Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A Grease Spot on the L&N

Days 5-6 of the RV jouney of 2021.  Ah, Kentucky, the land of bourbon, blue grass, hills, horses, and fried chicken, and despite the brevity of two days we tried to see them all,

We awoke just a mile from Kentucky as the crow flies, but it took an hour to get there and some tense nerves to do it.  After Clifty Falls we planned on driving straight out, take a right, go a mile and get on a bridge to the Blue Grass state.  It seemed so simple, but alas ....NO!  Main street in Madison IN was closed for two blocks, the entire town was about as RV friendly as a village in Malta or downtown Paris, so we drove in our car to scout a better route leaving the RV behind.  I talked to the ranger woman back at the campground, stating I was afraid to drive back out the way we came in because if we met someone as big as us, there was no way we'd both fit.  She did NOT seem concerned, mostly I think because it would not be her problem to get us unblocked from the road.  So, I just said, screw it, and off we went, on a detour through the park on 15 foot wide roads with over hanging trees, sharp curves, steep grades and well, drop-offs.  Somehow, we did not meet anyone.  Then we drove four miles east, then four miles south to get exactly 2 blocks from where we had just been, just as they were removing the detour signs. Sigh, isn't that the way things go.  It was noon.

We crossed the big river but the road Google wanted to go on was NOT a truck route so we took a road along the river with all the other trucks, but there was no shoulder, the bluffs and trees were straight up on my side and so I drove 30 mph for 10 miles backing up everyone, but alas, their lateness was not my problem.  It was Kentucky's. I laughed that I was a Kentucky Chicken.  Well, somehow, I got us to the freeway, and then twenty miles later just as the road was slowing down to a crawl, Silja announced "oops!"  The road we wanted was 35 not 127, so I got off on 127 and although it looked like I could go to 35, I looked closer at the map, and saw 127 buried in the fold of the map and decided caution was warranted and we drive back for 7 miles to 35 ands then headed south.  10 more miles later, I came upon 127 (my road became 127, and where it met, it looked like it was just a driveway when it met up and there was a big yellow sign saying no trucks allowed, steep grades and sharp curves, somehow, they needed to put that on the other end.

We bumped and grinded into Frankfort, got turned around, got on the freeway and ended up taking the long way around Lexington before heading off to Paris. Nit that Paris, but Paris in Bourbon County, Kentucky.  This was our destination for the night, we'd gone 45 miles as the crow flew and it took us four hours.

We had joined "Harvest Host" as a new idea to stay at odd little places, in Paris, we were to stay at a farm.  I talked to owner (male)  a couple weeks problem he said, figured we'd stay for a day and buy some store was not to be, as when we turned into the place the bridge was blocked with a cement truck.  Fresh cement blocked our path.

There was little camping around, and seemingly no way to get here, so I pulled to the side and was beginning to unhitch the car planning to drop the trailer and make the laborious effort to turn my one-way rig around to get out of the situation, while Silja made a desperate attempt to find a place to camp.

Halfway into taking off the car straps, the owner showed up.  I was accused of having an "attitude" and I had not called ahead again saying when we would show up, apparently, twice was not enough.  We will discuss Harvest Host more on another post.  Anyways, she led me on a serpentine route through her field, along her cornfield, past the donkey enclosure to another bridge and then to the other side of the bridge and then we dry camped in the yard below the farm store.  Their store was still closed for COVID, so that was our only interaction.  They were building a 75 lot campground to the left of the picture and the place was being filled with trucks of debris from the road construction in town for $75.00 per load, trucks came all day and all night.  But it WAS a place to camp.  I drank some wine and chilled out.  I needed wine, as I was whining and the two do mix.

Eventually I went looking for butterflies

Mating sachems

Tawny edged skipper

Variegated fritillary 

Morning came and we went of to nearby Claiborne Farms to look at ....racehorses.  This was why we had came here.  Our visit included the last resting place of the greatest of all time,,,,Secretariat.

The great stallion after his monumental 31 length Belmont win in 1973 setting the record for a mile and a half that has never even been close to being broken.

We saw his stable and some of the living greats of the farm.

I am petting War Front, one of the richest sires in the world, $250,000 per insemination, and worth around $80 million.  Just a big horse up close.  He started getting a little nippy and the stableman smacked him with the bridle strap.  80 million dollars and corporal punishment is still the best method to discipline him.

Silja giving a peppermint to War of Will, the 2019 Preakness winner.  He was a sweet horse

Here he is with his Black-eyed Susans as the champion horse to the big race

Then there was Blame

This horse is Blame. Blame cost quite a few people a lot of money.  Blame is now 15, when he won the Breeder's Cup in 2010 beating an undefeated horse, Zenyatta, he got death threats, here is what the horse thought of his detractors when I asked him.  He made 4 million racing and has the life of leisure siring foals at 30K a pop, three times a day.  You can't "Blame" him for sticking his tongue out at you.

This below is Julio, Claiborne's "teaser."  No one knows what breed he is, but he acts like the Giglio he is, he gets to mount all the girls, gets kicked, bit, but never gets to do the deed.  But he has that look about him, all testosterone, and he gets to live the life of luxury.  

Year bird, mute swan pair flew in for a photograph between stallion pictures

We left the horse area, got the RV out of the farm and headed south without any issue.

They say Corbin Kentucky is a railroad town, located in Southeastern part of the state on the line of the old L&N, 
During the infamous race riots of 1919, the entire black population of town was loaded on the same train and sent out of town.

Despite this, what people think most of about Corbin, Kentucky is chicken, and the man that changed restaurant chicken in America, Harland Sanders.  He opened his first restaurant and developed his recipe at his cafe in North Corbin, before franchising the idea in the late 1950s, he closed his cafe in 1959 and sold out Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1964 for $2,000,000.  It would later become the second largest restaurant chain in the world. Sanders retained the Canadian rights and moved to Canada. He died in 1980 quite wealthy and not always a fan of what by then PepsiCo had done with his gravy.

So we drive into Corbin to have Kentucky Fried Chicken..... with Colonel Sanders
It was finger lick'n good.

The "cafe" was being remodeled as was the museum, so we had to go eat outside.

Filled with greasy chicken, I stopped at the "\CORBIN KISSING STONE"
The stone was placed in July of this year as a place to get engaged and celebrate anniversaries.  The story goes that it is already 100% successful, no one has turned down an engagement here, has only been three month.

happily married, and not needing the effects of the stone, we came back and looked for more butterflies

Eastern Comma

Question Mark (not the different mark on the closed wing view)

Eastern Tailed-blue

Carolina Satyr

We then drank some wine, and enjoyed a great evening in southern Kentucky listening to frogs and the freeway traffic.  The fried chicken even digested well, and so we did not become our own grease spot on the L&N.

Morning would come and we had to squeeze out of our KOA campsite and head south to hopefully knock off a bucket list item.  It had been two years since a bucket list item thanks to COVID, so it would be good to get this one......more on that next time



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