Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's a Wild World Out There

One interesting thing about our stay at Red Boiling Spring, Tennessee, is the wildlife in our view of the countryside.   We are parked on the side of the church building and to our left about 100 feet away, the hillside goes straight up with rocks and crevices.   At the foot of the hill directly across from us is a bit of debris and in the middle is a fox hole. 

Working at my computer, I saw movement and looked out.  Two little brown animals were rolling and playing in the grass.  I called Ron and asked if it was puppies or cats.  He immediately said, “Its baby foxes.”   I have a two-minute video if anyone wants me to send it to you (write me at  

Each day since, we have watched for them to come out of their hole to play around in the grass, walk in front of the RV to the puddle of water accumulated from recent rains, and then back to roam and play in the woods and grass near our RV.   The mother fox comes out sometimes and lies in the grass but the little ones bite her tail and roll all over her.  She will eventually go up the hillside and they will follow reluctantly.  It seems they rather play than learn to hunt for food.  It’s this typical of kids of every species?

We also have a huge groundhog (just left to the center of this photo) that comes out once a day and eats grass in the same area where the foxes play.   He is more suspicious than the foxes and stops to listen and look around for danger.

The first day we were here, Ron went around the building to look for a garden hose and found all kinds of animals living under the building.  He found a cat living under there and someone told him they have also had a skunk under the building.  I don’t know if the cat and skunk are compatible roommates or not.  I was concerned when the cat came out and wandered around the fox’s den one afternoon.  I think she could become dinner for the family if the mother fox sees her. 
We have not seen deer but it’s probably because the woods are not deep enough in this city area.  We usually see them in the parks where we stay because there are extensive woods and the deer are already accustomed to campers and know they are safe.  There are many that do not even move when we see them along the roadside as we drive through the park.  They are such beautiful animals. 

Back to the beginning of our journey to this beautiful part of the great United States.   We completed our weekend at Oxford, Mississippi (the church in Oxford and my mother's home until she died in 1984). 

On Sunday after-noon we drove to Pontotoc, MS to visit a church there.   We did not have power that night as we parked in the church parking lot.  After services, we went to Wendy’s with one of the deacons and his wife and enjoyed our time with them.  The next morning, we drove to Tupelo, a short distance away, and got on the Natchez Trace Parkway which goes all the way to Nashville.    It was a beautiful drive without trailer trucks, traffic lights or road hazards.   The traffic was light because the speed limit is lower than most people want to drive.  Dogwood trees were plentiful in the woods and it was a beautiful and serene drive for about four hours.  I crocheted on my baby blanket and made sure Ron stayed awake by feeding him popcorn and nuts. 

We exited the Natchez Trace parkway at Columbia, TN and headed east to Red Boiling Springs.  

I had already mapped out the way I thought we should come but my GPS wanted to take us further east on I-40 and then north through Carthage, TN.   My map looked O.K. going that way but when we got off and headed north, the road got more winding every minute.  We have snake curves for miles and miles and sometimes it was almost breathtaking wondering if we could make the curves.  The Appalachian Mountains range extends in this area and we knew some other winding roads from experience but had not been on this one before.  When we reached the home of Jerry Cherry, he was just amazed that we came that way.  I told him our GPS was set for RV’s and it directed us that way.  He told me the GPS for trailer trucks direct them that way to and nearly every week they have to send a wrecker out to help them because they can‘t make some of those curves.  I guess we were just lucky to make it with a 40’ RV with a car pulling behind us.
We stayed at the Dale Hollow Park two days before coming to the church building due to the park filling up and having no space available that weekend.  Along the front of the building, there’s a small stream that turned into a small river this week with heavy rain.  
There is a walking trail all around the stream and there are two wooden covered bridges along the way. 

They are still passable with loose boards flopping up whenever cars go over them.   One is two lanes if you can be sure to straddle the boards properly.  The one is a one-lane bridge with the road going immediately up the hillside almost straight up.   Across from the building, we have a historic hotel that is probably more than 100 years old and they told us there are two more like it further down this same road.  

 This is the bigger of the covered bridges and the next picture is Red Boiling Springs Welcome Center!  

This is the motorcycle museum.  The church sign is on the other side of the trees. 

This is the historic hotel next to the antique motorcycle museum.   We were told that the red boiling springs from which this town gets its name are really wells that used to have boiling water pouring up out of the ground but a few years ago the government closed them off to the public because of potential danger.  No one is sure what danger was detected since they have been available to the public for more than 100 years. 

Our daughter, Leigh Ann, drove up from Woodstock, GA to spend a few days with us.  We’ll get out and explore some of this area over the weekend now that our weather has improved and storms have move out.    It was in the 40’s last night so we still have cool nights but the days are just about perfect.   The dogwood trees have dropped their pretty blooms and leaves are on the trees now but with the recent rain, everything is so green and beautiful. 
We are keeping busy in this area for four weeks because there are churches every five or 10 miles of each other.  There are close to 100 churches in this general area.   Everywhere we go, Ron finds someone he went to school with so when he told me that he believed Raccoon John Smith started some of the churches in this area, I asked him if he went to school with him.   He thought I was crazy not realizing how long ago that really was but it was really a joke about how old he is and how many people he knows that went to school with him.  He tells people that it was a 100 years ago so I told him it’s like he’s even related to Raccoon John Smith.

Last night, Leigh Ann and I drove 12 miles to Lafayette, TN to visit a church where Zoie, a little Chinese adopted girl lives with her parent.  Years ago, Ron gave a report at this congregation and Zoie (about 4 at the time) insisted that her parents get on Facebook and ask their friends to give $5 each so they could save a life of a child in China that has congenital heart disease.  She was so touched by what we do to help Chinese children she wanted them to have “Zoie’s Heart gift Campaign” since it was Valentine’s Day.   She raises several thousand dollars every year with her renewed plea.   She has a five-minute YouTube video and she said she has raised over $10,000 since she began this project.  They have just turned in the funds from the 2014 campaign with it totaling over $3,000.   Zoie was happy to see us last night because we understands that we do the work with the Chinese children but then in a few minutes she ran away to play with her friends.  She is a beautiful and very smart eight-year old.
We will be in Red Boiling Springs until May 15th when we relocate to Berry’s Chapel in Franklin, TN (south of Nashville). 

This has been our home for the past three weeks and it's been a very enjoyable stay.  We are going to miss the good people in this area. 

Please continue to remember us and our work in your prayers.  Thanks to all our followers, supporters, friends and family for all you do to keep in touch.

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