The Ark Encounter is located in Williamstown, Kentucky. This magnificent structure is a full-size Noah’s Ark! The dimensions for the Ark were taken from the Book of Genesis in the Bible. The measurements were converted into today’s measurements which make the Ark 510 feet long, 51 feet high, and 85 feet wide. Inside there is a ground level and three decks. You are transported back in time to see how Noah and his family lived on the Ark and cared for all the animals during the Flood. Each deck provides a glimpse of how the animals may have been caged, water and food storage, living and work quarters. There are many exhibits that answer many questions on such topics like the Ice Age, Flood Geology and Ancient Man. The grounds also have some exciting things for kids of all ages from camel rides to animal encounters! Unfortunately, we had to shorten our stay here due to our RV repairs and would have liked to go to the Creation Museum about 45 minutes away, but that gives another reason to visit Kentucky again!
The Ark Encounter
Growing and Storing Food
Feed and Water for the Animals
Noah sending the Dove out
This has been a great place to end our final eastward stopping point for our blog. We hope you have enjoyed following our adventures on our blog. May it serve as guidance for your trip planning, as eyes of places you have never seen, memories of your own trips or simply to bring a smile. God has richly blessed us with people we have met along the way, the country we live in, and the beauty that his hand created for our enjoyment and responsibility. The next few months we will be enjoying visits with family, friends, and then returning to Florida for the winter. Thank you for following along with us as we revealed the adventures of RV living!
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
The next couple of weeks will be filled with one, two or three night stays as we make our way eastward. Stops in a few states we have never stayed in before so we can add them to our checklist. We decided not to venture to the Rocky Mountain National Park area for several reasons. One was we have grown a little weary traveling the higher elevations and at this point prefer a less stressful ride eastward while enjoying the changes in scenery.
In order to get around the Rockies we veered a little northward to Laramie, Wyoming for a three night stay. Our stops recently have consisted of doing maintenance on the RV and truck, stocking up on groceries, cooking and just getting a little better organized, kind of out of vacation mode! One afternoon we stopped by Curt Gowdy State Park at the foothills of the Laramie Mountains. A pretty park with a great visitor center. There are three reservoirs located within the park, Granite, Crystal, and North Crow. The park has camping with views of the reservoirs, really nice amenities, and tons of hiking and biking trails. Curt Gowdy was born in Green River, Wyoming and grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was a sportscaster and well known as the “voice” of the Boston Red Sox. He covered many national sporting events primarily for NBC and ABC Sports in the 1960’s and 1970’s, from the World Series, Olympics, Super Bowls to the long running outdoor show “The American Sportsmen.”
Next stop Omaha, Nebraska, with a visit to Boys Town. Father Edward Flanagan was discouraged doing his work with homeless men in Omaha NE. He decided that he could do more to prevent the cycle if he started helping the boys he saw living on the street. In 1917 he opened his first Home for Boys in a rented boardinghouse in downtown Omaha.
In 1921 he purchased Overlook Farm and moved his Boy’s Home, later renamed Boys Town. It is home to the National Headquarters, family-style residential homes, High School, Vocational Center/Print Shop and much more.
Boys Town Campus
Ripleys Believe it or Not-Ball of Solid Stamps 4,655,000 Postage Stamps weighing 600 lbs.
Many of the buildings are open to the public including the Visitor Center, Hall of History and Fr. Flanagan Historic House.
Father Flanagan Historic House
It’s one of the largest not for profit child and family organizations in the country. It provides services such as Boys Town In-Home Family Services where consultants work with the parents and their children in their home in order to keep the family together. It’s a beautiful campus, well worth the visit and support!
Well our next stop was suppose to be Kentucky! But we got a curve ball that sent us northward to MORryde in Elkhart, Indiana. Fortunately not too far into our travel day (which was unusual to stop that early) a quick check on the wheel bearings with an infrared temperature gun revealed the same wheel bearing that gave us problems in California was reading hotter than all the others. Then after jacking that side up we discovered the wheel hub was a little bit wobbly, not a good sign! Bruce tightened the nut on the spindle to the 50 ft.lb. spec and that eliminated the wobble, but by spinning the tire it still was better to have the bearings checked and replaced. The day was spent sitting at the Lizton Rest Area in Indiana waiting the arrival of a mobile tech company to arrive after getting the parts we needed to replace the wheel bearing and by the way they did a great job at getting us back on the road! Brian at MORryde was great at fitting us into their schedule and making sure we had a place to hookup electric and park after arriving at midnight. Our suspicions were confirmed that the spindle on the wheel hub needed to be replaced. We also had Sergio (our favorite mechanic) check out why the tire on the other side had a terrible wear pattern (tires were new last year). Our guess was it was out of alignment due to the crappy roads we have traveled, but not so, the rubber spring was tore that is attached to the wheel hub, causing the wheel hub to be slightly tilted. Needless to say it was another good decision to divert northward to MORryde for repairs.
Lizton Rest Area IN
MORRyde, Elhart IN
Back spindle replacement, grease and check all wheel bearing
Our two days were still very enjoyable with visits to some our favorite places and a great car show in Middlebury, Indiana.
Old into New
Old into New
Again, we are thankful and blessed that the wheel bearing issue was discovered early with no damage to the RV and everyone on the road was kept safe. Safe travels everyone and now onto Kentucky!
Vernal Dinosaur KOA was home base for a little dinosaur expedition. Nice place to spend a few days exploring.
Dinosaur National Monument is known for its dinosaur fossil beds. These fossils are from the Jurassic period 150 million years ago. In 1909 Earl Douglass, of Pittsburgh Carnegie Museum said “the best-looking dinosaur prospect I have ever seen” was in this area. The jumbled bones of over 500 dinosaurs representing 10 species have been discovered here. The park straddles the Colorado-Utah border on the edge of the Unita Basin.
There are several Visitor Centers, as in other National Parks. Quarry Visitor Center is a wealth of information, great exhibits, and an interesting video about the area. It’s the only Visitor Center in this area where you can take a shuttle to the Quarry Exhibit Hall. This amazing building is around this great outside wall of bones with over 1,500 fossils embedded in the rock! There is a small part of the wall that allows you to touch the 149 million-year-old fossils!
Quarry Visitor Center
Quarry Exhibit Hall
Great Wall of Bones
The Visitor Center has a 24 mile round-trip Auto Guidebook for the Cub Creek Road “Tour of the Tilted Rocks.” The first stop is “Swelter Shelter” rightly named! It is one of oldest known sites of human occupation. Stone tools found here are up to 7,000 years old. Little is known about these people but are referred to as the Desert Archaic culture. The pictographs and petroglyphs on the walls date back 1,000 years to the people of the Fremont Culture.
Pictographs and Petroglyphs
The landscape is unique with eroded sandstone features and plenty of petroglyphs.
Josephine Bassett Morris is somewhat of a local legend. She settled in the area in 1914 built several cabins the last one being constructed in 1935 as seen in the picture. On the property she raised and butchered cattle, pigs and chickens. Canned the harvest from her vegetable garden and fruit orchards. The only source of heat was from wood burning in the fireplace, no electric, and her water came from a spring. It was said she did some cattle rustling twice but was never convicted and was an alleged associate of outlaw Butch Cassidy. In 1964, while feeding her horse she slipped and fell on some ice and suffered a broken hip. She was able to drag herself into her house where friends found her days later. On the way to the hospital she realized she probably would never see her homestead again. That spring she passed away at age 90.
While traveling this country, we have often thought of those pioneer families that crossed rugged terrain, endured hardships, endless work, little conveniences, and challenges few of us encounter today. Strong, relentless, resilient people. Again, we are humbled!
We have begun our trek eastward and the landscape changes every day! First time seeing and smelling the mint fields in Caldwell, Idaho. They were in the midst of harvesting and we wish we had smell-a-vision for these pictures!
Mint Field in Caldwell Idaho
On our travels the mountains have given way to arid plains, vistas, and plateaus along the Snake River ID and a view of the Great Salt Lake.
Snake River in Idaho
Great Salt Lake
Heber City, UT, Mountain Valley RV Resort was our home for a few days and of course we had to stop at Heber Valley Milk and Artisan Cheese again! We stayed at this resort last year on our way to Yellowstone and just loved it! A quick trip to Watsatch Mountain State Park for birding and wildlife. A drive through Midway a cute Swiss themed town getting ready for their Swiss Day festival.