Category Archives: Outdoor Florida Magazine

Tennessee Historical Sojourn

American Press Travel News–August 10th, 2018–Bob and Barb on the Road Again, this time in Morristown, TN.–Interesting time in an interesting part of TN. Barb and I love historical museums and places that exude memorable places. There is so much known, but far more unknown about the Civil War period in America. Seems many eople just cannot get enough of it! Here we were in Morristown, TN. great places to dine, neat antique shops, original homes of famous folk such as Davy Crockett and Civil War Generals to name a few. Bet you didn’t know that people before the 1900’s were smaller than folks of today. To get on a horse they needed help, voila, step-ups of stone for mounting a horse, uniforms any uniforms were hand stitched and provided by special tailors and seamstresses. Hat makers too were in demand. Machines were few hands were many.  Weapons of the past were also hand crafted, heavy and slow to reload, but today they are magnificent works of mostly handcrafted works of highly sought after art. Of course, you gotta eat when on assignment, and Morristown has great “eats.”  Crabcakes and Pineapple Steaks, huh?

More to come! There is so much to cover.

A facsimile of Davy Crockett’s flint-lock rifle.

Arts and drama. These folks make it happen!

Baxter Tennessee Catfish Fee to Fish Pond

American Press Travel News–June 26th, Bob & Barb Stopping to Smell the Roses and the catfish–Cats for a Fee On another planet (or so it seemed as I spent two years in the Congo) I fished nearly every day in creeks, ponds and even the deepest river in the world at 1290-feet deep.  I had catfish take my baits and lures along with all manner of other actual game fish that jumped, put on a great acrobatic show and had teeth, such as the tiger fish made of nightmares in this striped biter and slasher.  But the catfish dove, pulled and bulldozed their way towards the bottom.  On a dock at the Congo, I saw a 600-pounder being cut up for the pot. These wild-ones put up a fine fight, and smaller ones that didn’t break my line or rod, roasted over bamboo coals, were excellent fare.

There are nearly 3,000 known species of catfish in the world, but it is thought that the actual number of catfish species could be as high as 4,500, as many species of catfish are found in areas where there is little or no human contact. I counted about 30-different catfish species that I caught during my time in Africa.

Here in the states there are many varieties, but the ones most of us like to catch and eat are Channel Cats. Twin Lakes Catfish Farm is your spot!  They have Channel Cats, Blue Cats, Flatheads, and farm fed fish as well. They stock 10-15-thousand of them and they are ready to catch and keep, or catch and release for a fee.

It’s the first week of summer, and that’s what fishing is all about; togetherness sharing quality time in the summer outdoors. What we witnessed during our visit were families enjoying time together fishing.  The catfish farm has an RV park, a stage for events, a restaurant, a tackle shop where you can buy or rent gear if you forgot yours and a bait shop too! The Pippin Family, Greta Hurst, Greg Pippin and Lesette Pippin all work and manage what started in 1946 by J. Fred and Evelyn Pippin who purchased the first part of the farm. In 2000 the rest of the family moved onto the property and decided to take the idea of a catfish pay lake and make it a reality. They did!

April through October each Saturday they run a tournament where participants can win a trophy and some cash too! They also host special tourneys for kids and veterans, ladies and special partner’s tournaments.  Greg told me that once in awhile, someone hooks up catfish to 90-pounds in his lakes, and then its pandemonium of fun for the angler, and everyone watching, as well.

Yes, catfish is on the menu at their restaurant, but so is all other non-catfish fare as well!

You pay one fee for all day catch and release, and another fee for catch and keep as well as paying by the pound for your fresh caught catfish. Open Thursday through Sunday, and they’re located at Exit 280 off of I-40, go north 2.5 miles on highway 56 to 580 Gainesboro Hwy. This is fun for you and pals, or for the whole family. Call 931-858-2333 for any additional information.

Great thing about fishing is “God does not deduct mans time on earth when he ( or she) is fishing!”

How Sweet It Is. Thank the Bee’s!

American Press Travel News–June 6th, Crossville, TN.-Bees; Oh How Sweet It Is!  When a wall in my “Man Cave”, writers cabin at the farm began vibrating and humming, I knew something strange and major was up.  I felt that it wasn’t a paranormal happening, so I stepped out back behind the cabin. I stood and watched (from a distance) honey bees flying to and from a small crack in my wood wall.  I looked up a professional Apiarist, and found Jeff Dayton from Rainbow Gold Apiary who promised to visit, assess exactly where he needed to open our interior wall to vacuum up the bees along with his 22-year old son, Tyler, after first finding the Queen.  They live-caught more than 50,000 bees with a painless vacuum (five pounds) and later transferred the Queen to a new hive box on his property to happily reunite the little fantastic critters with their leader. When the wall was opened, there was no honey left in the wax combs, as it was all eaten by the bees over the winter. They were getting ready to swarm again so in the coolness of early April, and without anyone getting stung, he successfully captured and relocated them to his bee field. My cabin was also not dripping with natures golden delight, and all I had to do was lots of cleaning, and redo the wall-case closed after closing up that outside crack.

Jeff has been at his bee business for the past 25-years, and now has 60-managed hives. He relocated about 10-outside hive colonies this year alone.  Jeff said about 80-percent of hundreds of colonies this past winter were lost in Tennessee.  Parasites like Varroa mites,  tracheal mites, poor bee nutrition , pesticides, and colony collapse disorder  were all known causes of bee losses. Dayton remarked that: “we all got to eat and everyone needs bee-power. Bees create our foods.”

Bees are fiercely protective of their Queen and their hive. Each of the hundreds of hexagonal wax pupae cells in the honey comb is constantly being attended to by worker bees.

In a way, Bees can be compared to the Trojan warriors of history. They take no prisoners and are inherently endowed against all odds, to fight till their death to protect their home and family. To me thinking about what Jeff Dayton told me about the number of bees it takes to make up 5-pounds, that takes 50,000 individuals was incredible. These bees alone (amongst other myriads of insects, and birds too, not to mention the other bee-billions around the world) assist in propagating thousands of fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, bushes and sundry field crops, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, orchard cherry trees, peach, pear, apple, etc. The world would be a dead place if not for bees.

Jeff said that when he was a youngster he and his dad would raid old bee trees. They would “course” the bees flying to and fro, and follow their angles of flight. “We would triangulate where the hives were. I sure miss my dad, he got me into the Apiary profession, and I am what I am today due to his nurturing and teaching.” Jeff has passed his passion for the little liquid gold -makers in several ways. Besides teaching his son Tyler, he is a fixture at most outdoor special events.  This “sweet” guy teaches all who have interest, about the life of the bees and special nature they possess. He sets up a window case where people can watch the bees going about their daily lives supplying honey for their hives. Rainbow Gold Apiaries can be reached at (931) 484-9430. He can offer all hive products, offer his bees for pollination and does bee removal from anyone who needs this service at no charge!

 

Seminole Casino Hotel in Immokalee, Florida

We won! We won! just a bit of gambling to say to ourselves that we did take a chance with a few quarters. And, it bought back a local luncheon for us in Immokalee!

American Press Travel News–March 11th,- Seminole Casino and Hotel, Immokalee, FL.-Bob and Barb “On the Road Again” – Barb and I like a great sing-along and between the Coasters and the Platters, we had one, actually hundreds of attenders did too!  

Multiple Showtime on a large screen, a bed anyone can be comfortable in, updated to ultra modern fixtures and am AC that didn’t wake the dead!
The Platters show had many dancing in the isles! Oldies but immensely nostalgic goodies on full display!
Ah,, the pool! It was warm enough for us to enjoy! Clean and clear with a head and shoulder waterfall!!!!
No time for use in an overnight for us! Too busy dancing to the Platters. But, this exercise room was all there just before a swim!

We were in the lands of the Seminole Tribe of Florida: They are the “Unconquered Warriors, having never given in, or up to the American Government. They never entered to signing a treaty-the only tribe in America who did not! This is the tribe that paved the way for Native American gaming in in the country more than 25-years agoToday the Seminole Casinos, hotels and other enterprises employ 7,000 employees, and purchase more than $130.3 million in goods and services. Their new hotel in Immokalee, FL, where we stayed this past Saturday night was as modern and comfortable as any we have ever stayed in. The bed, bathroom and room amenities right down to the delightfully double bed lights, were first rate. We loved this hotel! We didn’t have a chance to dine, as the wait for restaurant on this Saturday night during prime winter time and the fact that the Coasters and the Platters were also on the menu, had this place “jumping.” For info: go: 1800-218-0007

The shower was the warm rain, the size was campable, the water handle was easy enough and safe enough for even a monkey to use without a hitch!

The casino is easily accessible from anywhere in Florida!!