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10 March 2008 @ 03:56 pm
I've decided -I'm going to create a second home for myself  
As I said, after over 15 years of constant disillusionment with the overall trends in Ohio and Dayton, I've given up on expecting things to ever go my way here instead of just getting worse year after year.

And, I think the aspects of life that I value are declining everywhere -not just in Ohio and Dayton. It simply boils down to this -I live in a nation where very few people now value what I value.

So, I've decided to initiate something that's taken me over three years to have a clear plan for.

I mean I am immediately going to begin setting up a second "home base" for myself, not rooted at one spot, but nevertheless with a center node.

That center node is here, where I took this photo in January:

This is the Natchez Trace Parkway bridge over the Tennessee River.

This part of the Tennessee River is considered to be the most beautiful part of America's inland waterways. The "Pickwick pool" is calm waters a mile wide with legs 53 and 40 miles long with big islands. On the other side of the bridge is a National Park Service boat ramp.

I have just begun renting a 10' x 25' parking spot in a self-storage facility on the south side of Nashville, Tennessee, just north of the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway. The rate is only $23.75 per month which is amazing since this is a very affluent part of the city. There is a Nashville MTA bus line that connects this parking spot to downtown Nasville. There are five buses per day each way between the Greyhound station there and the one in downtown Dayton.

The TOTAL round trip cost between my condo and the parking/storage place in south Nashville is only $75! And, there are buses that leave Friday nights and ones that return Sunday nights. So, I can get to the northern end of my new "second home" and return while I sleep, and do it for just $75.

I just said though that the center will be where the Parkway crosses the Tennessee River.
This is another 115 miles down the Parkway from south Nashville. That's why I am renting the parking space. Initially it is just going to be where I store my Honda Rebel.

My trips this year will involve me getting off the bus where the Rebel is and then getting on the Parkway on my motorcycle with my portable kayak. I will be able to get to the boat ramp at the bridge above by 11:30 Saturday mornings, kayak all afternoon, camp at some beach on the Tennessee, then go until about noon on Sunday before I need to start heading back north on the Parkway for my original home, Dayton. Of course, a 3-day or 4-day weekend would give me two or three full days on the river instead of just one.

These trips will all be to get comfortable with the surroundings until I'm ready to buy a small pontoon boat on a trailer, equip it with an electric motor and solar panels, and begin stashing this at the parking spot with the motorcycle.

Once I do that, I will need to rent another $24/month parking spot there for a used car whose sole purpose will be taking the boat to or from the River, which I will try to do infrequently. (If I take it there, I will intend to be on it for longer periods because trailering it from Nashville will use expensive gasoline so I don't want to be doing this a lot. For example, if there is a lull in the workload at O'Neil for several weeks, I could go spend the whole time on the boat.)

What's nice about centering things where the Parkway crosses the Tennessee is that when I escape cold winter weather down that way, I'm already 1/3 of the way down the Parkway to Natchez or Point Breeze, or, I can get farther south on the water all the way to the Gulf of Mexico on the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway which starts south right at the Pickwick pool.

If I take James down with me to live on the boat for awhile, I'll have to drive to Port Columbus and fly to Nashville airport because Greyhound doesn't allow pets but you can carry cats on planes in carriers. Nashville's airport is quite close to the storage place. Or else I'll just drive my Geo all the way like I did on my trip in January. I really care about saving energy, though, so that will always determine what I decide.

Also nice about Pickwick Lake (this part of the Tennessee River) is that the pool just north of the locks from the Pickwick pool, the Kentucky Lake pool, is the longest on the inland waterways. It extends clear to almost the Ohio River, with very little development along the shores and adjoins the huge Land Between the Lakes Natural Area extending sixty miles. For a man whose had wanderlust all his life, this is the ideal: a second area to live centered at the juncture of a 444 mile scenic national park road and hundreds of miles of scenic waterways. And the latter are ideal for someone like me to spend extended vacations. -Anyway, I couldn't stay moored next to one island or shore for more than 14 days without moving along at least a mile, according to TVA regulations. That would always be great for me, even if I was there for months in a solar pontoon boat.