Tuesday, February 28, 2017

First Motorcycle Ride of 2017: Shaker Village Kentucky

A couple of years ago we had a few inches of snow on the ground.  Today it is 70 degrees and that means motorcycle riding weather.  So I start thinking where to ride to?  We are starting to run out of local rides to do.  Then the Shakers Village at the South Union pops into my mind.

The Shaker Village is a place we have driven by 100 times or more.  Between Russellville and Bowling Green on Highway 68.   It is the best northern route to go east from Clarksville.  So we're off, we first stop for lunch in Russellville.   Which was the Confederate Capital of Kentucky during the Civil War,  Being a border state during the war, Kentucky was split between the Union and the Confederacy.   Russellville is also the Home of Jim Bowie, famous for the Alamo and the Bowie Knife.   After lunch, we're off to the Shaker Village.

It is a solemn place, a convent of sorts. The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, more commonly known as the Shakers originated in England.  There is only one Shaker Village left.  It is in Maine with only 2 living members.  Their declining numbers and closing of villages can be attributed to, a vow of celibacy and the closure of the order to new members in 1988.  This seems to be one of those oddities of religious freedom in America.  Something unusual, not right or wrong just different.

To our bad luck, we came here on a day that they were closed.  They were still operating under their winter schedule.  So we were unable to tour the museum.  It was still nice to get out and walk the grounds and see the different buildings that were used for the different functions of a commune.  Like cheese making shop, a broom factory, and an old-fashioned railroad tavern.

After our short stop, we take the back roads home to Clarksville.  We pass through the small towns of Aburn, Middleton, and Adairsville.  Although we have ridden these roads before we alway see or experience something different. This was a great start to the 2017 riding season.  We cannot wait for warmer days and longer rides.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Whitetail Pines: Deer Hunting and Building a Cabin

It's time to take a break from my usual travels.  I need to get this off the grid cabin completed.  This is my little piece of paradise in Middle Tennessee near Kentucky Lake.  Where we chase Mr. Whitetail, the deer that is.   I'm not much of a hunter, I'd rather just watch the deer instead of shooting them.  The problem is is that they taste so good.   So we take a couple every year to stock the freezer.

Here on a lot of 35 acres, I cleared 1.7 acres of pine trees, I had a 60 by 40 metal building constructed.   Before the concrete was poured I plumbed all the drain lines, to include; sink, shower, and toilet drains.  Then had a septic tank installed.   I spent the next year and a half building a 1 bedroom cabin inside the steel building shell.  The back 20' X 40' is living space and the front 40' X 40' is still a garage.  One must understand it is important to have a bigger garage than living space.  It's a testosterone thing.  It includes a cover porch.

The framing, plumbing, and electrical work were a lot of fun,  I collect rainwater off the roof.  Installed an 1800 watt solar power collection system. Which gives me plenty of 110 power.  You can learn anything by watching a youtube video.  I mean anything.  I have learned a lot of things building this cabin.  I can say I hate doing drywall.  It is messy dirty work that requires a lot of attention to detail. I will have to mud it again before I put the final coat of paint on the walls, but its good for now.

Although I like to do tile work, the shower that I installed was a 2-week job. The tile flooring was a very physical job took me most of the last spring.  A 1000 square feet of tile is a major feat of transporting, handling and installing.  I have done a few small spaces, but nothing this large.

At one point at about halfway through the tile floor, I started thinking I bit off more than I could chew. It seemed that construction was dragging on forever.   It was done in between my substitute teaching jobs which extended the completion date. In the end, it turned out to be well worth the effort.  Financially more than twice of what I have in it.

 It is my Walden woods, a place to contemplate life.  This will be the first time in a few years where I can completely concentrate on hunting.  It is completely off the grid.  So the only bill I have are the property taxes.  So beware Mr. Whitetail.

We have had some fun times hunting out here in these woods.  Sitting in Tree Stands by day, then sitting around campfires by night discussing the meaning of life. Hearing a deer coming through the brush just before it appears before of you, is one of the most exciting things a person can experience. So I plan to spend a few more falls chasing these deer around these woods.