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Old 04-30-2024, 01:11 PM   #1
DutchmenSport
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The Adventure Continues

For my first 3 months at Oakley Plantation, see this post: What would you do?

Well, ... My wife and I, and our 2 doggies returned to Oakley Plantation (Audubon State Historic Site, near St. Francisville, Louisiana) yesterday (April 29). We'll be here for the months of May and June. (See the link above for some photos, scroll down through the thread for the events and activities I was engaged in).

Before we left Indiana, I had the 100,000 miles "make over" done on my Chevy Silverado, including new tires. Put me back $3500. Then the trailer brake message came on (I was not towing), and that ended up costing me another $250. But, the truck is in great shape now.

Soooooo....

We arrived at Oakley Plantation (Louisiana) with no incidents after 2 previous days traveling.

We left Indiana and traveled to Paducah, Kentucky (355 Miles) where we stayed for an overnight at the KOA there. This was pretty much a typical KOA, not the type of place I’d select for a “destination” campground, but the location is right in the middle of Land Between the Lakes National Recreation area. So, there is plenty to do in the surrounding area if one did want to use this location for a destination campground. Again, the KOA itself is a pretty typical KOA. It was run by some very friendly people and other campers there for an overnight were all pretty respectful, including turning outside lights off at night.



The worst part about the drive for day #1 was actually getting out of Indiana. What a stinking mess Indiana is with their roads. The Interstaters are beyond horrible, and no matter where one tries to travel on secondary or US Highways, there are detours. The path we attempted to take (this time), was to miss going around Indianapolis completely because road construction is going on EVERYWHERE!

So we went completely out of our way to by-pass Indianapolis. Only thing was, it was detoured and then the detour had a detour, and (Honestly!!!!) …. The detoured detour had a detour! Instead of heading South, we were forced to keep going West! It took us 5 hours to get OUT of Indiana and into Kentucky! Indiana just sucks!

Travel day 2 (about 335 miles) was much more rewarding, but our journey led us through Kentucky, then Tennessee, skipped along the edge of Missouri, then Arkansas, and then back into Tennessee (another detour around Memphis) and finally on-ward South on I-55. We were following I-69 and then I-55 along the Mississippi River corridor. BUT! The wind was beyond awful. We had extremely head on winds. My fuel mileage barely got above 8 mph, when normally I’d be getting 10 – 11 or more when towing.

But, we made it to Hugh White State Park in Mississippi at the end of day 2 travel. (Sunday evening). At Hugh White State Park, we were only 1 of 4 campsites occupied, one being the camp host. It is peaceful and quiet there. And because we did not have a camper beside us, we got the 50 amp plug!






So, day 3 (about 240 miles) had it’s challenges also. I always unhitch when doing an overnight so the Montana will always be level. But, for whatever reason, I absolutely could not get the truck and trailer aligned correctly to hitch up. I still don’t know why I such issues. I just couldn’t get it right. Finally I got hitch and all was OK.

We arrive at St. Francisville (Oakley Plantation) – Audubon State Historic Site, about 2:00 pm (local time) and got set up. Walked the dogs, remembered why I love this place so much as I walked the ground, and stood amazed at how lush and green (and weedy) everything got over the last month while we were gone.

I met with some of the park staff and get the “scoop” on what’s happening over the next few days and got an initial briefing. My “order” for my period dated clothing also came from what I ordered from Townsends. (https://www.townsends.us/). I know, I could have worn period dated clothing from their stock room, but I really wanted my own. So, here’s what I look like now:


We are at Oakley Plantation for the months of May and June. Then July 1 through August 31 we’ll be in North Carolina.

I’m already on the work list. I’m doing house tours tomorrow (Wednesday, May 1). I’m so pumped-up! I’m about ready to explode!

Audubon State Historic Site is really nice right now. All February and March flowers are gone, but everything is so lush green right now. Indiana is JUST now getting green. Some trees are still bare.

It’s currently 82 degrees here! I’m enjoying this warmth! It feel soooooo good!
 
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Old 04-30-2024, 04:53 PM   #2
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Hello,
DW and I are glad you have reached your destination! Looks .ike a fun place to be.
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Old 04-30-2024, 07:14 PM   #3
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I spent the Summer when I was 7 years old in Paducah with my aunt and uncle. I was a little country boy that had never been more than 15 miles from home before. What an adventure for a little country boy. The Land Between the Lakes is one of my favorites places.
Thanks for the update. Looking for more, always enjoy them.
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Old 05-09-2024, 05:27 PM   #4
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Update!

It's HOT outside! But I love it. Temps reaching 90 (plus) in Louisiana now. The dog's aren't use to this weather at all. I guess coming from Indiana they are more acclimated to cold weather. They want to go outside so much, stand at the windows and bark at all the little critters outside and ramp and rave at ever noise they hear. But, when they step outside they immediately "potty" and turn around and want back inside! It's too hot for them I guess.

I've been doing house tours. Wearing my "outfit" sure is hot. I did learn that in the early 1800's there was no such thing as "short sleeved shirts". My shirt is long enough to use for a night gown. It goes clear below my knees and all of that material has to be tucked inside the pants. So, it's HOT wearing that thing.

Someone suggested simply rolling up sleaves, even though that would not have been done in 1821, it's better than wearing a contemporary plain shirt or sweating to death with the long sleaves. So I did and it was much better.

Found out, removing the undergarments helped a lot too! (oopes, maybe that was too much information for you all!) Did they wear actual "underware" back in the day? I really don't know! But I do know they had on several layers of material!

When not doing house tours, I had a couple flower beds I've taken personal responsibility for, so I water them daily now. And I'm building some Civil War style medical boxes. They wanted them customized for specific needs, but wanted them styled after the Civil War field medical boxes. So, this has been keeping me busy. I'm actually enjoying building the boxes, as they have a really, really nice industrial table saw I've been using and a bunch of shop tools... allowing me to keep using my carpentry skills. It's really fun doing this.

In addition, I still walk the property as much as I can and report issues, problems, trees with broken branches, and anything else of significance that might be a danger to visiting guests and tourists to the site.

Once I get those boxes done, I'll post some photos of them.

Unfortunately, they are loosing 2 of their employees. The lady on the cashier's register is moving to a different location, as she actually works for State Tourism division and not not the State Parks division. And the second is leaving the State Parks completely to take a new position with the National Parks system. Also, a 3rd "volunteer", who is very instrumental in helping to keep things going at this site is having surgery soon and will be unavailable for a few weeks. So, by the end of the month, the park will be down 3 people. (There's only 10 actual employees of the "state" working here, everyone else is volunteer). Three of those ten are maintenance, but the 3 they are loosing is really throwing a "crimp" on things.

Hint, Hint! I hear that other Louisiana State Historic Sites are having a "people" shortage also, volunteers and staff So, here's a great opportunity for someone if you are interested in this type of thing!

As far as I know though, Audubon is the only "historic site" to offers a free, full hook-up campsite. But there are still plenty of other State Parks that have conventional camp hosts too.
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Old 05-20-2024, 11:31 AM   #5
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Time for another update.

I'm still doing house tours and absolutely lovin' - it! Later today, I'll be doing a Blacksmith demonstration again and talk on enslaved life on the plantation. I'm still thrilled to be here.

Yesterday was one of our employees last day. Even though she was a young lady, she was in every respect, a "lady", a true Southern Lady. Her knowledge of the time period is phenomenal, and she will be missed.

Here's a Facebook video of the skit she and her boyfriend, and her mother did at the plantation last February. Actually, I'm the one who took the video and they uploaded it from me.

Click here.

Things have turned absolutely beautiful here in central Louisiana now. Everything is so lush and green. The trees are making canopies over the roads, wild life is roaming freely now too.



A grey fox was spotted yesterday on the plantation, and every night around 7 - 8 pm we are seeing between 5 and 7 deer herds.

There is some other animal life. Here's a photo from the park office / museum. The cat is named Marley. She is a farrell cat that lives in the park. She's fed daily by the park staff, but can't be touched.



Our little campsite has spread out a little. On the back side of the camper is this patio / concrete area. We've taken it over. The heat is pretty good in the day time now, but the evenings, things cool down and we can enjoy some rest and relaxation:



We finally made a trip to Baton Rouge to the State House building. The historical significance for this location is the fact, there use to the Spanish fort there. This is the same for the Planters (Plantation owners) storm trouped in 1810 when they all came together and broke away from Spain. The battle was minimal as the Spanish soldiers, basically ran and only 1 person was actually killed. This area of Louisiana became known as the Republic of West Florida, it's own nation, until it was included as a USA territory and then in 1812, Louisiana became a state.



We also had opportunity to visit the Locust Grove Cemetery. The cemetery is maintained by the staff at Oakley, so I had the code to enter any time I wanted. The significance of this cemetery is the fact that Sara Knox Taylor Davis is buried there. Who was that woman? She was the first wife of Jefferson Davis, she died on September 15, 1832. She was also the dauthter of Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States.



As promised, here's a photo of my finished medical civil war boxes. There is no labling on them yet. I'm not doing that part. But, here's the finished boxes. I did have a lot of fun building and finishing these. There is about $220 invested into just the material for those boxes. Wood isn't cheap!



So, my wife and I opportunity to meet Robert Irvine in Baton Rouge for a Vodka bottle signing opportunity. We had the dogs with us and he told us to bring them "in".



And last, here's a photo of Homochitto, Mississippi. What's so significant about this place? Well, it's a national forest for one thing, but... it's also the location of the plantation that Ruffin Grey owned in 1795, when he received the Spanish Land Grand which started the Oakley Plantation in St. Francisville (Bayou Sara).



So, there it is. My wife and I have been busy.

Gotta run, get geared up for that blacksmith demonstration is a short while.

Happy Camping!
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:45 PM   #6
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I'm glad you got to go back! It sounds like you're learning there really are four seasons in the South: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Winter.
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Old Yesterday, 09:22 AM   #7
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Which route(s) did you take around Indianapolis? We are planning a trip to the Air Force Museum in September and will be going by Indianapolis. Appreciate your advice. Thanks!

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Old Yesterday, 03:51 PM   #8
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We are lucky. Here in western Roanoke county there are several plantation houses. The very finest are Dyrlie houses. The Dyrlie family built the finest homes here. Most are still standing in as good a shape as when they were built. They are all brick with chimneys on both ends all two stories. One about 7 miles to the west is the biggest. It’s built on a foot hill with the mountain behind it. The plantation owner was buried standing up in full view of has farm os he could keep an eye over his slaves. I wonder how that worked out.

There is another about three miles from us. It has a building behind the main house. I guess it was a kitchen, maybe. It’s two stories with 4 inch by 4 feet slots in the bricks so the home owner could protect it from Indian raids. Without an arrow getting through. It’s been throughly up dated. It’s beyond beautiful and on the market for 1.25 million. The family living there now has been in it for as long as I can remember.
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Old Yesterday, 06:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Route66Rambler View Post
Which route(s) did you take around Indianapolis? We are planning a trip to the Air Force Museum in September and will be going by Indianapolis. Appreciate your advice. Thanks!

Tracy

Well, for us, we live near Anderson, Indiana. So this time we took Highway 32 West through Noblesville and Westfield, and then to Crawfordsville. At Crawfordsville we turned South on US 231 and (wanted) to hit Indiana 67. Well, about the time we crossed over US 40 (East-West road), we ran into construction that took us ever direction except South. But we made it.

Normally, to get around Indianapolis, from Anderson, we take Indiana 9, through Pendleton, and then on South, Greencastle, Shelbyville, and on South.

If you are going East -West, from Illinois to Ohio or the other way, you are best to take any US Highway to get across the state. I-70 is horrid. It will tear up your trailer. Getting around Indianapolis is now impossible. The entire North East 1/4 loop around Indy is now closed. Ramps are closed in other places. Downtown Indy on I-70 is nothing but construction ... it's a horrid mess. Do anything to you can to avoid Indianapolis. It's unbelievable horrible right now.

My wife's company is located in the North East area of Indy, off Keystone Avenue, near I-465 and 82nd street. Everyone working at here office is having 100% nightmares getting to and from work because EVERY road is closed. You cannot get "there" from "here". Luckily, my wife works from home 100%, thus we can enjoy being in Louisiana and away from the insantity going on in Indianapolis right now.

If the road closures and detours won't get you in Indiana, the horrid interstates will pulverize your vehicle and trailer over horrible roads. Either way, you can't get "there" from "here."

Good luck!
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