Because from here on out, I get to work on my Bucket List because I've got the Monkey off my back!


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Saturday, October 7, 2017

49 State Road Trip Log 2017-

While it was my intent to post log entries daily while on the road trip this proved to be impossible. Most non-commercial campsites did not have internet connections, as a matter of fact most didn’t even have cell phone reception.

What I ended up doing was posting the daily logs whenever possible. The ‘Day’ count is not meant to reflect real time. You can determine real time from the posting date on each entry. The day count excludes days not one the road trip and is meant only to reflect days on the road.

To navigate the Trip Log:

  • Use your browser’s ‘Back Button’ to return here after viewing each entry below,
  • or start with a post below and use the “Next Road Trip Stop” link at the bottom of each post to view the next stop on the trip,
  • or use the “Older Version” and “Newer Version” links at the bottom of each page.


Move-out and trip prep:
Leaving Indy:

Trip Log: 2017

Day 2: Travel Day (Mississippi)
Day 3: Natchez, Mississippi
Days 3-6: The Natchez Trace Parkway
Day 5: Tupelo, Mississippi-- The King
Day 6: Coon Dog Memorial Cemetery
Day 6: The Natchez Trace Parkway Arches
Day 7: Tennessee (travel day)
Day 8: Basecamp Kingston, TN
Day 9: Smoky Mountains (part 1 Laurel Falls)
Day 9: Smoky Mountains (part 2 Clingsman Dome)
Day 10: Mt. Mitchell, NC
Day 11: The Wilderness Road (part 1)
Day 11: The Wilderness Road (part 2)
Day 12 The Wilderness Road & Cumberland Gap.
Day 12: The end of the first leg of my 49 State Road Trip.
Day 13-15: Cataract Falls and Patoka Lake.
Day 16 & 17: Camp Breckinridge, KY
Day 18: Travel Day: Corydon, Indiana
Day 19: Clifty Falls SRA, Indiana.
Day 20: Tunnel Falls
Days 19-21: Madison IN
Day 22: Indiana Dunes State park on Lake Michigan
Day 23: Port Huron Float Down

Day 24 Total Eclipse of the Sun: O’Fallon, MO.

Day 25 St. Genevieve Ferry, St. Genevieve, Missouri.

Because of several factors I have had to limit my time on the road to short trips of 7 to 10 days at a time, so the the 49 states will not be completed in one summer. In spite of this I have been having a great time and still have plans to complete it no matter how long it takes. This log still has several days from 2017 to be posted.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Day 25 St. Genevieve Ferry, St. Genevieve, Missouri.

Following the Eclipse I spent a few days at Troy’s before heading back towards Indy, taking an alternative route through the river town of Saint Genevieve, Missouri where I sought to satisfy my ferry and ‘big water’ fetishes.

The St. Genevieve Ferry:1941343_234350080083227_2009547957_o

The first Bridge across the upper Mississippi River was not built until 1856 and the first one across the lower Mississippi wasn't built until 1892. Prior to the building of these bridges, crossings were by boat or ferry. Today only 16 bridges span the Mississippi from Kentucky to the Gulf. In spite of the lack of bridges, the use of ferry boats is declining.

Most of the early bridges were Railroad bridges. Prior to these bridges, the only way to get a train across the Mississippi was by train ferries. The railroad tracks would go down to the rivers edge where the ferry would be waiting and drive right onto the barge for transfer to the other side. Train ferries operated on the Mississippi as late as 1982 (Natchez, MS.).

The Ste Genevieve Ferry was one of these train ferries linking the Union Pacific railroad across the Mississippi River. Locally referred to as The French Connection, the Ste. Genevieve - Modoc Ferry is a quick connection between Sainte Genevieve, Missouri and southern Illinois and is the official crossing point for bicyclists enjoying the Great River Road or the Mississippi River Bicycle Trail. The ferry operates year-round, except when river conditions make ferry operation unsafe. The ferry accepts cash or check, and currently does not accept credit cards.

Be prepared to use the 'pause' button to read/view some items. Best viewed at full screen.

STE GENEVIEVE-MODOC FERRY, now has its own phone kept in the wheelhouse 573-535-1354 is the number for calls or text. Mo side of the river does get poor reception but you may also call Ste Genevieve Visitor Center at 573-883-7097 for assistance.

From Southeast Missouri to Kampsville, Illinois there are 7 ferries in operation, crossing the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.


Having crossed the 2 southern ferries (the Dorena-Hickman Ferry & the Ste. Genevieve-Modoc River Ferry) the 5 remaining ferries are all north of St. Louis.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Day 24 Total Eclipse of the Sun: O’Fallon, MO.

Check another item off the bucket list.

Saw the total eclipse today in O'Fallon Missouri just outside of St Louis. had totality for only 41 seconds, but it was still amazing. It didn't get much darker than a thunderstorm would, but it was a smaller window of totality whereas those who had two minutes of totality probably got more darkness. took some video of the clouds on the horizon which turned kind of a purplish red rainbow look but without any light behind them.

Jesse Daniel & Viola Littrell FamilyWe were with cousins Joe and Dean and Larry and his wife at Jo & Dean's place. At our location we had 100% totality, meaning that the entire sun was blocked out, not just part of it, but because we were in an area where the eclipse lasted only 41 seconds we did not experience total darkness. We assumed that we didn't get total darkness because the 41 seconds window meant that even though the sun was blocked out we were in such a narrow band of the moons shadow that the light from the near horizon prevented more darkness. What we experienced was more like a stormy cloudy day than darkness. Had we been in an area of totality that lasted more than 41 seconds we probably would have been in total darkness except for the distant Horizon.

It was still a spectacular thing. We got to view the moon moving across the Sun, the totality, and the moon moving away from the Sun. Unfortunately, I set the camera up wrong and as consequence, none of the pictures that day came out showing the eclipse or the get together with family.

20170901_171443It was a very amazing event and we've learned some things about a total eclipse and I intend to be prepared for the next one which will occur in 2024*, and this time the path of totality will come from the southwest crossing Arkansas, the boot hill area of Missouri, and all the way up and crossing Indianapolis.

With what I know now and with many relatives living in the Boot Hill area of Missouri and myself living in Indianapolis it should be easy to find a prime viewing area and getting a group together to view it.

Following the eclipse, we stayed a while and then we had to hit the road taking Troy back to Poplar Bluff.

In general, it was a very packed three days with a lot of driving and a lot of fun: the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan, the Port Huron float down on the St. Clair River, and then the total eclipse. I have every intention of re-doing all three activities again.

I was able to check off 3 bucket list items: toe dipping in two of the five Great Lakes, the Port Huron float down, and viewing a total eclipse.


* On April 8, 2024 (another Monday), the moon's shadow will sweep across Mexico and North America in another total solar eclipse. The path of totality begins in Mexico, passing through Texas as it moves northeast to Maine.

37878-solar-eclipse-2024-path-of-totality-maps.html"It's going to go from Mexico to Texas, into the Ohio River Valley, upstate New York and New England," Alex Young,  NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Like in 2017, the 2024 totality will cross Carbondale Missouri. It typically takes 375 years for a total solar eclipse to pass over the same place on Earth twice, but in this rare occurrence, Carbondale will experience two within 7 years. NASA officials have said.  


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Day 23: Port Huron Float Down

Let me start by saying that days 22, 23, and 24 of the 49 State Road Trip were probably the most intense 3 days so far, and close to the being most awesome. Time will have to help me decide because right now I’m hard pressed to pick my favorite day.

The drive to Indiana Dunes (Day22 eve) entailed an overnight sleepover at a rest stop on I-65 and climbing the awesome dunes, followed by a a hard rive to Algonac State Park which is a few miles south of the Float Down. I broke camp the next morning because I had to be in St. Louis for the 2017 total eclipse of the sun, otherwise I would of stayed another night and left the next day.

The Float Down:

20882647_10211845348063104_3855262767432801497_nAfter breaking camp I drove north into Marysville, which was the termination point of the float down, and parked in a city park. With my dry bag (cameras, wallet & phone), a mesh bag (water, carb snack, paddle, and rope, my hitch hiking sign, Lil’ Man and my uninflated raft thrown over my shoulder, I stepped out on the river road and was quickly picked up by the 3rd vehicle to come along. I jumped in the back of Bryan’s pickup, surrounded by all the typical debris that you find in finely aged pickups, and on towards Port Huron we went, Bryan, his son, old lady and the trailer pulling their paddle boat. We made a beer stop and then picked up his buddy before arriving at the Port Huron beach.

Bryan and his buddy were the embodiment of the type of spirit and atmosphere that are contagious at events like this. Even though, like everyone there, they were intent on a party they also were intent on sharing the fun: as thousands of people float down an eight mile stretch of river flotillas form,big and small. Some are by design as 20915251_10211845348263109_8442859392770984108_nfamilies and friends join-up at the event. Others form naturally as ‘floating’ means no navigation. In other words most of the floatation devices (air mattresses, inner tubes, floating ducks) are at the mercy of the wind and currents, and sometimes the lack of both. Bryan’s paddleboat and many kayakers serve as ‘tug boats’ for stranded individuals and flotillas, pulling dead current victims back into the current, or keeping stragglers from being blown to the Canadian side of the river. It also keeps with the rebellion-ess of the event to strategically guide water balloon and water cannon attacks against bars, eating establishments, and private residences along the shoreline. Not to fear though its all in fun as the ‘land-lubbers’ are well equipped with ‘Jell-O shots’ and water hoses to repel the river rat pirates. It also speaks well of Bryan & ‘buddy’ that they willingly share their beer. 1

Even with some minor setbacks the day was awesome:

  • my dry bag sprung a leak ruining my cell phones and many pictures I had taken that morning,
  • even though I had plenty of bottled water on board I waited to late to hydrate and started suffering ‘old man’ leg cramps* shortly after hitting the water,
  • the configuration of my raft and the wind made paddling useless. About all I could do was turn by raft by paddling not move it forward, i.e.., all paddling resulted in me spinning.

By the time I exited the water I don’t know if I was slightly dehydrated or suffering slightly from hypothermia… probably a little of both. I couldn’t immediately take my glucose level because as I exited the water (there was a multitude of people assisting fatigued rafters and equipment out of the water) some one shoved water and hotdogs in my hand and any accurate reading was then impossible.
I think I kept my Blood sugar in range for the most part, the unsteadiness and fatigue were more likely do to being in a constant position for 6 hours, late hydration and hypothermia. I never really felt any chill from the water but surface temperature and the awesomeness of the event probably distracted me from any awareness of the chill. Water coming off of Lake Huron, even over a long summer, has water temperatures in the low 70s during August.

My Facebook post after exiting the water:

“I am exhausted... haven't been this exhausted since I completed a 100 mile bike ride in West Lafayette, Indiana (decades ago). Actually did that 100 miles 15 minutes faster than the 6 and a half hours it took to do the 8 mile St. Clair River.
Add Lake Huron to the 'toe-dip in all 5 Great Lakes Bucket List check-off (Lake Michigan & Lake Huron so far).
Lil' Man and I got a 10 hour drive to St. Louis (Dean & Joe's in O'Fallon, MO.) for the total eclipse (tomorrow).”

I’ve made up my mind that I have to do this again, next year, but not alone. See my notes and video about joining me next year at the bottom of this post.

Lil’ Man in our two-seater.



Next years Float Down:2

If your interested in ‘doing’ the float down with me next year keep in mind that everyone doesn’t have to go in the water to participate. One thing I learned is a ‘support team’ is a good thing to have. There are plenty of eateries along the shore of the river, lots of partying going on in and out of the water. There are several places along the river where we can unload or pickup passengers who don’t want to do the whole trip in the water. Also along the river are boat tours (of ships, a coast guard museum, parks etc. These are very charming and quant little coastal towns.

imageAs I did this year my personal plan is to make a weekend of it. Camping at Alogonac State Park (10 minute drive from the float downs finish in Marysville). The park is great, its on the river, and it has camping for tents and trailers, electricity and full hook-ups, and full concrete facility buildings (shower, toilets). I have two tents with plenty of room to share. There are hotels in the area too. (see more on Algonac State Park)

A neat side adventure would be a short detour to Indiana Dunes Beach to break up either the drive there or back (see more on Indiana Dunes)  

6My plan would be to arrive at the park on Thursday or Friday and return on Monday. I’m retired which makes a long stay possible, but everyone is free to set their own schedule. We just need to be sure to book the campsite(s) or hotel rooms accordingly. I have a small vehicle and my nephew will be with me but if I can fit anyone in I will. One possibility is AMTRAK: I’ve taking it from Indianapolis to Detroit before and its a comfortable ride. I’ve traveled by train several times and I’ve seen people with bicycles and all kinds of stuff so it might be worth checking if bringing a kayak is possible (surely a deflated raft is possible). The park is about 50 miles from Detroit so a pick-up could be a possibility.

Our water crafts: As you can see from one of the above picture I had a simple two person recreational raft which was adequate,but for next years float down I plan to upgrade my craft to more appropriately accommodate a 65 year old body.
3Anything goes though: picnic tables floating on 50 gallon drums or bulk Styrofoam, kayaks, paddle boats, inner tubes, rubber ducks and floating unicorns. If we can get it in and out of the water we can do it. One thing at the top of my list is that at least one craft should be able to move under its own power so our flotilla is not at the mercy of winds and currents. For example at least one Kayak that all our crafts can tie onto to create our flotilla, two kayaks and maybe we could create a barge.

imageIts early, but we need to start exchanging ideas now to be ready for next year. I plan to do this even if its alone so getting involved now, even if you have to cancel, is not going to deter me. I’d rather you get involved, even if you have to cancel, rather than not get involved at all.

My invitation is open to all; family, friends, and neighbors. Who knows this might be a chance for an impromptu get-together for our northern cousins (Rex’s group and the Show waters) or old school/work buddies.

For now you can contact me by email: indianaglenn@gmail.com .
Once I get enough response I will create a facebook group page for exchanging ideas and updates. (If your not on facebook consider joining just to do this. I know a lot of people are scared or opposed to Facebook but just because some people go crazy on it doesn’t mean you have to. If you can’t or won’t then get a relative or friend who is to serve as a go between for you.




Friday, August 18, 2017

Day 22: Indiana Dunes State park on Lake Michigan

20988859_10211839563918504_2271966183050115977_oAfter leaving Madison, Indiana, and then a short stay-over in Indianapolis, I headed to Indiana Dunes in northern Indiana to meet up with a hiking group from Indianapolis. I never did connect with them in the large and heavily populated park and beach, but I walked the planed trail anyway and spent some time on the beach before heading out for Port Huron, Michigan.


Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is on the southern shore of Lake Michigan in Indiana. It has a string of sandy beaches, and trails through dunes, marshland, and jack pine forests. The dunes are enormous (practically have their own ecosystem) and offer great views if you can climb them.

The Dune Succession Trail at West Beach has views of the Chicago skyline and the lake’s bird-rich wetland. Near the Little Calumet River are the Baily Homestead, an 1820s fur-trading post, and the restored Chellberg Farm.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Days 19-21: Madison IN

Over the few days I was at Clifty Falls SRA in Indiana (on the Ohio River), I made several trips to the riverfront (on both sides of the river). Madison has a beautiful river walk with plenty of parking, benches and views.


Madison, Indiana is the home of the Madison Regatta, an Unlimited hydroplane boat race held annually on Independence Day weekend on the Ohio River in Madison, Indiana. Madison has hosted the Madison Regatta annually since 1951, although the race was also contested in the 1930s. The race inspired a Hollywood motion picture released in 2005, titled Madison which starred actor Jim Caviezel.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Day 20: Tunnel Falls

clifty falls SRA (86)crpd“…The cave, named Brough's Folly was created as part of a railroad project. When it failed due to lack of funding, the cave was left unfinished, which is why it seems machine made in some parts and completely natural in others. Upon entering, those over 5 feet tall will have to duck for a bit until the cave gains some height.

Finally making it through the tunnel, visitors are faced with Tunnel Falls. This waterfall, like its name suggests, is filtered through a limestone tunnel where it shoots out water that falls roughly 83 feet into the deepest parts of the canyon making it the tallest waterfall in the park…”    source

[left] The root system of this tree, perched above the trail, is exposed as it travels down a crevice in the rocks.clifty falls SRA (92)crpd

Pictures & video by Glenn


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Day 19: Clifty Falls SRA, Indiana.

"Clifty Falls State Park is one of southern Indiana's scenic gems. Located right by the Indiana-Kentucky border, the park covers a 300-foot deep canyon that was carved out over the course of millions of years by Clifty Creek. The canyon is home to four massive waterfalls; Clifty Falls, Little Clifty Falls, Tunnel Falls and Hoffman Falls. While the rugged landscape provides challenging hikes over the course of the park's ten hiking trails, the major attraction has always been the waterfalls. Visitors will have to trek a few of the park's interconnecting trails to see all the waterfalls, but it is possible to get a glimpse at everything this small state park has to offer in just a few hours...."

Spent a few days at Clifty Falls State Recreation Area and Madison Indiana on the Ohio River... GlennDL



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Day 18: Travel Day: Corydon, Indiana

Day 18 Corydon IN (15)Corydon is a town in Harrison Township, Harrison County, Indiana. Located north of the Ohio River in the extreme southern part of the U.S. state of Indiana, it is the seat of government for Harrison County. Corydon was founded in 1808 and served as the capital of the Indiana Territory from 1813 to 1816. It was the site of Indiana's first constitutional convention, which was held June 10–29, 1816. Forty-three convened to consider statehood for Indiana and drafted its first state constitution. Under Article XI, Section 11, of the Indiana 1816 constitution, Corydon was designated as the capital of the state until 1825, when the seat of state government was moved to Indianapolis. During the American Civil War, Corydon was the site of the Battle of Corydon, the only official pitched battle waged in Indiana. More recently, the town's numerous historic sites have helped it become a tourist destination. A portion of its downtown area is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Corydon Historic District….”


Day 18 Corydon IN (3)Day 18 Corydon IN (7)Day 18 Corydon IN (10)Day 18 Corydon IN (11)Day 18 Corydon IN (13)Day 18 Corydon IN (14)Day 18 Corydon IN (17)Day 18 Corydon IN (27)Day 18 Corydon IN (32)Day 18 Corydon IN (34)Day 18 Corydon IN (38)


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Day 16 & 17: Camp Breckinridge, KY

Set out from Indy on Monday and camped in The Hoosier National Forrest at Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area. Visited my birthplace the following day.


I was born in Camp Breckinridge, but had not been there since my birth. I don’t even know if we lived there or not, and if not how did I come to be born there?

All that remains of the camp is a museum and a Job Corps Center on part of the original camp.

The camp was established during World War II for training troops and housing POWs.

After the war it was used during the Korean war as a training base for the 101st Airborne (Infantry) and other units.

The original establishment of the base for WW I resulted in the displacement of many families and property owners.

With the decommissioning of the camp after Korea the land has been tied up in lawsuits between the displaced families and the government for decades.

Spent two nights at Indiana-Celina Lakes SRA:



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Day 13-15: Cataract Falls and Patoka Lake.

With my nephews: Ty and James

Patoka Lake & Land Between The Lakes
After spending time at Cataract Falls we drove south to Patoka Lake and set up camp for the next two days.
On Saturday we drove to the Land Between The Lakes in Kentucky and visited Kentucky Dam and Barkley Dam (no pictures from Barkley Dam).
In visiting the Land Between The Lakes we crossed the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.

3DayRoadTrip (1)

When we bedded down on our last night there was lightning on the horizon. Later there were flash flood alerts.
Beginning at about 1 am we were engulfed in high winds and near continuous thunder and lightning for about 8 hours.

3DayRoadTrip (83)3DayRoadTrip (84)

At one point a 48 mile per hour wind flattened our tent as one wall came completely down on Ty and I.
Once the wind let up the tent returned to its upright position, which was lucky as the tent was only rated to withstand 35 mph winds.

After the storm everything, including us were soaking wet. We loaded up as best we could and set out for home.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Day 12: The end of the first leg of my 49 State Road Trip.

Day 12, June 27Following the visit to Ft. Boonesborough I proceeded home to Indianapolis, completing the first leg of my scheduled 49 State Road Trip.

This leg started with be leaving Poplar Bluff Missouri (Troy’s place) and Driving to Piggott, Arkansas. Since then I have traveled 2,892 miles in 12 days. Camping out 9 nights, staying in a hotel 2 nights, and sleeping in a Walmart parking lot one night. I have visited   Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and returned to Indiana'; 8 states in 12 days… only 41 more states to go.

I crossed the Mississippi River, Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Ohio River, Clinch River(TN), Green River(KY), St. Francis River(MO), Current River(MO), Big Black River(MS), Pearl River(MS), Tallahatchie River(MS), Tombigbee River(MS), Yazoo River(MS).

I completed 2 bucket list items: Driving the Natchez Trace Parkway and driving the Wilderness Road.


Will spend some time in Indy (Annual Independence Week Picnic, Doctor Appointments, Zoo Bus Trip and some short road excursions) before hitting the road again.