View from our hike near Beauregard-Baret, France.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, France.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Towards Andorra.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fast cars and a slow motorhome

We were up just after 6:00am yesterday morning. We had been parked right beside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky and we wanted to be there right when it opened at 8:00am.

Sure enough, we were pretty much the first paying customers of the day, although there were quite a few people around because they had a staff meeting just finishing up when we arrived.

The National Corvette Museum is a pretty big operation. They obviously have a close working relationship with General Motors and the Corvette factory located across the street. A few of the cars on display are on loan from General Motors. Others are on loan from private citizens, and some have been donated to the museum.

It's really well done. We were impressed. Very professional! For the $10 USD ($13.20 CAD) entry fee, it's hard to go wrong.

They have a 2015 Corvette in the lobby that you can dream in.
Gimme the keys, I want to take it for a spin!

And a 2018 Corvette that they are raffling off at $10 a ticket. No, we didn't buy a ticket.

There's a 15 minute introductory movie that you watch in the theater, then you wander the displays. Everything you wanted to know about the Corvette, going right back to the beginning in 1953...

1953... the beginning.

There were only 300 1953 Corvettes made.

The displays are really well done.

1958...they call it a "survivor" car because it is in original condition.

Roy Orbison's 1967 convertible.

And then of course they also have displays of a few of the more recent ones, as well as the racing history of the Corvette. But I was more interested in the older ones.

And then we came to a display that made us go "huh"?!

Many Americans have probably heard of the sinkhole disaster at the Corvette Museum in February of 2014. But we had no idea. We were in South Africa at that time, and likely weren't paying much attention to the news. Anyhow, we obviously missed it at the time, so when we saw the display, it was a real eye opener. 

For those (like us) who did't know...

Of course it was all over the news at the time because it was such a freak disaster... and 8 priceless Corvettes were severely damaged... 6 of them beyond repair.

So they've turned that whole disaster into a really interesting display of the sinkhole and how they repaired it, including the damaged cars...

Six damaged Corvettes.

Yikes. What happens when tons of boulders come crashing down onto your Corvette!

The seven generations of Corvettes.

1983 Corvette... the only one in existence.

1983 was a transition year for the Corvette, and there were only 43 pre-production models made for design and engineering testing. This is the only one that survived, and production models were all manufactured as 1984 models.

This car was only feet away from the sinkhole when it collapsed!

We spent two full hours in the museum, and I think that Ruth even enjoyed the visit even though she's not as interested as I was.

But then, we had some driving to do to head south away from the upcoming cold snap. We wanted to get around Nashville, and to the Meriwether Lewis free campground on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

In to Tennessee.

I hate driving on the busy Interstate highways. Yuck.

And, it was pretty windy yesterday. Sherman is like a big sailboat in the wind... not enjoyable to drive. And traffic was heavy through Nashville. We've been to Nashville before, so no ambition to go again. We took a sort of bypass around the city and then got right on the Natchez Trace Parkway just south of Nashville.

Entrance to the Natchez Trace Parkway.

The parkway is a two lane scenic road going 444 miles (710 kms) from south of Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi. It follows the same route as the Natchez Trace... a trail used by pioneers in the 1700 and 1800's. The entire route is part of the National Park Service.

Very scenic, and a 50 mph (80 km/h) speed limit.

Nice and slow and relaxing, just the way Sherman likes it!

View from one of the bridges on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Getting close to the Meriwether-Lewis Campground, we were also getting close to running out of gas!

Not really but we probably still could have driven another 50 or 75 miles. Anyhow, there is nowhere close to the Parkway to buy gas... there are no commercial services on the Parkway at all. So you have to actually exit the Parkway and go into a nearby town if you want anything.

So we made a detour into Hohenwald and put 20 gallons in at $2.39 a gallon. That should get us to Tupelo, Mississippi where fuel is a little cheaper.

Then, it was into the campground. There are only 32 sites here, and they are totally free of charge. No services except for flush toilets and a place for fresh water. But the sites are paved, and each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Really nice little park... and did I mention it's free?!

Last time we were here, it was quite busy, so we weren't sure what to expect. But I think we're a little late in the season... many snowbirds coming through here would have done so last month, not December.

So, only about six sites were occupied.

Sherman, in site number 18.

No close neighbors, and we didn't hear any generator noise last night.

It started raining in the wee early hours, and it is still raining this morning. Temperature is quite mild though, and it was still 62F (16C) inside the motorhome when we woke up.

We're going to hang out here for at least two nights, possibly three. The rain is supposed to stop after lunch, but with the temperature dropping throughout the day.

Yesterday's drive, 149 miles (238 kms).

Great deal on a kids electric car... normally sells for around $200!

And in Canada...


  1. There is a very nice museum of Elvis's birthplace in Tupelo. It's free to wander around outside and inside part of the museum. There was even a free movie.

    1. Thank you for that Evelyn, we will try to stop by and check it out. We like "free"! ;-)

  2. I'm not even a "car guy", but I remember that sink hole incident and my heart sank. No pun intended.

    1. Yeah, that wold have been so sad to have seen that footage on social media when it first happen. We really like the way they made this part of the museum now with it's own exhibit. It was very interesting.

  3. Congratulations on making it through Nashville! I dislike driving through there about as much as I dislike Atlanta. It's been a while since we've been on the Natchez Trace, need to do it again someday.

    1. We definitely didn't enjoy it! Never been through Atlanta and from what I have hear I don't think we want to either.

      It has been a while for us as well. The last time we did it, which was also our first time was back in the spring of 2009. Nice to be back on it without any kind of deadline so we can take as much time as we want along it.

  4. The new Vettes sure look intimidating. Enjoy your stay, it looks peaceful and quiet.

    1. Yes, they sure do. I think it is funny how they make them fast and even put special tires on them but legally you can't drive them they way they are meant to be driven.

      It is very peaceful and quiet here, we love it. We just need some more sunshine, yesterday was a wet and rainy day.

  5. We toured that corvette museum before the sink hole and were really enjoyed it as well. Very well done.
    Even did the Merriweather lewis Campground for a night, and toured Tupelo and Elvis' Birth Place. Enjoy the trace , we sure did.

    1. I am sure it would have been nice to have seen all those cars in there original condition instead of being all busted up like they are now, even though they were interesting to look at like that as well. They did a great job on the display of the sinkhole and the restoration work on the cars that could be repaired. It was all very interesting, especially because we had never realized that this had even happened.

      We loved the Trace when we did it back in 2009 and so we wanted to do it again. This time we will probably spend even more time on it or near it. Last time I think we spent about 5 or 6 days on it.

  6. Thanks for the posts about the Natchez Trace. Been wanting to do that.

    1. You are welcome. I hope that you can make the time to do it, it is well worth it, or at least we think it is. :-)

  7. The museum looks like an interesting place to visit must do that one day. Looks like a nice drive on the Natchez Trace do not think we have ever done it on our way through Tennessee. Campgrounds looks great and being free even better enjoy! Have a wonderful stay!

    1. We definitely found the museum interesting, especially Kevin!

      If you get the chance again to drive down through Tennessee, we highly recommend that you drive the Trace, just don't do it if you have to rush through. There is a lot to see on the Trace and just off of the Trace.

  8. Love the old Corvettes. I once meet a man that ordered a Corvettes and part of the purchase allowed him and his wife to see it finished and pick it up at the factory. They visited the museum, bought a raffle, and then drive it home to MN.

    A few weeks later, the museum called that they had won the raffle! So they now have his and her Corvettes! Wow....

    1. Wow, I love that story, I think if it had been us we probably would have turned around and sold at least one of the corvettes. Having said that, it is me speaking, not Kevin, he might not have sold one of them. ;-) I think that would have been pretty cool to have gone down and seen the car being finished.

  9. We loved the Natchez Trace, but wouldn't go through Nashville without catching some great live music. It's very rare that one of our RV trips doesn't involve dance halls or music festivals.

    1. Yep, the Trace is a great drive with lots of history added to it.

      Nope, we just didn't need to stop in Nashville again. We really enjoyed our visit there the first time but just didn't need to do it again. Plus music really isn't a thing for us, so I am glad that you can appreciate it for us instead. :-)

  10. We have passed that muesum many times and never stopped. I remember when the sinkhole occured. Looks like thay have recovered nicely.

    1. I suggest that you should stop in the next time you are driving by.

      Yes, it seems like they have recovered nicely from it and figured out a way to make it all part of the experience. They did a great job on the sinkhole exhibit.

  11. Wow - that sinkhole and drone video of what happened to the Corvettes!!!

    1. I know it is amazing isn't it! I bet a few people cried that day and what a surprise to come into that morning!

  12. I love driving the Trace. So many points of interest along the way. It looks like you missed stopping at Mammoth Cave and using the campground there. There is a Natchez Trace visitor center on the Trace as you come into Tupelo. A Wal-Mart is very close to it if you get off the Trace. When you get to Natchez, park along the section, near the gazebo, that parallels the Mississippi River. You can then take a walking tour of the historic area seeing old homes and points of interest from there. When you get to Vicksburg, Mississippi, you can tour the National Civil War battlefield while driving Sherman along the 18 mile loop through the park. There will be an entrance fee if you do not have the US National Park pass.

    1. Yes, lots of things to see along the Trace itself and just off from the Trace.

      We have been to Mammoth Cave twice before and love each visit, we even did the Wild Cave tour there last time and stayed in the campground for a few nights. This time we wanted to see a few different parts of Kentucky and even then there is still so much more to see.

      We will keep our eyes open for the visitor center in Tupelo and check it out. Back in 2009 we did do a bit of a walking tour in Natchez and saw some gorgeous old houses and perhaps we will do that again. I think that Vicksburg is a little too far from our route but I will mark it down on my list so that we can try and plan a stop there on another visit through the area. Thank you for the suggestions.


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