Land Between the Lakes

It was time for a different kind of adventure for us – chill. In the past month alone, we’d been awed and inspired by the beauty of Roosevelt, Badlands and Rocky Mountain National Parks as well as the Black Hills of SD and high peaks area of CO. We’re still giggling about our serendipitous and crazy visits to Carhenge and The ┬áCity Museum in St Louis. We thoroughly enjoyed visits with old and new friends and family in SD, CO and MO. We were thrilled to join two jam sessions in CO. And we were acutely aware that a major, 3-day jam in Memphis was just 2 weeks away. We needed to take a short break from adventuring and take some practice time.

Drawing a line on the (virtual) map from St Louis to Nashville, where we planned to visit Doug’s cousins, we saw a major splotch of green – the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area. Sounds nice. And the old man (Doug) gets a senior discount! We laid a course.

Originally known as Between the Rivers (Cumberland and Tennessee), this area was well regarded for rich farmland, iron works, lime quarries and whisky. Dams were built in the 1960’s creating two lakes (Barkley and Kentucky), with the remaining land in between becoming first state, and later national, recreation areas. LBL is near the confluence of major rivers including the Tennessee, Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It’s also tucked into a funky corner where someone (not me) could throw a rock to Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.

Another walk-in, no-reservation campsite ended up being the largest site in the campground, right on Kentucky Lake (to which I could throw a rock…). Our first full day included perfect weather – bright sun, temp in the 70’s, low humidity – so we explored hiking trails around the campground and along Kentucky Lake. The remainder of our stay was cold and rainy, perfect for practicing, reading, and napping…

Everything we needed, and the lakeside view was a plus.

The view from our practice studio

We traveled the LBL scenic drive as we head to our next destination, taking our time and enjoying the views. Our favorite and most fun sighting was the Earthroamer, a limited-production, high-end, 4-wheel drive, 4-season RV. Montana plates and two mountain bikes on the back.

Sue (to Doug): Looks like the same one we saw at the WalMart in Duluth about 6 weeks ago.

Doug (to Sue): I believe you’re right…

Doug (to Earthroamer): Hi. Any chance you were in Duluth about 6 weeks ago?

Earthroamer: Yes…

It turns out we had admired Amanda and David’s rig in a WalMart parking lot where we’d stopped for lunch (although we didn’t see the owners at that time). Hailing from Australia, they travel different parts of the world in an RV in 6-month chunks. Their latest chunk was a giant circle from CO to the Great Lakes, to VA, through LBL, back to CO. Our counter-clockwise circle just happened to intersect their clockwise circle. Twice. Here’s┬ámore on their adventure.

More LBL pix, if you’re interested…

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