My Summer Solstice
By: Bill Berry
Since I didn’t get to ride on the weekend of the summer solstice, with household duties and Fathers Day (although they told me I could go ride if I wanted to, I think it was a test), I decided the first full day of summer would be a great day for a ride. I mean it couldn’t get any better, the most daylight of the year, a day off from work, and nice weather. Man, I’m a genius.
Actually beat the sun and left the house at 5:45 Monday morning towards Kentucky. My “plan” was to go west and get the state parks beyond Louisville. Once you get off the “slab” you can really eat up time chasing these locations. And of course the official state map of Kentucky doesn’t really show the entrance to all the parks. More than once I rode around the perimeter of the park looking for the “sign”. I bet my photo of Mammoth Cave is not the one most people have. But it’s a legitimate sign. Never knew there was a ferry crossing in Mammoth Cave Park. Can’t be more than 50 yards across the Green River, but they pay some Ranger to man this ferry all day in case some body shows up. Doesn’t cost anything to use, but surely they could’ve built a bridge by now and save some money. Oh well, must be some ecological reason.
Around noon I’m looking at the map just south of Mammoth Cave and realize that the Land Between the Lakes is still 150+ miles west. Man, this is a LONG state. So I adjust my route and decide to get the parks south and east of I-65. Guess I’ll to plan another trip and slab it even more to get the parks way out west in Kentucky.
As I take off in search of The Ol’ Mookee-wuukee Meeting House I roll thru Mud Lick(what don’t they lick down here?) and Flippin and wonder why they’re not on the funny town list. I take a picture in hopes of lobbying to get them added to the list. Had to also take a picture of The Flippin Church of Christ. How many times has that been said? They also have Flippin Baptist.
Once I find the meeting house, it’s not on the main road that you’d think it is on, I stop for some fuel and refreshment. As I’m studying the map and look at the intersection of the little town they show about 4 roads going in different directions but no hints as to north, south, etc. With the town square and the dog legs of the roads thru town, I decide to go inside and ask the attendant
“Which way is 163 north?”
“Huh, I don’t know.”
“O.K., which way is Tennessee?”
“Oh, Tennessee is south of here.”
“I know, I don’t want to go to Tennessee.”
“You don’t want to go to Tennessee?”
“O.K., which way is Tennessee, I’ll go.”
“Well, Tennessee is that way.”
“Thank you.(I think).”
On my way to Dale Hollow State Park I come up on what had to be 2-3 bad commercials all rolled into one guy on a new Harley. As soon as I turn onto Rt 449(fun little road, you know the kind, twisty) I run up on this guy on a loud Harley going about 25-30mph and slowing up for the curves. You know the type, don’t have to know how to ride, just lay down the money and you’re cool. Anyway, as I’m lining him up which is nearly impossible because he is everywhere, I smell something. I mean I’m in the middle of nowhere and all I can smell is some kind of cheap Right Guard or something. It’s like that commercial from Budweiser saluting the guy who wears too much cologne everywhere. There are no straight stretches so I finally pass on a left-hander and things smell much better.
After a few more parks and a couple of funny towns, by the way Knob Lick doesn’t have a sign, I stop for a drink and to review the map. It’s around 5:00 and I realize that even if I was on an interstate, I’m at least 3 hours from home. Since I’m in No-whereville, I figure I better start heading for home in a somewhat direct route. Still manage to pick up a couple of parks on the way home though.
As I pull in to the driveway around 9:15 I start ciphering the mileage for the day. Wow, 740 miles. Didn’t feel like it, just out lookin’ for parks and towns.
What a great day. Man, I’m a genius.