Ova Easy Eggs, Wonderful Food for the Wanderer.

I like to find great food for the Wanderer (Traveler).  I know that with refrigeration, one can “wander” with almost anything you have in your kitchen at home.  Many vehicle travelers have 12 volt refrigerators and coolers making food choices on the road almost endless.  Even though I too have a cooler and a 12 volt refrigerator, I think the best “Wanderer-Food” is food that does not require refrigeration and has a descent shelf-life!  I recently found something that I think most travelers will enjoy, Ova Easy Egg Crystals!  They are real eggs in powder form and when you add a little water, they do everything regular eggs in the shell do.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!  Place a few tablespoons of Ova Easy Egg powder in a bowl, add water as per the instructions on the package, whip them and cook as you would regular eggs.  At first, I was reluctant to try them, as a kid I remember drinking powered milk once in a while, when mom ran out of regular milk.  My brothers and I were not big fans of powered milk so when I saw powered eggs, I didn’t have high expectations!  
I must admit, Ova Easy Eggs are very tasty!  I really can’t tell the difference between Ova Easy Eggs and real eggs when I scramble them and add a little hot sauce!  They taste great, are lightweight and easy to pack, have a descent shelf-life, are very easy to prepare and best of all…. you will never worry again about cracked eggs after a 50 mile drive over washboard trails in your 4×4! 

Ova Easy Egg Crystals in the package
Ova Easy Egg Crystals dry
Ova Easy Egg Crystals with water added
Ova Easy Egg Crystals cooked in the microwave!  A simple, tasty meal for the Wanderer.


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Rode My Horse to a Tavern.

For the last few weeks the Big-Old-Mare (aka my Honda XR650L motorcycle) has been chomping at the bit to go for a ride.  She has been cooped-up in the barn since mid-November, when I rode her for the last time.  Even though we are almost in April, and Spring officially arrived last week, it seems “Old Man Winter” is not quite ready to release his grip on central Kentucky just yet. Yesterday morning it was 17 degrees when I went outside at about 7 am, too cold for my “first” Spring-ride of the year.  Today looked a-whole-lot better at 36 degrees at about 8 am, so I dressed for a ride, wool shirt, neck-gator, helmet, gloves and a riding jacket.  I filled the horse up with a few gallons of fresh fuel and hit the road.  By 8:30 am, the mercury had edged up a degree to 37.  From Lawrenceburg, I headed west on Hwy 62 in the direction of Bardstown, home of the world famous “Makers Mark” bourbon distillery.  After riding about 5 miles at 55 mph in 37 degree weather, my hands were sufficiently frozen that I couldn’t feel them or my twig and berries who were well on their way to the land of frozen appendages…so I decided it was time to let discretion rule!  I turned-back and headed home for a few hours to wait for the day to warm up some.  At a little after 11:00 am, it was in the mid-40s so the B.O.M and I again headed west to Bardstown!  Much better, what a difference a few degrees made, it had warmed up enough so I could actually feel my hands for the entire 50 mile ride to Bardstown.  Our destination was the 18th century Old Talbott Tavern.  Built in 1779, Old Talbott Tavern is the oldest stagecoach stop still in operation.  Even though the stagecoach no longer stops there, the Tavern still functions today as a restaurant and hotel.  Notable guests at the Tavern have included Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Jesse James and even George Patton, to name just a few!  It’s reported that the Tavern, situated right next door to the old county jail, is even haunted.  Fortunately, during my lunch I did’t encounter any ghosts, just a friendly waitress and a great sandwich!
The Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky
The Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky
The old bar at the Old Talbott Tavern
The old jail in Bardstown, Kentucky…now a Bed and Breakfast.
The iron gate of the old jail
The original manufacturer’s emblem on the jail’s gate
Log School House in downtown Bardstown, Kentucky
Downtown Bardstown, Kentucky
The downtown Bardstown, Kentucky historical marker.

 
Today’s ride was a great “first” ride of the year!  It gave me and the “Big Old Mare” a chance to stretch our muscles and see some new sights close to our own backyard.  I know I’ve said it before and I will probably say it again, short duration, local get-aways can be just as much fun as cross-country or overseas trips for sure!  I’m glad I got a ride in today because as I type this post it’s raining pretty hard and the weather forecast for the next few days looks pretty grim… heavy rain and possibly some snow on Saturday… wow… the weather this season has been really crazy!  I hope it warms up soon, I have many more adventures in mind!   

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A Mysterious Disappearance in Kentucky….

Many people know a little-bit about Kentucky and Kentucky History.  When I ask my friends what they know about Kentucky, they often mention the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Bourbon, Bluegrass Music, Daniel Boone and of course the famous Hatfield and McCoy feud.  But few people know that Kentucky is also home to the first permanent settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains, Fort Harrod.  The Fort was founded in 1774, and is named after frontiersman and explorer James Harrod.  Located in Harrodsburg, just a short drive down the road from my little-piece of Kentucky property, the current Fort built in 1924 is a replica of the original.  When I’m in Kentucky, I pass the Fort regularly, but haven’t stopped in years.  Last week, I took advantage of a bright and sunny day to pay a visit.  The 20 degree temperature and gusty Winter-winds ensured that I was the only visitor at the Fort for the 2 hours I walked the grounds.  As I toured the Fort, I was especially impressed by the resourcefulness of the early inhabitants.  Many were experts in a wide-range of skills, including weaving, blacksmithing, butchery, carpentry and farming.  You know what they say about necessity being the mother of invention!  With no other alternatives available, the residents of the Fort were forced to learn the skills necessary to make life a little easier on the frontier!  James Harrod was one of those multi-faceted people, he was especially talented in hunting, fishing and trapping!  Born in Pennsylvania in 1746, Harrod’s life of adventure began at an early age when he volunteered for military service with “Captain Cochran’s Recruits” in 1760 at the age of 14.  He would later lead numerous expeditions to Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee in the 1770s.  Harrod first came to Kentucky to survey land promised to soldiers, like himself, of the French and Indian Wars.  He arrived by boat in 1774, with 37 other men, traveling first down the Ohio River, then up the Kentucky River and finally up the Salt River to the area that would eventually become the settlement.  I have kayaked on the Salt River numerous times and of interest to bourbon lovers, the “Salt River” provides the water to the “Four Roses Distillery.”  Even though life on the Fort was difficult, Harrod would eventually become a rich man, owning upwards of 20,000 acres across Kentucky.  This success was short-lived, in 1792, while on a “hunting” expedition, Harrod went missing and never returned to Fort Harrod!

There are 3 principle theories surrounding his disappearance,

One theory is that James Harrod was killed by indians or became ill and died in the wilderness?

Another theory is one of abandonment, that he left Fort Harrod to live with his “first” family he had before his days in Kentucky.  Some say his wife at the Fort had become “too friendly” with other men, forcing Harrod to take what was called a “frontiersman’s divorce” and just walk away!

Then there is the theory that Harrod was murdered!  Murdered by a fellow “hunter,” a man named Bridges.  Harrod’s family in Kentucky claimed that the men were not actually on a “hunting trip,” but were in fact on an expedition in search of a famous silver mine a man named Jonathan Swift had discovered years earlier.  Maybe they found the silver mine and since there is rarely honor among thieves, Bridges killed Harrod to get all the silver for himself?

A real “who done it”…..  for sure!

We will probably never know what happened to James Harrod almost 225 years ago…It would certainly make for an interesting episode of the popular program “Dateline.”  A visit to the Fort may not shed any new-light on Harrod’s disappearance, but if you are interested in early American History and want to see what life was like on the old-frontier, make sure you visit Fort Harrod and become a modern-day explorer of sorts!

The main-gate at Fort Harrod.
The 1924 replica of old Fort Harrod.
The inner courtyard of Fort Harrod.
A fireplace in one of the kitchens at the Fort.
A frontiersman’s bed at Fort Harrod.  Looks real “comfy.”

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A “Titan” of a Storm….. 2014.

As I’ve said before, perspective is everything.  For someone living in the northern United States, a Winter-storm that drops 6 inches of snow overnight is nothing special…. but for residents of central Kentucky, 6 inches of snow anytime is a big deal!  When someone or something is referred to as a “titan,”  it means they are gigantic in size or power… so I think the name “Titan,” given to the most recent storm to hit Kentucky, is quite appropriate!  Wow, and to think that just a week ago I was in 80 degree weather of Florida…. Did I return too soon to the Bluegrass State?  While in Florida, I missed two months of snow and cold weather, so none of my family and friends have offered any sympathy!  I guess I just need to “cowboy-up” and enjoy a few days of snow, this may just be the last storm of the Winter….       

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