United States

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    • Day 3

      Still loving our Velotrics!

      June 23 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 86 °F

      We had an hour and a half of rain this morning. So Pat and I enjoyed our coffee and studied Exodus together.

      We are working our way thru the Bible chronologically using Bible Recap and Bible Project (which are white board drawings that make great introductions for each book).

      After the rain passed, we headed out on our Ebikes. There is a lovely gravel hiking and biking path that goes all the way to the visitor center/cave entrance 10 miles away. Almost the entire path is in the forest, so it was very pleasant. Not too hot! As we were getting on the path, 4 road cyclists (what I call REAL cyclists) passed in front of us. They complemented us for wearing helmets and said all other bikers they had passed had none. We found that to be true, too. No way I would ride these trails without helmets! It was a lovely day, and we did 20.4 miles.

      And, there was even an ice cream sandwich involved!
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    • Day 6

      TT Diamond Caverns

      April 18, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 41 °F

      Finally made it to our very 1st thousand trails campground. Must say, we aren't too impressed with this particular campground. There's not much to do at the campground or in the area with the exception of mammoth cave. This would be a good stop over for a night or 2 but not much else.Read more

    • Day 1

      New Money or Something Worth A Lot More

      June 21 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 90 °F

      New Money or something worth a lot more.

      We had a man give us some money today.

      That is not really accurate, but it is what he said as he was doing it.

      The man was visiting a neighbor in the campground and struck up a friendly conversation. And while talking to us, he noticed and commented on the cross necklace I was wearing (a gift from my brother John and sister-in-law Stephanie, on the day of my baptism). And then he said he wanted to give us some money. He reached in his pocket and gave us each a penny. A penny that had been stamped to punch out a cross from the center. Then he reached in his pocket again and retrieved the "drop". The cross that had been punched out.

      No, he didn't really give us money. He shared peace with us.

      I thought it was pretty neat.

      My Lovely liked them too. But she really liked what he said as he was leaving. He told us 'young people' to have fun.

      We are going to have fun. And we will be as young as we can be.

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    • Day 2

      Maps and Other Memories

      June 22 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 91 °F

      Maps and other Memories

      Sometimes, we get side tracked, or just lazily behind. I am posting about the Kentucky trip and we still have half a dozen Honduras post waiting (we need to pair photos with the words - and there are a lot of photos).

      As I wrote about in the first footprint of this trip (about the new drone), we do these posts for ourselves to document memories, but we hope that some of those closest to us enjoy what we are doing too. This post is in that same neighborhood.

      Like so many other campers, we have the USA map on our camper showing the states we have visited. Believe it or not, many campers have very distinct rules for these things. Some people put a sticker up even if they just drive through a state. Others say you have to spend a certain amount of time there. Everybody is entitled to their own rule (let freedom rein). Our rule is, we have to spend a night AND we have to do something (a hike, a tour, a bike ride, something) in order to get a state sticker.

      So we get behind sometimes and we didn't do Indiana after visiting Zach and Marina. So today, both Kentucky and Indiana go up.

      The other thing we do is collect stickers from where we go and what we do.

      When we first got married, we did post cards and I wrote a note in a journal of sorts. But we didn't really get to enjoy it. But with the stickers, we get to enjoy what we are doing.

      Amy bought some 'Peel & Stick' wallpaper of a fun variety. It reminds me of the song 'Over the hills and through the woods, to grandma's house we go'. My Lovely covered the front of the camper fridge with the wallpaper. And we put the stickers that we collect on the wallpaper on the fridge. So when we do things like hike in Mammoth Cave, we get a state sticker for Kentucky outside, and the fridge gets a sticker for Mammoth Cave.

      When the fridge is covered, My Lovely will peel the wallpaper and cut it up into squares. She'll make a scrapbook out of it. And then we get to start over.

      It may not seem like fun, but us picking out the right sticker together is a blast. And the placement on the fridge . . . well, that is an event. (Amy edit....ain't we goofy!)

      And two more things. In my previous post I wrote about the penny with the cross punched out. We will find a home for that blessing somewhere in the camper.

      And the last thing: Maddee goes with us everywhere. In our hearts, in our spirit and on our walls.

      Love you and miss you Madgirl.

      Every minute of every day, Baby Girl.
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    • Day 2

      Mammoth Cave - Grand Avenue Tour

      June 22 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 90 °F

      Mammoth Cave Grand Avenue

      Last night, we did the Star Chamber Tour. This morning, it was the Grand Avenue tour.

      The Grand Avenue Tour is the longest walking tour they offer at 4 miles and lots of inclines.

      The NPS advertises 1,600 stair steps. And there are the inclines beyond that. Well, to set the recorde straight, there are 1,600 stair steps (up and down), but that only tells part of the story. The other part is that my Fitbit registered 51 flights of stairs climbed - it counts walking up an incline 10 feet as a flight too.

      It sounds really hard, but it wasn't as bad as it sounds. The rough tour (that we will not be doing) is a hike where you spend a good bit of time crawling through holes - really small holes. Definitely not for us.

      This tour, like last night's tour, was to a large extent about the stories they tell - the history. But there were 2 awesome highlights.

      The first highlight was Boone Avenue. We spent a decent amount time trekking through what one could best describe as 'wide crevices', slot canyons in the cave. It was really neat and definitely better than the Grand rooms of vast space.

      The second highlight is at the end of the tour. And after doing almost all the stairsteps and inclines mentioned in the 2nd paragraph, when they get to this part of the tour they call it OPTIONAL STEPS, because, if you want to, and you are up to it, you can see "Frozen Niagra", if you choose to do an extra 97 steps. Optional because it is a little side trail down a staircase.

      Well, the first thing I have to tell you is that 97 stair steps is 49 steps down. And 48 steps up. Not too bad.

      The second thing I have to tell you is that it is spectacular. That 1 stairwell was 5 times better than the rest of the day combined - and it was a good day.

      The light is low, and with nature, pictures never do justice, but Frozen Niagra (which is neither Frozen nor a waterfall) is fabulous.
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    • Day 5


      May 22 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F


      We might sometimes lose perspective of how blessed we are in America.

      This was my 3rd trip to this resort in Roatan.  1 trip pre-covid, 1 trip at the end of the pandemic and now, 3 years later.

      What was the glaring difference? The sealife. 

      Previously, you saw sea turtles on every dive.  Multiple turtles.  In the wild, sea turtle live 50 to 100 years. Some, many more years.

      This trip.  1 small turtle for the whole week.

      Also, previously, sharks on many of the dives.  This trip, I saw no sharks, Jacob saw 2 on 1 dive.

      And the rays.  I saw 2 small eagle rays this trip. Previously, half of the dives featured rays.

      The answer:  No Tourists.  No jobs.  No money. No government subsidies.  Tourism was shut down for 7 months.  Schools shut down for 17 months.  People had to eat.  They ate the turtles, they were easy to catch. This broke our hearts, for the people and the turtles.

      I will also say that in most places I dive (ie. Mexico), the reefs are a national park.  Subsidized by the government and fees collected from divers to enter the national park.  In Honduras, they know the government is corrupt, and the fees collected would be scarfed up in the corruption. 

      In Roatan, the dive operators ask the tourists for a voluntary donation (some do it, some don't - and the operators don't push it).  The operators collectively maintain the reefs.  Cleaning, hunting the species that can harm the ecosystem, providing means, transportation, and supplies for volunteers to do the work of cleaning the reef, and trying to grow new coral foundations.
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