Tuesday April 3- I slept in past 8:00 AM. The storms made for a restless night. It was still raining. I got ready for the day and drove to the Gnawbone Coffee Shop just down the street. Gnawbone is the name of the small unincorporated community where the RV park is. I had asked how Gnawbone got its name. I was told it may have been from days of hunger (possibly during the depression) when people couldn’t afford to give the dogs a bone to gnaw on. A colorful story even if it may not be true.
The coffee shop is in a rustic looking building along SR 46. It used to be a 1960’s Sunoco gas station. The interior is large with paintings hung high above the floor space which used to be the auto service bays. There are seven tables with four chairs each. Locally made aprons hang in together on a rack. Several people bought aprons while I was there. The paintings are for sale too. Other coffee and tea related items can be bought, like tea pots or knickknacks.
I ordered a coffee and a cranberry banana muffin. The owner/ barista asked if I was a vet. Because I am I automatically got a discount. By some of the photos hanging in the corner, I take it she comes from a military family.
There were two types of coffee, a dark Brazilian blend and a more mild breakfast blend. They both tasted equally as good. I chose the Brazilian and grabbed a second cup with the breakfast blend at the owner’s suggestion. The shop also serves breakfast. I decided to try that sometime.
It was raining and the day did not look very good for hiking or any outdoors activities. I had been trying to find some good walking shoes to fit my 10 1/2 EEEE width feet for the past two months. There was a listing for an orthopedic shoe store in Columbus, Indiana. I called to make sure they were open. Yes they were. I drove the twenty minutes past flooded rivers, and streams spreading into low farmland u til I reached Professional Footwear on Parkside at Central. The young man was very professional. He sized my feet and came up with a good fit the first time. I added some high instep inserts and was out the door in about half an hour. It wasn’t cheap but I am on my feet a lot and I walk a lot. When I am not hiking I want a good, well fit, comfortable pair of walking shoes. My feet and spine are well worth the extra cash. I also bought some new inserts for my hiking boots. The standard inserts did not fit my feet I had to get two sizes too big and the store clerk cut them down to fit my shoes and boots.
Just down the street from the shoe store was a Kroger. I stopped for a few groceries. It was threatening to rain and the storms were supposed to be severe with High winds. Before returning to the RV to put away the groceries I stopped at the Nashville NAPA store to pick up some oil for the RV I had ordered the day before. I keep a check on the level. A diesel can use some oil. It showed it was a liter down. Mobile 1 5W30 ESP is hard to find. I had called NAPA on Monday and they ordered it in for me.
With the groceries secured I decided to check out a pizza shop in downtown Nashville. I ended up at Brozinni Pizzeria. They serve New York style pizza by the slice. I ordered a slice of the Park Avenue pizza: pepperoni, sausage ham and bacon. I like pizza by the slice. As an individual I am not being forced to buy a whole pie I don’t need or want. With a group everyone can get what they like instead of having to compromise on the toppings. My slice tasted very good.
By the time I left, the rains were coming down. It was too early to call it a day. I decided to stop at the winery across the street from the RV campground. Brown County Winery is literally across SR 46 from my location. A fence separates the RV park from the road so I could not just walk across the state road. That might have been too dangerous anyways. people are too distracted while driving these days. Electronics will be the death of us all. The rains had stopped.
Brown County Winery is is a small winery with an equally small tasting room. I was able to taste up to six wines for free. I chose four. The plum wine was excellent as was the Port. I bought a bottle of Port before leaving. The winds were picking up and the skies were darkening. I did not want to get caught in another heavy downpour.
I drove back toward Nashville to Bear hardware to see if they had any RV water line regulators. They had something but not what I wanted. It cost $18.00. I passed. I did find a rubber mallet for less than $5.00. That I bought. Some of the locals were discussing possible tornadoes in the evening forecast. Just what an RV resident wants to hear.
When I returned to the RV I switched on the radio. Possible tornados with a tornado watch until 8:00PM 3 hours to go. The rains pelted my RV consistently until 1:30 AM. The high winds gusted up to 30 MPH with persistent winds of 17 MPH. It was a rocky night in the RV. I watched the Netflix show Stranger Things 2, and busied myself until I fell asleep around midnight. I was awakened by the winds at least twice during the night. It was another restless night.
Wednesday April 4-The weather was improving. The temperature was a little cool but at least it had stopped raining.
I started the day with a visit to Gnawbone Coffee. I ordered the sausage egg casserole with coffee, and a cranberry banana muffin. It was all very tasty. A good deal for around $7.00. I took my time and spoke with some locals. The flooding and wind damage was wide spread. The storms had knocked out power in several spotty areas.
I decided to head to the Brown County Art Gallery. I drove west on SR 46 past the flooded golf course turning right onto Old State Road 46. A tree was toppled over against a power line in the corner lot of a church. A power company truck was on site. But there was no activity yet. The road climbed up away from there and twisted around dipping then climbing up again passing Hard Truth Distillery before dipping down then up, reaching the art gallery on the right.
I entered to find a small tour group finishing their visit. As they left I stepped forward to the museum guide. She thought I was with the group until I informed her that I had just walked in and was by myself. She took a moment to comprehend what I had said then abruptly shifted gears presenting an introduction to the gallery. I was led to an auditorium to watch a nine minute video about the art community that had formed in Nashville in the 1920’s and the history of the art association. It was a good place to start.
After the film I was able to browse the exhibits freely. Much of the floorspace is dedicated to current local artists. Their art work is available for purchase. Other rooms are dedicated to specific early artists of the community or groupings of artists. One room is dedicated to the wood block prints of Gustave Bauman. He was a master of the craft.
I was awed by the paintings of William Zimmerman. He was renowned for his bird paintings used as bird book illustrations. His lifelike paintings rivaled Audubon and other well known bird illustrators. Zimmerman would be a great artist to collect. Just this section alone was worth the visit. I spoke with an attendant, Genie about the collections. She was very helpful.
The gallery was impressive but small. It is a relatively new building and the displays rotate on a seasonal basis. They were rotating the winter artwork out for the spring displays even as I was walking through. I spent over an hour at the gallery. They have special events and scheduled art classes too. Look them up online: http://www.browncountyartgallery.org/
I drove to the Brown County History Center. There were parking spaces along the alley in front of the center. A sign informed me to pay at the lot below. I drove to the lot and was greeted by a man who told me I could park up there for free if I was going to the center. The $5.00 was waved. I drove back up the hill and parked for free.
The History Center was an eclectic collection of miscellanies bunched together in show cases. The objects ranged from belongings of past residents, to Indian artifacts found throughout the county. There was a section dedicated to Raggedy Anne and Andy. Another display was dedicated to early cartoonist and former resident Kin Hubbard and his creation Abe Martin. The building size exceeded the needs of the displays. There were large rooms available for rent. The building was well kept and well staffed.
I spoke with two older women. They told me about the Pioneer Village Museum across Gould Street from the History Center. There is a log cabin, a blacksmith shop, the two story log jail, and some shops. Unfortunately, nothing was open. We discussed hiking in the area. One of the women told me to check into Sycamore Land Trust. She suggested that I might like Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill. She drew a map showing me how to get there east of town off SR46 near my RV site. She said it should be one of the drier hiking areas since it is at a higher elevation. I thanked her and resolved to head downtown for some food. It was almost 1:00PM.
I drove around downtown looking for a parking space. There were none to be found. I spoke with a shop owner in an alley behind her shop. She suggested I try the $5.00 lot. Great. There seemed to be one choice. I returned to the lot and paid the $5.00.
I crossed Van Buren Street and walked south to Big Woods Pizza. It is owned and operated by a local brewery. I tasted six beers before ordering a pizza. They don’t sell by the slice and a 10” pizza is the smallest available. I ordered the Primal Pizza (meat pizza), similar to the pizza I had ordered the day before. I had a flight of four five ounce beers with the meal. I used the four beers to sample two IPA’s and two other beers. My favorite was the Six Foot Blonde IPA. I took my time finishing the beers. I could only finish half of the pizza so I asked for a box to take the rest back to the RV. Learn more online at http://www.bigwoodsrestaurants.com/nashville-pizza/
I visited the leather shop next door. The owner happened to be the same woman I had asked about parking downtown. She asked If I had found a place. Yeah. For $5.00. As it turned out she was a Cleveland Browns fan and used to be a season ticket holder. I told her I used to have season tickets in The Dog Pound. She was envious. I don’t follow the NFL anymore. I am jaded towards the brand.
I tried on a jacket. it fit well with the sweatshirt underneath. She did her best to make a sale but I just don’t have a need. We got to talking about fishing. She invited me to come to her place on the lake to fish. She was an avid angler too. I thanked her and left it at a maybe.
I wandered around downtown and decided to stop at Miller’s Homemade Ice Cream on West Main Street. The hand dipped ice cream was creamy and tasted delicious. While I was there I spoke with a family from Columbia City, Indiana near where I used to live. They were on their way back from southern Tennessee where it was 73 degrees and now they were heading back north into freezing temperatures. I knew how they felt.
It was time to call it a day. Back at the RV I worked online and took out the trash while listening to the radio. I noticed that the temperature was dropping The thermostat was set for 68 but it was 66 in the RV. The heat was not kicking on. As I typed away the lights got brighter and the heat kicked on. It dawned on me that the power had been off. I walked up to talk to Charlie. He told me that the electricity had been off for about two hours. The power company had removed a tree from the power lines. The tree had toppled over during Tuesday nights high winds. It had to be the same tree I had seen in the morning.
The temperatures were expected to dip below freezing overnight and Charlie was going to cut the water off at eight. I switched over to my fresh water tank, switched on the tank heater and turned on the pump. I tested it and everything worked just fine. All I needed to do was decide if I would use the camp showers in the morning.