2013 Tour Final Report

One of the requirements of the Marshall Award is to submit a final report of the project. Today, I sent my report to headquarters. While my inaugural leadership tour is history, I hope that there will be other leadership tours, mini-tours, and journeys in my future.

If you want to review my report, click here.  It is also listed on the References page.



There were cows

Many of you know that I like cows, and I’ve often joked that when I retire, I will stop along the road and take photos of cows as they enjoy their lives in the pastures.  This trip did not allow me the time to stop and observe the cows, but I tried to capture them.

Somewhere along the back roads between Morristown and Chattanooga, TN

What really amazed me on this trip was that the ranchers have wading pools for their cows. The first time I saw it, I thought that I was imagining it.  However, in the next few photos below, you can clearly see the cows boldly lounging in their pools.

Closer to Chattanooga, TN

Between Chattanooga and Columbia, TN

Amazing! Cow pools.

Guess what the cow below is doing?

Out standing in the field

Between Columbia and Memphis, TN

Cows being harassed by a plane

Closer to Memphis, TN

In western Kentucky

A closer view of the cows above

Cows in southern Indiana

Goats in Indiana (they tricked me)

More cows in Indiana

Cows somewhere between Cleveland and Columbus, OH

Somehow, I feel quite at home in Somerset, KY.  Surprisingly, that’s where I have the most photos of cows.

The had signage to keep me out

On the back roads between Somerset and Berea, KY

I always thought that the white wooden fences were for horses, but these cows rated such fine fencing:

Also on the back roads north of Somerset, KY

It was a soggy, rainy day

I was always told that you could tell how long the rain would last by the cows behavior, and I’ve watched enough cows to believe that to be the truth.  When it begins to rain, if the cows run for shelter, that means it will be a brief shower.  If the cows stay in the fields, then the rains will last a while.  These cows were staying in the field:

Tolerating the rain

More cows near Somerset, KY

I like how only the cows are in focus

My last morning in Somerset, KY

Food and flying things

Perhaps I have always been observant, but probably not.  On this tour, I seemed to notice more than usual. I tried to eat local thing or items that I had not eaten before (except road kill, I hold the line there).

Sign for the pick up location


The food, and they had choices of slaw and beans

Chased rescued this praying mantis

The mantis wanted to fight

He or she seemed to think that I was strange

When I visited Tennessee and Kentucky in August, I was impressed with the number of butterflies.  At that time I saw a lot of all yellow butterflies and some black ones. This time I saw a few Monarchs.

Near a reservoir in Tennessee

Dave took me to dinner in Reelfoot, and the lake there was created by an earthquake.  In fact, the lake is the only natural lake in the entire state.  Since I missed out on catfish last visit, that’s what I had. I also had frog legs for the first time.


Frog’s legs are on the left

For my last evening in Louisville, KY, we had dinner at a restaurant that overlooked the Ohio River. It was a beautiful location, and the food was great.

Dinner at Bristol Bar & Grille in Jeffersonville, IN

Wild turkeys in Indiana


Next to Lake Erie


More birds at Lake Erie

Looking up

Apparently I spend a lot of time looking up at the sky.  I have always liked clouds, and I miss the carefree days of my youth when I could lie in a field and watch clouds float by. (Yes, I really did that.) During the tour, I saw some nice clouds.

On my way to Knoxville, TN

Somewhere between Chattanooga and Columbia, TN

Closer to Columbia, TN

Between Columbia and Memphis, TN

Closer to Memphis, TN

A few minutes later

Heading to Dyersburg, TN

Then when I got to Dyersburg, I finally got to see rain. I had been smelling and anticipating rain for over a week.  The rain comes quickly and leaves quickly, and in between it pours.  The first few drops on my windshield were quite large.

Finally, rain!

Just as it started raining, I arrived at my motel.  I got out of the car and twirled around a few times. A downpour of rain but it was still warm–how exciting!  I then walked the ten steps to the motel.  The two women there looked at me like I was crazy. I wasn’t insane, just soaked.

Returning from Missouri!

From the parking lot of Jefferson Community & Technical College

After dinner at the Captain’s Quarters in Louisville, KY

On my way to Parma, OH

Fountain at the entrance of Cuyahoga Community College

Between Cleveland and Columbus, OH

Closer to Columbus, OH

Back roads to Columbus, OH

Evening from my motel in Cincinnati, OH

A few minutes later

Back in Kentucky, near Florence

Morning before returning to Somerset, KY

Beautiful morning on the road to Somerset, KY

Drive back from Berea, KY

My last morning in Somerset, KY (for this tour, anyway)


Riding lawn mowers everywhere

In my lifetime, I have known a few people who had riding lawn mowers. Those were mostly those who had extensive acreage to mow and who had a lot of money.  Well, in Tennessee and Kentucky, I think nearly everyone who has a house must have a riding lawn mower.

People from all ages and sizes were out mowing their lawns.  The lawns were well maintained, so I would bet that they mowed them at least once per week.  On my travels, I was surprised to even see bulletin boards advertising riding mowers (sorry, no pics of those).


Definitely a large lot


Another large lot


This was in front of some company

Okay, so not everyone mows the lawns (or fields as I would call these) on a riding lawn mower.  This guy is helping out at the company in the previous photo.


This is how to do it


Just one of many riding lawn mower lots

This guy in Ohio has it right:


They don’t bale hay

Being a farm girl at heart, I seem to pay attention to unusual things.  One of the first things that I noticed is that farmers did not actually make hay bales in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio.  Well, let’s just say they did not make them the way that I have been accustomed to bucking.  Here are a few images.


hayhayhayFrom what I could tell, these huge hay rolls just hang out in the fields wherever they were made.  In this next photo, though, you can see that these rolls were not allowed in one field.  I did not have time to stop and analyze the differences between the fields or to ask questions, but I thought it curious the rolls were clearly restrained in that one field.

hayIt seemed quite strange that these rolls would be left where made.  These were the only hay rolls that I saw on a truck:


Granted, I have not been there in the winter, but here in Oregon, the cows would eat the hay bales if they remained in the field.  These hay rolls were at least near to the barn.

hay at barn

In my earlier years, I looked fondly on hay time because we hauled the hay bales from the fields and stored them in the barn.  Below is the only one that I saw, and they actually have bales! (That building is more like where we parked our tractor, but it’s similar to a barn.)


An old fashioned

When you think of Kentucky, what do you imagine? In case you forgot, they make Bourbon in Kentucky. We went to a presentation at Locust Grove about how to make the old fashioned cocktail. At Locust Grove, we listened to two women discuss the history of the cocktail and the old fashioned beverage. They showed us how to make the traditional cocktail, one with strawberry and rhubarb, and one with black cherry.

The lineup

The black cherry was made with a double oak bourbon. All of them were very good, and my favorite was the one with rhubarb, of course.

and snacks

The house at Locust Grove

Main house

and the area around the main house.

Small shed

and the garden next to the shed.

Afterwards, we went to dinner at the Captain’s table. It was a beautiful evening.


Numbers of attendees

I must admit that I have not been acting myself. In the past, I would have logged miles each day and number of attendees, but my mind must be focused elsewhere because those numbers escape me. I figure when I return the car next Tuesday, they will tell me how many total miles. As far as attendees, the organizer at each site should have those statistics. I know that today at Gateway’s Edgewood campus we had 31 attendees, which was quite impressive. Other sessions have ranged from 3 to nearly 90 participants with some including only students and others with a combination of students, faculty members, staff, administrators, and people from the community.

For next time (yes, I want to continue this), I hope to have better publicity and perhaps pull more community members to campuses. That will require earlier planning, but I would be happy for that.

Breakfast rooms in motels

I have seen many things in the breakfast rooms as I travel, and most of them are rarely positive. In some motels, guests have been courteous and chatted with strangers, in other motels, kids have run around unsupervised, and in most motels, people avoid each other. In several motels, I have seen people cheerfully helping others with the waffle maker.

This morning an older woman went back to make a waffle for her second course (I have never had courses for breakfast, but some do). Apparently she was sharing the waffle with her husband who had been getting her coffee and other things during their first course of breakfast burritos. When she sat down with the unattractive waffle, the husband said, “Cut it here, and you take the pretty half.” Oh, how sweet. She did, and he even commented on how good his crumpled waffle tasted. There are good people out there who appreciate the little things.

Driving in Ohio

There was definitely not enough time in Ohio. I saw glimpses of Lake Erie, and I drove on rural routes. Otherwise, I didn’t see much. My highlights:

  • The Amish. Clothes hanging on the line and no electronics. Personally, I couldn’t do it, but I admire their lifestyle.

    Following the buggy.

  • Roller coaster roads. At a posted speed limit of 55mph, you come to the top of a hill without being able to see what’s ahead. It’s scary at first, but then it becomes like a wild ride.


    The roads

  • Road kill and those that feed on it. I was quite impressed by a vulture buzzard pulling a dead raccoon by its tail to get the raccoon out of traffic.  Two other buzzards just watched and waited.

    I didn’t get pictures of road kill (I know you are disappointed), but I love this one:
    Flags and lightsIt was a gorgeous day for a ride through the country, and I just love this photo:


    Rear view