fooling? I honestly don’t remember.
We cruised the Gulf coast of Florida on the way to Fort Mims, Alabama to meet up with some real characters. These guys are some of the historic actors that present living history at various places and events.
And that’s where I’m going to pick up next time.
We began our full-time road adventure by heading south. While some folks may ask why south? Those that know us simply reply it is February. Which means we are going to dodge the cold and snow.
As we were leaving Kentucky we took a small detour and went to Levi Jackson State Park near London Ky. I wanted to see the McHargue Mill.
I have a fascination with grist or grinding mills. Both Brenda and I have mills in our family history. Cordray, GA was a community built around the grist mill my great grandfather owned. While Brenda’s family, on her mother’s side, came from Switzerland and started flour mills on the east coast. We posted pictures of the McHargue’s mill both on Facebook and Instagram. If you visit Instagram search for @twentyonefeathers and check my albums on Facebook under Dan Cordray.
We thought we would stop and see the Etowah Indian mounds near Cartersville.However the mounds site was not open that day. Which led to a walkaround and the discovery of a really nice looking courthouse.
Our travels will be taking on a route through Atlanta where we will visit one of my cousins but also Kennesaw Mountain.
So, just as Gen. Sherman may have said, “On to Atlanta…”
Today we found ourselves following a path less traveled that led to a fort many have never heard of, named Fort Jackson. This fort was built in 1808 as a position to defend Savannah from attack by sea. This early spot in history makes it the oldest brick fortification in Georgia. In 1812, the rest of the “world” was at war. Two of our biggest trade partners at that time were England and France.
The cannons stood quiet during the surrender.
We bought and sold many goods that were shipped out of the port at Savannah. So, the need to protect the bay entrance became more important.
A hall between chambers.
Entrance drawbridge and moat.
The next battle action this fort saw was during the Civil War in 1862 when it was shelled by an escaped slave named Robert Smalls.
The moat looking toward the river.
The moat looking away from the river.
Shortly after the evacuation of Savannah, and the surrender that followed, William T. Sherman captured Savannah by land. On December 20, 1864 the fort fell to Union hands. The fort, like Savannah, was also evacuated and the subsequent surrender avoided major bloodshed at the fort.
Cannon ready room.
One of the ammunition magazines.
The cannons stood quiet during the surrender.
Due to Sherman refusing to use black troops in the war, the 55th Massachusetts Regiment remained garrisoned there. Because of its history there have been many flags over this fort. From 1884-1905 it was known as Fort Oglethorpe and saw little use by the military. In 1924 the city of Savannah purchased the fort for use as a park, but it was not restored until some 46 years later. Today, the Coastal Heritage Society maintains the fort and provides tours. Visit their website here… Coastal Heritage Society.
During the tour of the fort you can expect twice a day firing of a cannon at 11:00am and 2:00pm, along with a presentation given to us by Daniel McCall about the history of the fort. His knowledge and ease of presentation made the visit come alive.
Thanks for travelling along with Brenda and I as we wandered north through Georgia.
On our trip to visit friends and family in Texas I had the chance to not only record but also to play a Tibetan Singing Bowl. While it was fascinating to get the chance to play this instrument of meditation, I wasn’t clear of its origin or original purpose. So, after doing a little research here’s one of the better articles I found. It is an interview between Rain Gray and Lama Lobsang Molam, a Tibetan monk born in Lhasa, Tibet.
Brenda’s friend Donna was delighted to see an old friend, and get the chance to play the bowl for me.
It was a great time of sharing stories and past histories and watching these two laugh and enjoy each others’ company. It was a real delight to hear and watch Donna make the bowl sing. We were recording in her meditation room, a special place set aside for renewal of the spirit. I want to tell her thank-you for allowing me to use her space for recording. I think that recording in this energy filled room made it extra special.
After hearing the beautiful tones the bowl produced in her hands I asked if I could try and make it sing.
It was a very soothing experience holding the bowl as it produced the tones while I tried to follow her form. Of course I had to experiment with mic placement, setting the bowl on different surfaces, techniques, and in the end holding it in my hand produced the best sound. And, the best feeling while the bowl sang to me.
What a great time we had producing a recorded loop of the bowl for meditation purposes. I’m putting the loop in the “Road Noise” section of the blog. Here’s a link to the recording that is about 30 minutes long.
This last weekend was one that basically directed itself. We started out to the Mountain Bushcrafters Alliance skills day and wherever the van rolled from there.
I’m going to share these wanderings in a couple of posts here since the activities were totally random and therefore unrelated to each other. We started at a gathering of folks that share a love of doing things “the old fashion way” while teaching each other how to “go farther and stay longer”. Then moved into a study of early folk dance and from there a PowWow gathering of 5 or 6 tribes being represented.
Understand that the only planned stop was the MBA skills day the other two were literally where the van rolled. We left the MBA gathering and spent the night on the road (aka Marathon/Wendy’s parking lot).
We decided to head further north and find what we could get into… But, first a shady spot to fix breakfast.
We decided to check out Berea, KY to see if anything was going on there. Since it was Sunday the streets were pretty much empty and the sidewalks were still rolled up. We did stop in at the Russel Acton Folk Center.
So the time has come to show some more of the VOME build out. SO, here’s another “how did” video and a little introduction.
I wanted to increase the ability to charge my house batteries in lower light levels, without unpacking the folding panel and just the overall redundancy the extra panel would provide. Spending time in all kind of places presents challenges for using solar. Out west in the desert areas it’s a sure thing you can find the sunshine you need. The shade of a forest is a different story, no different book.
I mounted the panel from my old van on top of the VOME near the rear since the rooftop real estate was a bit crowded. My plan was to leave room for expansion, and now we expand. Let’s look at what I did and “how did” when it came to mounting these on a fiberglass roof. But first consider the roof is actually two “skins” an outer one and an inner one. The problem this presents is I can’t get to the outer skin from inside to install a backing plate. That’s why I’ll be using a fastener called a well nut.Here’s a video that explains how these fasteners work… Kayak Fishing – Hardware Installation Options, Rivets and Well Nuts. Now that you’ve seen how they work let me also point out they work to provide a certain amount on isolation from vibration. The one I’m using here is for a 1/4″-20 bolt and required a hole that was 1/2″ in diameter to allow it to be inserted.Using stainless steel bolts and washers to anchor the brackets on the panel to the roof.Notice how as you tighten the bolt it not only expands in the hole to grip it also seals against the roof. Because there is only rubber in contact with the fiberglass it will not try to wear it’s way out.The outcome???
Well I’m satisfied. The electrical outcome???
Well turning on everything I could and with the sun playing hide and seek behind clouds the buss voltage bounced happily between 13.1 and 14.2 volts.
This allows us to be more independent in our travels and adventures.
So I saw this recipe on the James Townsend and Sons website where they make it look so easy and decided I gotta try it. So here we go! Let’s mince up some ham, country ham and fresh eggs would be better since they don’t require refrigeration.
While four eggs are on to hard boil I started on mincing the ham. In this case I’m running some packaged city ham through the grinder to create ham mince. This could be done by hand with knife and mashing tool. But, today I have solar panels to work on and utilized some tools for shortcuts. 😉
We just got back from another small adventure. And while putting together the pictures from two different cameras I saw these and remembered I didn’t show you our gold expedition. While it was not a lot to get excitited about it, was relaxing, and fun. Plus we did find some very fine gold flakes!
Libby and Layla enjoyed the time playing in the creek.
This certainly was a beautiful setting to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Now down to business. We set up our mini-sluice and got started digging holes.Ok, so digging the holes to try and reach the bedrock where the black sand and gold would be settled was not so relaxing. Brenda and I took turns digging and processing the raw materials.So the mini-sluice is set and working… This was the second most cool part. The first part of course is working down the “concentrates”. You see that’s what you end up with after it goes through the sluice.
We both wanted to play in the sluice since it was helping to concentrate the “good stuff.”
The outcome??? We found several small flakes of very fine gold and the confidence that we could do this. We will soon be “penny-aires” at this rate!!!
This was about getting out enjoying each others company in nature and doing things that others have never tried. How much gold have you found lately, hmm? We also met some folks that were real helpful with hints and tips. Which goes to show that there are many communities full of folks that want to share their knowledge and experiences.
This was just a short post, during the same short time we collected geodes in another stream and camped with an old friend in the Cherokee Nat’l Forest.
Now that i’ve posted this back to work on what I was really doing…
Since 1937 this group has been busy preserving the history and heritage of this area of Michigan, specifically Mason County. This includes a community of 29 buildings that are situated on 23 acres of beautiful lands and gardens. Sounds like a real estate ad or a travel brochure? I’m sorry it’s just the truth and the only way I can describe the place. So here are a lot of Pictures from some of the buildings.
Let’s go see the general store…
The slide show above is a typical trappers cabin. Brenda and I both agreed that we could be very comfortable there.
There were several more buildings with all sort of things from that time displayed. We managed to make it through all of them before we had to move on.
SO, I’m going to close for now as it’s time to head out for the next stop. I’ll let you in on a secret, the next blog post will still be from Michigan.
We step back in time once again with one of the period actors here at Fort Boonesboro. This time to hear the story of surrender at the hands of a few, very few, brave Kentuckians….
Yes, it’s true I’m still playing catch up. It seems that there’s just not enough time between planning, adventuring, and work to share with ya’ll all the cool stuff we find to get into. Since this video we have been gathering geodes, gold panning, camping in the forest with a friend, hiking at Natural Bridge, visiting a campsite on the Elkhorn Creek, touring Lost Sea Cavern, and that’s all I can remember without Brenda’s help.