Transit to Hanna and Medical Issue

Ok then…lets see what other stuff we did in the Louisville area.

Connie continued to work a bit every day and then we went out on a little hike on Thursday afternoon. Our destination was within Charlestown State Park where we were parked but we drove over to the picnic area parking lot where we headed out on Trail 2 which was about a 2 mile or so hike downhill to a couple of little waterfalls and then back up to the parking lot. Connie was a bit freaked out by the tent caterpillars…but with her hat on to protect her head from them she just didn’t look up and figured if she didn’t see them then they just weren’t there. 

We had a bit of trouble finding the correct path to go down…there aren’t any blazes to follow…we headed down the trail from the entrance sign and it was a nice grassy path…that portion continued on into the woods but after a hundred yards or so down it we didn’t think it was going the right way…so we looked at the trail map on our All Trails app and figured out we needed to turn right at that rocky path we had crossed awhile back. So we headed back up there and down the rocky path…and after a few hundred yards determined we were on the right path and continued on. 

Connie spotted some flowers so Neil got a shot for her.

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And then we got to the first waterfall…about a 5 or 6 foot drop but it was a nice burbling sort of falls and we kinda liked it.

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Continuing on down the hill another couple hundred yards we spotted the second one…and Neil got some shots after climbing down into a little gully to the junction of the stream with the waterfall and the second stream that joined it. This one is taller…20 or 30 feet in total probably but again it was just a nice gentle falls on a walk in the woods.

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That was the low point in the hike…about 120 feet or so downhill from the parking lot according to the app on his iPhone that Neil uses to figure these things out. I guess he could also use it to figure out how tall the fall was assuming he could get right next to both the top and bottom (I just thought of that…I’ll tell him to do it next time for ya’). After the shot above we continued on the trail which was essentially straight to the left from this shot and after another mile or so of wandering around the ridge as we climbed we got back to the parking lot. The only other thing we saw interesting was this little green bug…it has a quite striking bright metallic green color…but we have no idea at all what it is other than a bug.

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Friday we had 2 visit scheduled for down in Louisville…first up was the Bulleit Distillery which makes…of course…Bulleit Bourbon. To refresh your memory…in order to be labeled bourbon you need to make whiskey in the USA out of at least 51% corn and then age it in charred, never before used white oak barrels for at least 2 years. Otherwise you can call it whiskey but not bourbon. It’s made pretty much the same as any other whiskey…but the grain mix and aging process are what make it bourbon. Is it any better than Scotch whiskey or Irish whiskey or just plain old whiskey? Not necessarily…they all taste subtlety different and it’s just a matter of what you like.

Here’s a shot of the small still on the current premises…they have a larger country property about 50 miles west of Louisville where they make the majority of their product.

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And the obligatory shot of us in the tasting room with our samples.

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The one on the upper left is their standard stuff…upper right has a pretty decent percentage of rye so it has a different flavor. Lower left is the 10 year old stuff (same as upper left but just older) and lower right is barrel strength of the upper left…it comes out of the barrel at 120 proof or so and is normally diluted to 80 or 90 proof for sale. Strangely enough we liked the original better. The rye was much less flavored, the old stuff didn’t taste as good to us and the barrel strength was just too strong to really enjoy past the alcohol taste.

We had some extra samples as the young ladies next to us had extra…one of them didn’t drink (no idea why she went on a tasting tour then) so she gave hers to us.

Second stop was the Copper and King brandy distillery…again for those of you who don’t know what brandy is it’s just distilled wine…they buy a product in bulk from wineries called low wine…which is essentially just non aged, never barrel stored wine. Think of it as Two Buck Chuck but only cheaper and worse tasting as it is. Anyway they take this low wine and feed it through the stills below to get brandy.

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So what’s the difference between brandy and cognac ye ask? Well…cognac is just brandy that is distilled from champagne instead of wine and the champagne must be from the Cognac region of France…other than that it’s just brandy.

Copper and King adds various flavorings to their brandy and they also make Absinthe…which is licorice flavored brandy.

These folks are pretty much modern day hippies…they’re interested in Monarch butterflies, cats, and drinking and have what most people would call a picnic area but they call it the courtyard space which…according to the tour guide…is used as a multi-purpose space to allow one to commune with their fellow man.

Whatever. Anyway…their brandy pretty much sucked. Well, there was one that sucked less but it mostly was.not.very.good. We drank it anyway as it was included with the tour but it certainly wasn’t worth the 30something bucks a bottle they wanted for it.

Sunday morning we got up early, dumped tanks, stowed, hitched and were on our way for our 260 mile trip up to Hanna IN shortly after 0900. On the way up Connie’s vision got noticeably worse…as you know she pretty much only has one fully functioning eye…her right one is B/W only and fuzzy and pretty much hazed over in the daylight due to some issues when she was young…but she gets along pretty well with just the one good left eye. Anyway…she had noticed Saturday evening that it was blurry but figured it was due to looking at the computer all day. Sunday it got much worse with lots of floaters, even more blurry to the point she couldn’t read road signs, and she had a brownish rocket shaped thing sticking into her visual field and it appeared to be growing.

Since…as previously noted…she only has one fully functioning eye…these symptoms meant that it was time to seek medical advice. We found a local in-network Tricare ophthalmologist and we called them for advice. They told her that since she wasn’t a patient already to go to the emergency room. After calling to find an ER with an ophthalmologist on call we headed there…they looked in it briefly, consulted their on call MD, and referred us to Dr. Buck the ophthalmologist on call with an 0800 appointment Monday morning. We went there…turned out they don’t open until 0830…he took a look and told her he had a threatened retinal detachment and referred us to Retina Specialists…who in the perfect circular trip through the medical system turned out to be the ones we had originally called. So we headed out for our 3rd doctor in 18 hours for this problem and had an appointment with Dr. Vyas. She dilated her eyes, examined them and determined that it really was a retinal detachment…at the edge next to a pigmentation spot that our original optometrist back in Fairfax had been following the progress of for years. Luckily it was pretty small and only slightly lifted so as retinal detachments go it’s not to0 serious but was made more so due to her having only 1 fully functional eye. 

The treatment was to inject a gas bubble into her eye…this increases the pressure and pushes the retina back down into place. Once it’s in place they use a laser to glue it down. She got the injection…which she says makes her vision look like an oil bubble floating on top of water…and we headed home with instructions that she can’t lay on her back and must keep her head pointed down and to the right almost all the time…which means she has to sleep sitting up in the recliner…and we got another appointment for Wednesday afternoon.

All of the above was on Monday…on Tuesday she was having some flashing lights so we called to check with the retina specialists…who immediately told her to come back in…they dilated her and checked it out and nothing new was amiss…but they were concerned that the flashes could have meant more detachment. As it turned out…the flashes are sort of normal during the bubble treatment…and as a bonus we got a progress report that the bubble was doing it’s job and that our originally scheduled follow up on Wednesday Dr. Vyas would probably be able to do the laser thing.

We’ll head over for that follow up in a bit as I’m writing this on Wednesday morning…and hope to know more after that. At the minimum we’ve cancelled our plans for the weekend and next week until we know what is going on. We may be here in Hanna for awhile…and then again we might be here for just a month or so before we can head out again…she’ll have a couple of 2 week follow ups then another one in 3 months so hopefully we can do some traveling during the 3 month period. We’ll let ya know.

Interesting things of the week.

In the “You can’t make this stuff up” department…this is a guy named Philly Jesus who was arrested last week in a Philadelphia are Apple store…according to the original news post he “denied a request to leave 3 times.” Sort of bordering on sacrilegious I’m thinking…strange but true.


This is Preikestolen Cliff in Norway looking out over one of their fjords…it’s 2,000 feet straight down from where these people are standing. Connie says she’s not going up there.


The last known photo of HMS Titanic as she left Ireland on her maiden voyage.


Lazy Floating Thing.


Who knew…turtles can climb…like a boss.


And finally…Happy Star Wars Day to ya…as they say “May the Fourth be with you”. Strange that Connie might have her eye light sabered back together this afternoon. I’ll let ya know later what her eye status is.


**Updated later Wednesday afternoon.

Went over to Connie’s follow up this afternoon and the doctor said her retina had reattached. So she had some laser treatment to weld the edges down since they are weak and thin and said that Connie was an excellent patient and the results looked good. She has another follow up on Monday and might need a little more laser treatment but the doctor needs to examine her first. Once that’s done we’ll have…hopefully…a better idea of what happens next. But it’s looking good and with the sealing all the way around it should lower the probability of recurrence. Her rocket shaped shadow is gone…but that’s probably because it was in the area that was separated.




About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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