Sunday 9/30: Gallatin, Tennessee - Hazard, Kentucky
Before I start the report, today is the birthday of my oldest son Paul (9/30/78). *As anyone who has kids will tell you, it changes your life. *Happy Birthday, Paul! *BTW, 9/24/85 was Mark's birthday (3rd son who is in China), 10/22/80 is Keith's birthday *(2nd son). *Mrs. Greg and I had kids in THREE
decades...but I think we're done. *I think.
My Chinese Dinner Last Night...
I asked the gal at the motel in Gallatin, Tennessee if there were any restaurants within walking distance..."sure, there's this great Chinese place..." *Well, she didn't know of my recent month in China, where I'd gotten acquainted with REAL
Chinese food. *Anyway, I walked on over and ordered the "Szechuan Chicken and Shrimp" plate:
Don't get me wrong...it was GOOD
, but you'd NEVER
see a dish like that in China (except for the white rice...that was "accurate"). *But I enjoyed the dinner very much. *The proprietor spoke very good English as well.
BTW, here's something else you don't see much of in China: these GARGANTUAN
vehicles we drive in the USA (well, I don't drive one, y'unnerstand, but some of y'all do, I hear...) *But we're super-sized, so our vehicles are as well.
Gallatin, Tennessee to Glasgow, Kentucky
Leaving Gallatin, I had no idea where I was going, but I dislike interstates so I decided to select highway "31E" up through Scottsville, TN on thru to Glasgow, Kentucky. *It was a reasonably scenic, low-traffic (well, it WAS
Sunday morning) 2-lane road. *I snapped a few pics during the ride to give myself something to do...
Folks, I DO
realize that pics like those above are not exactly Pulitzer Prize quality, in either content or execution. *But I just use my little "point 'n shoot" camera to snap what's goin' by, and that's what I'm puttin' up here. *I guess if you didn't find it somewhat interesting, you'd have changed the channel by now.
Oh yeah, more running water. *I saw this bridge comin' up, and really wanted to get the pic. *There are about SIX
things that have to be set right on the stupid camera to make it work, and I swear about 5 out of the 6 were set wrong. *By the time I got 'em all set correctly (it was done safely, Mrs. Greg...honest!) I barely was able to get a little water:
Glasgow, Kentucky and the "Cumberland Parkway"
As I've said, I'm not a fan of interstates, but I've found that as I get further East, the population density renders surface streets a little frustrating...too many blasted stop lights, etc.
*So I elected to take the "Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway" which was 4-lane, low-traffic, and quite scenic. *Cool!
You can almost see "Louie B. Nunn..." on the text window on the Garmin Montana: (oops, Dr. Greg got nabbed for 71.3 mph in a 55 mph zone...photo radar ticket comin' up?)
You can also just about
see the beginnings of "Fall" in the foliage:
The "Mill Springs Battlefield"
Somewhere along the Cumberland Parkway before the town of Somerset, Kentucky, I saw a sign for the "Mill Springs (Civil War) Battlefield." *SCREEECH!
*Gotta check it out.
"On a cold, wet, and fog-shrouded morning in January 1862, the peace and tranquility of south central Kentucky was shattered by a clash of arms between the North and South *Early of the morning of January 19th, Confederate forces about 4,000 strong, under the command of Brigadier General Felix K. Zollicoffer, sallied forth from their defensive works at Beech Grove on the Cumberland River to give battle to a similar sized Union force under the command of Brigadier General George H. Thomas." *(not my words, the information pamphlet)
In a nutshell, it was a decisive Union victory...their first in the "Western Theater." *Although it was a small battle (relatively speaking...if it was fatal to you I wouldn't consider it "small") it was quite important. *The video at the Visitor Center was very interesting (although the Civil War re-enactors looked old and fat...the average Civil War soldier was 5-8, 140 (hey, Dr. Greg's size about two years ago)
I actually found the "Zollicoffer Tree" stuff first, so I'll show those pics first:
This is more or less where the battle was fought, so I gathered...I know, can't see anything.
This "mistaken identity" business was a bummer for Zollicoffer...that was how he met his end. Didn't mean to cut the pic off; you'll have to read the "rest of the story" somewhere else...
And I guess this is THE TREE
. *I must confess that I didn't get the whole "tree" thing; perhaps someone could enlighten me? *In all fairness, I didn't spend a lengthy amount of time there (I know, I don't have a schedule, I should have learned about THE TREE).
If you can read this, these are some pretty sobering words.
FYI, this "graveyard" is mostly symbolic, but worthy of note just as well.
Likewise, if you can read THIS
, it is pretty amazing. *The bodies of the poor Confederate dead were basically lying out there to rot...
RIP, General Zollicoffer. *Godspeed. *Another...like Lee...who chose to go with his "state" over the Union.
This is the plaque that was at the Visitor Center (which I stumbled upon...they really ought to improve their signage):
This is a view kinda out in front of the Mill Springs Battlefield Visitor Center. *I liked it.
Fall Begins to Creep into the Daniel Boone National Forest
Leaving Mill Springs Battlefield I stopped at Somerset, Kentucky for lunch. *After that, the "Parkway" continues, but becomes 2-lane. *At some point one enters the "Daniel Boone National Forest." *And you can JUST
see the beginning of "Fall" in the forest. *That wonderful deciduous Appalachian forest. *My pics don't do it justice (remember, I'm trying to stay safe while taking these pics):
Ensconced for the Night in Hazard, Kentucky
So I got as far as Hazard, Kentucky, then collapsed into a motel (so to speak). *I figure TWO
more days' riding will get me close to Gettysburg, then I can turn south. *Kinda glad the weekend is over (now THERE'S
an indication that I'm truly retired!)
This afternoon on the 4-lane Cumberland Parkway (55 mph speed limit) I was cruising along at my customary GPS-indicated 63-65 mph, when I see this "rolling roadblock" in the road ahead. *It's some group of "Harley Riders" (y'know, matching jackets, the whole bit) prolly 30-40 strong, in formation in the right lane. *OK, if that's their thing, fine. *But there's this "road captain" (a dignified term) who's riding just behind the whole friggin' bunch, [b]IN THE LEFT LANE[b], blocking everybody from getting past! *WTF??!!??
*Luckily in a couple miles the whole stupid crew turned off for a pit stop, or something. *But what's up with blocking the whole road?!? *It wasn't like an official event or something!? *Who do these people think they are??!!?? *It's not enough their bikes are too friggin' loud, they've gotta use the whole stupid road!
Oops, one more thing...
A lotta people WAVE
to me. *I never initiate a wave anymore, but I always wave back (if waving is your thing, fine). *But the thing that gets me, is that about 95% of the people DON"T WEAR GLOVES!!
*I guess they've never crashed. *I've had lotsa crashes, for better or worse, and gloves are #3 on my list
I personally wouldn't ride without ALL
of these three things. *But that's just me, I guess. *OK, okay, let's get back to havin' fun...
Anyway, I seem to recall somebody asked about the Milledue 1200S...man, that thing is doin' GREAT!
*I haven't done a thing to it (well, I lubed the chain in Scurry, TX) and it just keeps tickin' along. *I may have to reconsider replacing him. *One thing; he does occasionally attract attention. *And he's QUIET
. *And the older I get, the more I like QUIET
Shhhh......wow, just as I typed that, all the power in my motel room went off. *And it was REAL
quiet. *Of course my iPad and Bluetooth keyboard are all battery-powered, so I didn't lose everything I was typing. *Man, if THAT
woulda happened...I ain't gonna type it all in again.
Okay, folks. *I figure 2-3 days for me to get to Gettysburg; I'll poke around there a day maybe, then turn south towards my ol' high school buddy John Safford in Sumter, South Carolina.
I almost feel like I'm gettin' into a rhythm; I might actually start enjoying myself in a week or so. One thing for sure: I've led a charmed life regarding the weather. Surely it's gotta change. Prolly pouring rain tomorrow morning...
PS. If I have enough time, I'm gonna watch the MotoGP qualifying/races (I'm a subscriber) via the motel WiFi connection. I usually watch things in this order:
1. Moto2 qualifying
2. MotoGP qualifying
3. Moto2 race (go, Pol Espargaro!)
4. MotoGP race (go, Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies!)
5. Moto3 race (go, Maverick Vinales!)
PPS. Anyone got any suggestions for West Virginia roads? I know, can't go wrong. Thanks!