In this episode, an interview with a best-selling author on something that a lot of RVers are interested in: Writing from the road. We’ll help you scratch that creativity itch that traveling unleashes in all of us. Who know, you may have a best seller just waiting to come out in you RV, just like Kevin Tumlinson, an avid RVer himself, keeps turning out.
Plus lots of news, RV tips, off the beaten path destination suggestions and much more.
But first my lifelong traveling companion and my bride, Jennifer
Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.
Shownotes for Episode 199 of the RV Podcast
WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”2:49“]
Happy 4th of July to all our American listeners. And we hope or Canadian listeners enjoyed their Canada Day on July 1. We are in the heart of the summer travel season!
The Auto Club says fuel prices are the highest they have been in at least four years for this holiday. Gas nationwide averages $2.86 for regular, diesel is $3.16. Highest prices are in the west and New England where regular is over $3 a gallon. Cheapest is Texas, the Dakotas and the deep south, where it’s under $2.70
We’re home but packing… heading out for North Carolina and the eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. We’ll be there starting this weekend and most of next week, attending another one of our Roadtreking RV Gatherings. This one is themed around river rafting and white water adventure along the Natahala River. We’ll be doing next week’s podcast from there and we will also be broadcasting our weekly Live You Tube “Ask Us Anything” video show on Sunday night.
Speaking of which we are moving the Sunday night Live Broadcast up a couple of hours. We will be going on our RV Lifestyle Channel live at 7PM Eastern Time on Sunday nights, instead of 9M as we had been doing.
Here’s a quick programming note: Tomorrow, Thursday July 5, on our RV Lifestyle Channel on You Tube, we’ll release our newest video, a recap of our just finished fabulous gathering at Glacier National Park. We even got most of our encounter with a hungry bear and a very frightened Mama Moose and her calf on video. It was an exciting time with a happy ending.
Here’s the RV News of the week:
Did you know there are places in the country that have a lightning season? A report released last week by the National Lightning Safety Council analyzed U.S. lightning deaths between 2008-2017 and ranked states. What caught my eye from the numerous stories around the country it triggered was some national parks have a lightning season. For instance at Zion National Park, 20,000 incidences of lightning traveling from a cloud to the ground were reported during a nine year period with 82 percent of the lightning happening between July to September, usually between noon and 8 pm. Here is a link to the Utah story, or click here for the report, and here for safety tips.
Last year roughly 331 million people visited the nation’s national parks – that is roughly the exact population of the United States. No wonder it is so crowded out there! A story out of the Los Angeles Times over the weekend provides helpful tips on where to go and where to stay if a crowded national park is in your plans this summer. The story focuses on Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and other iconic parks out west. To read more click here.
Increasingly we are hearing about campgrounds offering new experiences to campers who want to have wifi, screened in picnic tables and more. Well,a story out of Oklahoma that continues this theme showcased a new RV vacation park with its very own drive in movie theater! The Cool Breeze RV Cinema and Resort opened the camping area of the park in May, and will open its drive-in movie theater in mid-July. Apparently the owner thought it would be fun to combine camping and movies. The drive-in will have a place for vehicles and a place for people to sit on blankets our chairs outside. To read more about the Oklahoma campground, click here.
The Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails is accepting public comment on its plan to increase the costs of visiting and camping in its parks during peak season starting Jan. 1. The proposed change would, among other things, increase the cost of camping by $3 a day for residents, $5 a day for non-residents. The change is necessary, officials said in a recent story, to cover the costs of running the parks. Wyoming State Parks are currently a bargain – with sites typically costing $10 per night for residents, $17 for non-residents. To read more click here.
Police are asking for the public’s help to find the person who shot and killed a 35-year-old father who was camping with his 2 and 4 year old daughters in California. The Malibu Creek State Park is now closed for camping indefinitely as police say there were other shootings at the park recently that are now part of the investigation. To learn more click here.
This part of the program is brought to you by AllStays Pro, the best tool for RVers looking for places to camp, boondock or stay free overnight. Go to https://rvlifestyle.com/allstays for more info.
So now you know the secret to why we keep finding such great camping sites. Now you can too. Go to roadtreking.com/allstays10 and check it out yourself.
JENNIFER’S RV TIP OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”19:29″]
One of the reasons I so enjoy attending our various gatherings and meet-ups around the country is being able to meet other RVers and learn about all the things they do to make their RV uniquely their own. So many have their own cleaver little ways of doing things that I am always getting new tips for you.
So it was at our recent gathering in Montana when I looked at the RV just across the campground street from us. It belonged to Cindy and Jim Blair and the Blairs had come up with a great way to keep wet clothes like raincoats and jackets from dripping inside the RV.
They attached some suction cup hooks on the outside of their RV.
Here’ let let’s let Cindy explain.
Thanks Cindy. That’s a great idea. Amazon sells a whole bunch of different kinds of suction cups. The ones closest to what you were using cost $8.99 for a set of two, They are billed as heavy duty and can hold about six and a half pounds each. Here’s the ink on Amazon –
Meanwhile, be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.
I love hearing from you!
Jennifer’s tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping To see our Rad Power Bikes in action, just click here.
RV PODCAST LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”24:19″]
- A woman is looking for the U.S. Senior Pass for National parks for her dad. They are available for $80 and are good for his lifetime. They are officially called the America the Beautiful National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Lifetime Senior Pass and are only for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over and may be obtained in person at a federal recreation site or through the mail using the application form. Here’s a link to just how to get one https://store.usgs.gov/senior-pass There is a $10 handling fee for doing this by mail but in person at a National park, just show his ID and there is no handling fee. So it’s $90 by mail, $80 if bought in person. By the way, Passes are NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-TRANSFERABLE, and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. Besides free admission to National Parks and monuments, you get a 50 percent discount on fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.
- A caller wants to know the brand of solar panels and the solar controller we use in our RV. The panels were installed at the factory by Roadtrek. The controller is made the EPever Tracer. The controller and panels came from Roadtrek but I did add the MT-50 remote meter that I picked up on Amazon. That little $28 meter gives a real-time display the operational data, voltage and working status of the connection devices in digital, graphic and textual forms. It lets me see how efficient my panels are and confirms at a glance that they my solar power is charging the batteries.
This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.
RV PODCAST INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”35:45″]
Our guest in this episode is Kevin Tumlinson, an award-winning and bestselling author, host of the popular Wordslinger Podcast, and the Director of Marketing and Brand Evangelist for Draft2Digital. He and his wife travel the country in their 38′ motorcoach, attending book signings and author conferences around the country, when they aren’t too busy simply enjoying themselves.
Links we discussed:
- Draft2Digital – https://draft2digital.com
- Wordslinger Podcast – http://wordslingerpodcast.com
- Kevin Tumlinson author website – https://kevintumlinson.com
His entire library is available from his Books page: https://kevintumlinson.com/books
And his Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B007POXGEG
Here are the titles from his archaeological thrillers (his Dan Kotler series):
- The Coelho Medallion – https://www.amazon.com/Coelho-Medallion-Kotler-Archaeological-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01FEMX6PO
- The Atlantis Riddle – https://www.amazon.com/Atlantis-Riddle-Kotler-Archaeological-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01MQ4QITL/
- The Devil’s Interval – https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Interval-Kotler-Archaeological-Thriller-ebook/dp/B0742J7K16/
- The Girl in the Mayan Tomb – https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Mayan-Tomb-Archaeological-Thriller-ebook/dp/B078WDVQKG/
- The Brass Hall (A Dan Kotler Short Story) – https://www.amazon.com/Brass-Hall-Dan-Kotler-Story-ebook/dp/B01FG7J7IM/
You can hear Mike and Jennifer interviewed on Kevin’s Wordslinger Podcast at: https://www.kevintumlinson.com/podcast-rss/153
Here’s a video of Mike’s interview of Kevin from the RV Podcast, Episode 199:
And here’s a full transcript of the interview:
Mike Wendland: Well, Kevin joins us right now, and this has really been fun ’cause I have just spent close to an hour on your Wordslinger podcast, and found out we have a lot in common, and you have a lot in common with a lot of off listeners as well, and people who watch our videos. Thanks for agreeing to come on the podcast. Kevin, first of all tell me maybe a little bit about what Wordslinger is?
Kevin Tumlinson: All right. Well, Wordslinger, Wordslinger podcast is something I started about five years ago now, as a means for me to first connect with people that I wanted to talk to, so that I could learn things from people who were doing what I wanted to do. I talked to entrepreneurs, I talked to other authors, and it was a great way for me to connect, and learn, and I figured if I’m doing that, and if it’s valuable to me, it’s going to be valuable to others, so I started sharing those episodes, and it has been going strong ever since, man.
Mike Wendland: Now you are also an author. Tell us about the books you’ve written, and a little bit about what you’ve learned about publishing, and how it’s changed.
Kevin Tumlinson: Yeah.
Mike Wendland: Then we’ll get into the RV stuff, and opportunities for others.
Kevin Tumlinson: Yeah. I’ve been a writer my whole life. I started writing very young. I wrote for newspapers all the way back when I was 12 years old. That’s been in my …
Mike Wendland: When I started, 12 years old I sold my first story.
Kevin Tumlinson: Really?
Mike Wendland: Actually, Kevin, I beat you though. I was the publisher I’ll have you know, of the neighborhood news in Bay City, Michigan, and that started at the age of 12. I remember my first headline, “Lappans Get New Car.” They were my next door neighbors. Anyway, we both started early.
Kevin Tumlinson: There you go. Yeah. I did publish a small newsletter for my church, but I don’t remember if that was before or after I started publishing. But yeah, so, you know, I’ve been doing it for a while. It has been in my blood since I could write, honestly. And over the years I got into media. I got into copywriting for marketing, and advertising, that sort of thing. That was my bread and butter. I did that freelance as a contractor for a few years, more than I can count I think. And I always wanted to write fiction, and I was always writing short stories, and getting those published.
And you know I had, had my, what I always call my starter chapters. That’s where you start writing a book, and you kind of abandon it. You know?
Mike Wendland: Yeah.
Kevin Tumlinson: But eventually I got it down. I figured out a process that worked for me for producing a book, and I had a traditional contract briefly, but because I can do basic math, I figured out right away that I was gonna lose money. They gave me an advance, but I was gonna be responsible for travel expenses, and I had to do the book tour as part of the contract. I had a whole lot of expenses, and it was all coming out of my pocket, and I wouldn’t make any money until I paid that advance back basically. My royalties wouldn’t come to me.
I pulled out of that contract. I lost the book for a good four years. I couldn’t publish it elsewhere because of my terms. Bad contract, but because of that experience I started looking into self publishing, which at that time was still sort of a … There was a stigma. People don’t self publish. If you self publish it means you couldn’t make it.
Mike Wendland: Well, we used to call it the vanity press.
Kevin Tumlinson: Vanity. Right.
Mike Wendland: Yeah.
Kevin Tumlinson: And yeah that whole vanity press idea is still around. People still think of it that way. There are predatory services even that charge people to publish, and you don’t need to pay a dime to publish, that’s the chief lesson I would love for people to take out of any conversation they have with me. And I figured if there are services … Like Amazon has a service called Kindle Direct Publishing. Barnes & Noble has a service that’s now called Nook Press I believe. There are all … All the major retailers online have their own service.
Now I have connected with a company called Draft 2 Digital, which actually aggregates all of those services so you can publish from one place. That was a game changer for me. But having that control, and I have a design background, so I was designing my own covers. I recruited people to do editing. I recruited people to help out with some of the promotion, and eventually built a pretty solid … I mean, I’m no Brad Thor, or Stephen King, or anyone along those lines, but I make a living from …
Mike Wendland: Tell us about the books that you have …
Kevin Tumlinson: Well, I started life writing science fiction and fantasy, which was fun, and I still enjoy writing short stories in those genres, but I was on air with a buddy of mine, a co-author of mine, who dared me on air to write a thriller, along the lines of like a Dan Brown Da Vinci Code. And so I took that dare, and I wrote a book, my first thriller called the Cohelo Medallion, that’s a Portuguese name, or Cohelo as some people say. Cohelo Medallion.
And didn’t expect it to do anything, but then suddenly it became a best seller, and won some awards, and suddenly I was a thriller writer. And so I write, currently write archeological thrillers that are very much like what you’d expect to find with Dan Brown. People have compared him to Indiana Jones, he is like a modern day Indiana Jones.
Mike Wendland: We’ll put links to all your books online. Now I want to talk about the many people who are listening out there, who are RVers, and they want to write.
Kevin Tumlinson: Yeah.
Mike Wendland: I am amazed at how big that community is, and when I realized that you are an RVer yourself, I figured this is a great way to put some encouragement out to some people. Let me give you just a preface, we just finished one of our Roadtreking gatherings up at Glacier National Park, and one of the people there who likes to write says, “I’d love to set up a little creativity camper session, where those who are interested in this could show up.” We filled a room at this RV park. There were, I don’t know, I didn’t count, but probably 25 people showed up. There is a lot of people, either blogs, or stories, or children’s stories, or novels.
Kevin Tumlinson: Right.
Mike Wendland: What is it about RV travel that seems to be so appealing to writers?
Kevin Tumlinson: It’s always on an inspiration. What you go gonna do with all that inspiration? It’s almost like you’re being commanded to produce something while you’re out on the road. I mean, you feel it. You produce your show, you know?
Mike Wendland: Yeah.
Kevin Tumlinson: You produce quite a bit of content above and beyond the show.
Mike Wendland: I could not travel and not write.
Kevin Tumlinson: That’s exactly what happens.
Mike Wendland: That’s how much of a part it is for me.
Kevin Tumlinson: Yeah.
Mike Wendland: But I don’t know if I’m just weird.
Kevin Tumlinson: I don’t think that. I don’t think you’re weird. I think some people don’t necessarily connect writing with that activity. Because we have a tendency to think writing is hard, you know? We’ve been taught since grade school that writing was hard. Turns out writing is hard, but you can make it fun, and make it interesting, and in some cases make it lucrative. I happen to enjoy the process of writing, that maybe we’re unique in enjoying that process. But I know people who actually hated writing before they did it, and now are successful authors.
I think it’s just that you get out on the road. My wife has commented on this more times than I can count, but we were just in San Antonio on a trip in the RV, and she … We’re on the River Walk in San Antonio, and I came up with this idea while we were on the River Walk, just told her a story about … An idea that I thought, I’ll put this in a book someday, and she says, “This is exactly why we travel because every time we go somewhere, you come up with a new idea, and it ends up in a book, and then that finances travel.”
Mike Wendland: All right. Right now there are people who are listening to this, I know this, I’ll get email from them who are saying, “That’s exactly the way I feel.”
Kevin Tumlinson: Yeah.
Mike Wendland: They just read that connecting the dots. What is your advice to them? How do they begin this process? You said earlier on that you don’t have to pay a dime to be a writer, and to get it published.
Kevin Tumlinson: That’s right. There is a ton of stuff there that will allow you to write from anywhere. I sometimes use my iPhone, and a small Bluetooth keyboard if I don’t have a … Or I’ll write on the onscreen keyboard sometimes if I get an inspiration. I write primarily with my iPad, which is always connected to the internet. But whatever … The technology has made it so that you can write from anywhere, anytime. There are things like Google Drive, Google Docs is a free word processor on the level of Microsoft Word. If you don’t want to pay for Microsoft Office, you’ve got that tool. And as long as you can generate a Word document, or an RTF document, that’s another sort of text document.
Mike Wendland: Yeah.
Kevin Tumlinson: As long as you can do that, there are services out there like Draft 2 Digital. Draft 2 Digital will let you upload that manuscript, and it’ll convert it to an ebook, and a print book, print ready PDF, and you can do that, and it doesn’t cost anything. They don’t even require you to use the service for distribution, you can just do it. You can distribute the book through them, which means you can hit all of those different retailers all at one time.
There’s little things like that. There are so many tools out there. There is a service called Canva, C-A-N-V-A.com that has templates for building a book cover, an ebook cover. You can just, you can use some of their free stock photography if you’d like, or you can import some of your own, or you can buy some. And then it’ll handle all the text, treatment, and all that stuff. There is a piece of software, if you are Mac owner, and you’ve got a couple hundred bucks to spare, there is a piece of software called Vellum. It’s about a $200 piece of software, but it’ll convert your book, and … For ebook and print, it’s nice and beautiful, and it has some templates and things.
But if you don’t have a budget, and you just want to do this for free, something like Draft 2 Digital will do that, give you the nice looking template, and get you out there, and it doesn’t cost you anything. People think publishing requires you to spend thousands of dollars. The real money when it comes to publishing, the reality of publishing is in promotion and marketing. And getting your book out there takes nothing. You can go from idea to making a book available for sale over a weekend if you’re dedicated enough.
It’s more about how to bring readers to that book, and that’s where money can help, but that’s not even necessarily required.
Mike Wendland: Then there’s Social media.
Kevin Tumlinson: Right.
Mike Wendland: Anybody can be their own publicist.
Kevin Tumlinson: Yeah, it’s all about building a platform.
Mike Wendland: But the idea of being able to write, and actually produce an ebook, or a digital book, or a hard copy, if that’s how you want it, has never been more accessible. What kind of … I don’t want to … Not everybody is going to be a best seller, but in general how do the market, margins compare to compare in writing a digital product versus the traditional print product?
Kevin Tumlinson: All right. On traditional books, you’re looking at usually around a three percent royalty, to if you’re very lucky and you’re making the publisher a lot of money, maybe thirteen to fifteen percent. When you publish ebooks, and you can do print by the way as an indie publisher, there are services like CreateSpace, and some others out there. But when you are an indie publisher, typically you’re gonna be able to take anywhere from forty percent on the low end, to seventy percent on the high end of your book sale. Your royalty can be forty to seventy percent, which is …
Mike Wendland: Yeah, that’s … That’s of course only applicable I guess if you sell it.
Kevin Tumlinson: That’s true. Now that is always the catch, right? But that same catch actually does apply if you get a traditional contract, and you don’t sell any books, they’re not gonna offer you another contract. They expect now that authors will aid in the marketing. If you’re gonna have to market anyway, you might as well keep a bigger chunk of your royalty.
Mike Wendland: Before I let you go, for the blogger, the writer, the RVer who wants to try a book, a novel, a non-fiction book, a kid’s book, give them, where do they begin? They begin by writing it, we got that.
Kevin Tumlinson: That’s right.
Mike Wendland: They can do the software, but then they contact somebody like Draft Digital. What’s your advice? What are the questions they need to do … Quests they need to do to be ready to go?
Kevin Tumlinson: Yeah. The absolute must is sit down and write. Here’s my advice: I have a book called 30 Day Author by the way that goes through this process. You are not required to buy this to get this. Here is the free version: Sit down and decide what you want your word count to be, let’s say 60,000 words. NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, they have a contest, and they say if you can hit 50,000 words you’ve written a book. Let’s just use that. And you just say I do 50,000 words, and I want to get it done in 30 days, or I want to get it done in 60 days, you just divide that to get how many words per day you need to produce, right?
If you can just sit down, and consistently write those words every day you’ll have that book. You have to turn off your inner editor. Don’t edit as you write, that will just cause you to never finish that book. Just write it, and then edit it later. That said, the next step would be to take that finished manuscript, get it to an editor, get them to clean it up, find the typos, tell you when you called this person Bob in chapter one, but you called them Joe in chapter five, right?
Mike Wendland: I thought I was the only one who did that.
Kevin Tumlinson: Fix the things that are wrong with the book. Get it as close to road ready as you can get it, and then you’ll need a cover, which you can hire someone. There are services out there that will do a cover. You can look to pay about $300. $200 to $300 for a cover. There are some pre-made covers available for maybe $50. I wouldn’t advise most people design their own ’cause most people don’t have that talent, or skill. But you’ll need a cover.
Once you’ve got your finished manuscript, and a cover, you can go to … Let’s just use Draft 2 Digital. You can go to Draft, and number 2, Digital. Draft2Digital.com, and you create an account. It doesn’t cost a thing. You upload your manuscript, you upload your cover, you write a little description about the book, you choose what genre it is, what categories it fits into, and you choose the storefronts you want to distribute to, and you hit publish. And I have literally taken people through that process that I just described, from uploading the manuscript to making it available for sale in less than 10 minutes. You can actually be out there.
And then it’s just start learning some marketing techniques. Start learning how to promote the book without being spammy. Start building an email list, an email mailing list, that is a key component to marketing. It’s something you can control, so it’s the best way to market.
Mike Wendland: And all of this can be done as you travel in your RV.
Kevin Tumlinson: Yep.
Mike Wendland: Where you’re getting all that inspiration.
Kevin Tumlinson: You can do every single bit of this … Here, here’s a story for you Mike. I was at a conference in Orlando, and I had a layover day, and so I went to Disney World. I went to Animal Kingdom. I got in line for the Flight of Passage ride in Animal Kingdom, which is built, based around Avatar, the movie Avatar.
Mike Wendland: Right.
Kevin Tumlinson: It was like a three hour wait to get on this ride. I had nothing but my iPhone with me. I opened up … I use an app called Scrivener to do my writing, but you can use anything. But I wrote, as I was standing in line, I wrote a short story, and then just to test it out I spit that out into Dropbox as a Word document. I got on Draft 2 Digital and uploaded that. I went on Canva and created a cover. I got all the way to the point where all I had to do was hit publish. I wanted to go back and edit this story, so I got all the way to the point where I could have just published it, and I did all that inside of three hours with nothing but an iPhone.
Mike Wendland: Wow.
Kevin Tumlinson: That’s all it takes now. You can be an author as little as three hours. That’s my current record.
Mike Wendland: And the inspiration from traveling, and living in the RV, and getting you out of your familiar environment makes it easier to focus, I think in writing.
Kevin Tumlinson: Yeah, absolutely.
Mike Wendland: Well, we’ll put links to Draft 2 Digital, all that stuff, your books, and other resources that would be RVing writers would like to take advantage of, and I had a ball on your program. I’ll put a link to us on your show.
Kevin Tumlinson: Absolutely.
Mike Wendland: And we look forward to hearing lots of people talk about how they have become a writer thanks to Kevin Tumlinson. Thank you so much.
Kevin Tumlinson: Well, that would make my day. Thank you, Mike.
The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country
RV PODCAST TRAVELING TECH TIP [spp-timestamp time=”58:47″]
By Steve Van Dinter
I know you and your listeners spend a ton of time on the road, so I wanted to share with you some important stats to ensure a safer driving experience.
First, some information to throw your way. According to data by Wakefield Research, 4 in 5 people surveyed said drivers were more likely to speed in summer than any other season. In addition, 41 percent of drivers admit to losing focus on the road in summer more than any other time of year.
And when it comes to accidents, last year more than 40,000 people died in crashes with the three biggest causes being: alcohol, speeding and distracted driving.
Summer tends to be when we’re all out and about more and the risk of encountering danger on the road is highest. That’s why Hum by Verizon is working to make Memorial Day to Labor Day the 100 Safer Days of Summer. Learn more about how to keep yourself and your younger drivers safe by checking out the daily tips at facebook.com/hum.
Hum is aftermarket vehicle technology you can install on your own that helps predict potential issues, prevents breakdowns and offers protections when problems arise. It also allows you to receive live consults with mechanics and on-demand help from emergency personnel should you need it. And speed alerts help keep every driver in your vehicle more aware of when they’re going too fast.
Here’s to a safe and happy summer!
This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH RV REPORT – Kentucky Byway [spp-timestamp time=”1:08:30″]
By Tom & Patti Burkett
If you’re traveling to the Roadtrek get-together in North Carolina soon, you may well be going through Kentucky. You can enjoy the Kentucky Horse Park and the Bourbon Trail if you like, stop in to see the original Kentucky Fried Chicken in Corbin and, if you’re lucky, see the moonbow at Cumberland Falls. And if you want to get off the beaten path, you can see some things most people never do. In Lexington, you can begin your day at Magee’s bakery, where the bagels are big and delicious, and you can pick up a slice of transparent pie, a Kentucky specialty and delicious to boot.
Follow US 460 east out of town toward Georgetown. As you drive through, have a look at Ward Hall, an amazingly beautiful plantation era home now owned by a local historical society. Head on toward the little town of Paris and find the Cane Ridge Meetinghouse. This, the largest single room log structure in the USA, was built in 1791, just after the Cumberland Gap Trail was widened to allow the passage of wagons in 1790.
Just ten short years later, more than ten thousand people converged on the building for an event that would later be called the Second Great Awakening. Among the crowd were many freed slaves, indentured European immigrants, participants in the Whisky Rebellion, and veterans of the Revolutionary War. The sentiments of this gathering ultimately led to the foundation of three new Christian denominations and the strengthening of the women’s rights, abolition, and temperance movements. A stone building has now been erected around the meetinghouse to protect it from the elements. The grounds include a historic cemetery and places to walk, sit, and picnic.
Swing south when you leave the meetinghouse and near Richmond, Kentucky you’ll find the oldest operating business in the Commonwealth. The Valley View Ferry across the Kentucky River has been in continuous service since 1780, more than a decade before Kentucky became a state. There is no charge to ride the ferry, and it was operated by the same family for more than 200 years until it was purchased by the county government in 1991. In 2000, the barge was replaced with a newer, longer model, allowing it to carry three cars instead of two. There are excellent vantage points from which to take a photo of your Roadtrek making the crossing.
A couple of hours west, just south of Louisville, you will find the Gospel Kingdom
campground. It is used several weeks out of the year for revival style meetings, but the rest of the year is sparsely populated. We were told the camping area (with hookups) is available to anyone when not in use for an event. The most interesting thing (of many on the site) are the tiny houses built by regular attenders for their use while at camp. They’re actually just bedrooms with a roof and a door. Bathhouse, kitchen, and dining room are all communal. We had a very pleasant visit with several volunteers who were there doing maintenance when we visited.
Kentucky, old and new, is a labyrinth of places and events waiting to be discovered. Wander any backroad and you’re likely to see something you can’t resist stopping for. Maybe it’s fresh brown eggs for $1.50 a dozen. Maybe it’s four mules pulling a hay baler. When you stop, look around. You might well notice us, Patti and Tom Burkett, out there off the beaten path.
RV CALENDAR OF EVENTS [spp-timestamp time=”1:08:30″]
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