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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    Default Ohio-Kentucky trip

    Hi, all! I realize I haven't written in awhile, but it's not because I've lost my Love for the open road. Rather, a very busy schedule has put most of the things I truly enjoy on the back burner. Of course, once I realized that I was causing myself more harm than good by working two jobs as well as taking classes, I had to cut back. Plus, it's vacation time again – so like any one of you, I hit the road. I'll probably get back into the second job, cutting back on the hours, but in the meantime...

    This year's journey took us into Western Ohio and South-Central Kentucky.

    We started our trip as we always do – early Saturday morning to get out away from the New England holiday & weekend traffic. I always feel better once I'm away from the area, since the traffic can get absurd.

    Anyway – most of the ride was uneventful on the way out. We took I-80 most of the way, which is really beautiful through PA, though for part of the ride the clouds were low and we couldn't see much. As the air dried out, however, the magnificence opened up before us.

    In Ohio, we took a long rest at Warther's Museum in Dover. The sheer beauty of these pieces was incredible. Approaching the building, we thought we were in the wrong place, as it is stuffed near a gas station – I reckon this wasn't an Interstate exit when the house was built ;-)

    The day was getting along, and we still had a few hours drive to get to our destination – this was, roughly, an 850-mile day – so we headed out and traveled the back roads for quite awhile. State road 39 led us through Amish country, and into some small towns that were having July 4th celebrations. We got on I-70, East of Columbus (across the way, on the Eastbound lane, it appeared a pimp was being arrested - who wears a hat like that, and a fur coat in July???) and drove to our destination just West of Dayton. We pulled in close to 9pm; despite that, the sky was still fairly light. We had forgotten that the sky doesn't get dark until around 10pm in this area, which was perfectly okay with us – Summer is our season.

    Sunday, which was quite hot and fairly humid, was spent driving the country roads and taking photographs with my trusty (film) SLR. We headed into Germantown, which is a really neat small town, with a unique reverse-truss covered bridge (believed to be the only one in the world, built in 1870). It took us awhile to find it, and I think the local police were starting to get interested in seeing us driving all over town, popping up in strange locations – this is one of those towns with a railroad running through a neighborhood, with roads actually paralleling the tracks. Outside of town, we found another covered bridge. As we approached, there was a sign stating the grounds were for K9 training. Since there was no evidence of dogs, people, danger, etc., we crossed over and found an old schoolhouse and an old caboose in a field. In the distance was some old cars, but, despite the lack of warnings about trespassing, I held back my curiosity and didn't proceed further.

    Later in the week, we headed into Dayton to the Air Force Museum, which was incredible. We didn't even see everything they had to offer. Bonus – no admission or parking fee. How they managed to get a B-52 in there, I don't know, but the displays are definitely worth the trip.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Moderator Edit: The following links were suggested by Lindsey Weiss as more resources for anyone interested in military aircraft:

    Military Factory: Military and Civilian Aircraft of the World
    Aircraft Picture Gallery
    British Columbia’s Aviation History

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    We had to head out to find something to eat, so we went into Dayton, which seemed abandoned. There was a festival going on, CityFolk, but not too many people were there, hunger was setting in, and we thought we'd have better luck finding something to eat in one of the historic districts (listed as having great restaurants), but everything was closed up, so we headed out of town and found a place to eat – nothing special, BTW. I wasn't overly impressed with Dayton. The lack of people was probably due to the holiday (July 4), or possibly the tornado warning, and it is easy enough to navigate, but there was just something about it. I'll give kudos to the publishers of the tourism guide we picked up at the rest area on I-70, though.

    Every year we try to catch fireworks in interesting locations – we still have great memories of catching them in Cheyenne, WY, on a whim in 1997 – and this year was no exception. We had a list of surrounding communities that had fireworks. That list did not have much information, but in this very flat land, finding the hot activities at night is as easy as looking for lights in the distance. The plan was to go the next day, but a short walk up the street from where we were staying brought us to an overpass (of course, over I-70) near a corn field, and in the distance fireworks were lighting up the sky...and fireflies were lighting up the corn field. So, we had a fireworks show in the sky over the highway and fireflies dancing in the foreground, and except for a few moments, we had this view all to ourselves.

    By the middle of the week, the heat had let off and the temperature was very comfortable. We took a bike ride on a nearby rail trail. The Dayton area has miles of these, due to the rail lines that pass(ed) by, and from what we saw, they are in very good condition.

    Towards the end of the week, we headed to the Cox Arboretum, which is a nice hike through the woods in the city. We witnessed first hand the graceful motions of a turtle – cartwheeling of a rock into a pond! I wish I had a video of that, proof that nature has a sense of humor.

    That's an overview of the first week. We planned to leave on Friday for our next stop in Corbin, KY. The idea was that leaving while people were still at work would make it easier regarding traffic, since part of the trip was to be on I-75 and the rest on other highways and byways.

    The first week was a great time, very relaxing and full of interesting scenery, good food and wine, and a lot of laughs. Hopefully it would continue into the next week...
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-19-2013 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Air Force link correction submitted by Lindsey Weiss

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default There must be a part II?

    Quote Originally Posted by TimboTA
    The first week was a great time, very relaxing and full of interesting scenery, good food and wine, and a lot of laughs. Hopefully it would continue into the next week...
    Enjoyed the tale, and wondering about the wistfulness of that last sentence.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default Neat Tale.....so far

    I too am feeling a little wary of the next part of the tale.

    The Air Force Museum has me interested. It just dawned on me that I work less than 5 miles from the 8th Air Force Museum and have never been there. I'm thinking an afternoon break may be in order soon.

    Speaking of B-52s - have you ever heard one of those things? I always know when somethings up on the military front because the B-52s out of Barksdale Air Force Base have to fly over my house on their way out. That's a scary yet awe inspiring thing to wake up to in the middle of the night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    I've never heard a B-52 - I can imagine the awe, especially in the middle of the night!

    There is an AFB (or is it ARB now???) a couple of towns away, but primarily cargo aircraft and the occasional A-10 fly by.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    1,703

    Default Continued...

    We left for Kentucky Friday morning after a great night's sleep. We took our time packing up the car as where we were staying was a very nice place and we were hesitant to leave.

    We headed out around 11am, and we wanted to get to our next destination before nightfall, so we had to choose between meandering around Ohio or Kentucky. We chose the latter, and headed onto I-70 then I-75. Traffic steadily grew as we headed South out of Dayton until it was fairly heavy. I-75 is one of those main arteries that carries a lot of traffic, and most of it was on the road this day.

    Trying to keep our cool, we headed on, through Cincinnatti, trying to catch a glimpse of the city - we'll have to visit another time - while being aware of the added traffic from the I-71 merger, and then we crossed the mighty Ohio River into Kentucky.

    Very heavy traffic. I'm used to it, but I don't necessarily enjoy it. So, I could feel the frustration building, and it was clear there was a fair amount of "road rage" taking place along this corridor, so I tried to steer clear of it. Eventually, I-71 headed off to Louisville and we were in a narrow section of I-75. Packed in like sardines with everyone else.

    We held out to Exit 136 and decided to stop, eat, and take the scenic route. We moseyed the rest of the way through Kentucky, along US-25, US-62, and US-68 to get around Lexington, along KY-33 and eventually into Somerset, which threw us for a loop as my map stated a road was "under construction" but it was clear it was finished. Finally, along KY-192 (a very nice, windy, scenic road) and into Corbin. Stopped at Sonny's BBQ for dinner, then on to our lodging.

    The ride helped us forget the traffic of earlier in the day, and we saw a lot of interesting towns, and of course, horses.

    Kentucky has become one of my favorite places to ride through, but have you ever had a strange feeling something is waiting for you? Something you don't want to have to face? I had that about a week before this trip, so my guard was up - but I guess not enough.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Dirty pool, keeping us on the line....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim
    ... but have you ever had a strange feeling something is waiting for you? Something you don't want to have to face? I had that about a week before this trip, so my guard was up - but I guess not enough.
    Alwrightly, this is beginning to seem like a dime-novel serialization.... but, I will patient for a little longer...

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    Default Continues...

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Alwrightly, this is beginning to seem like a dime-novel serialization....
    :-)

    Our first full day in Kentucky, we started out with an hour-long horseback ride in the Cumberland Falls area. I enjoy riding horses, even though I know very little about them, despite growing up near them. I always feel like I should be surveying land or leading a cavalry. We had two baby horses follow us on the ride, which made for a unique excursion. It was just the guide, my girlfriend and I. I got bit by a horsefly, but why was my neck so itchy? Mosquitoes? This seems familiar...

    Afterwards, we visited the Falls, and we were planning for another visit that week to try and catch the moonbow. The full moon was coming in a couple of days.

    That night we heard someone playing a mean guitar, so we introduced ourselves and chatted a bit. Here was Tom, a long-time road warrior who worked in the country music business. That was about all we talked about, though. I think he had other things on his mind, so we let him be.

    The next day we headed up towards Cumberland Gap, a place I had always wanted to see. It was quite hazy, but the hike up was nice, even though we were coming from the wrong way - KY into VA - rather than the traditional pioneer route. Nearby the Gap, we hiked up to Tri-state peak, which is where KY-VA-TN join. We had lunch up there, and met another, older road tripping couple who were staying in TN, but were originally from Ohio. We told them we had just come from there. As is often the case, they rarely visit sites in their own state, so they asked us what there was to see in Ohio.

    Heading back, we stopped in Pineville at Chained Rock. What a view! There is nothing to hold you back up there, so if you go, be careful. The road up is a steep, windy, fun ride. From the top is a great overview of the town and the mountains, even in the haze.

    Driving through Pineville, we couldn't help but notice large concrete barricades that can be closed on all the roads into town. Apparently these are part of a flood control system. At first we thought it had something to do with a prison!

    ...why am I so itchy?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    Default Monday & the traveller's bane...

    Monday morning the plan was to relax and stay around the pool. Later in the week, we were going up to Georgetown to take the Toyota plant tour, and we still wanted to catch the moonbow.

    But, Mother Nature apparently didn't like that idea.

    We had just gotten out of bed when we found a familiar-looking, flat, brownish-red bug on the bed. This is not good. We looked it up online, sure enough it was what we thought - bed bug. The itch I had brought back bad memories of a trip to the desert Southwest; now I knew it had the same cause.

    I don't think I've seen this topic discussed here previous, but it is something that everyone should be aware of. These critters, while "harmless" in the sense they aren't believed to carry disease, are so annoying, and so difficult to get rid of*, that they will drive you crazy should you encounter them. So, seeing one was enough for me, but the itches on my arms, forehead, and neck meant it was time to leave.

    We informed the owners of the establishment we were staying in. They had not dealt with these before. I remember the first time we had encountered them - we didn't know what they were, either. That time was an infestation. I remember being completely covered with bites by the second or third day, which culminated in a trip to the emergency room of a Shamrock, TX hospital at 4:00am to get a large shot of Benadryl, a horse pill of Claritin, and some folk medicine knowledge that eggs were being laid under my skin (this, thankfully, is NOT TRUE), from a doctor that was rather upset about being awoken by a phone call for something he had never seen before.

    Things we had to do:
    -Wash all of our clothes on high heat, drying them on high heat.
    -Inspect all of our other gear, which included maps, books, magazines, backpacks, camera bag, etc.
    -Inspect every crevice of our luggage.
    -Throw some things away (including my only pair of sneakers), as a preventive measure.

    Now, the symptoms:

    Some people can live with these things for years without showing any signs, others react immediately. I am of the latter party. The bite first appears to be a mosquito bite. Indeed, that's what we suspected when the first four or five showed up. But, Monday morning it was clear what was happening. In the heat, the bites will become unbearably itchy, and they will grow in size. They take about a week to subside. Cool showers become preferred. Itches or bites that weren't there before bed time are another symptom (though this can be caused by other things). Small spots of blood on the sheets are another sign.

    The trouble with these things is you usually can't feel them when they are on you feeding, the young are very hard to see, and they can multiply rapidly if left unchecked (ie - if you don't know about them). The only thing they feed on is blood, however, so they can live in clean environments as well as dirty.

    I suggest reading the link above for more information. I would hate for anyone to go through what I went through in 2002.

    We were reimbursed for the remainder of our stay, including the night previous, and another room elsewhere was paid for us for Monday night. The exterminator was called, but we knew we had to get out of there. But, now we have an inspection ritual when we go into a new place:

    Our inspection ritual:
    Flashlight and ourselves is all we first bring in. We slide the mattress back, looking for any tell-tale signs. We investigate the bed's entire perimeter, headboard, etc. Any nearby furniture is checked out next. If there are any signs, we are out of there. Otherwise, we move in the necessities, still being careful about only opening our luggage when needed.

    Ok, so most of Monday was shot - but we're not about to let that completely ruin our vacation! I guess the more you do this, the more adversity you can handle. We now had to adapt our trip to this situation, and try to remain calm.

    *they are difficult to get rid of if you've entered into a place that has an infestation - they are slightly less difficult to get rid of if you've entered into an infestation, brought them home, but have the patience of Job in eradicating EVERY LAST ONE (this is what happened in 2002). I hate these creatures with a passion, and hope nobody comes into contact with them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Oh, bugs.... I thought it was going to be much worse!

    Tim,

    Have had any personal experience with chiggers? Now, those are nasty bugs. The secrete a dose of acid when they are feeding on human flesh which purees the surrounding tissue, nerves, skin, etc. and then slurp it up. Really feels great when they get a nerve or two.

    We have experienced bed bugs once (and that, as I am sure would agree is one too many) but our all time topper was also near Shamrock, TX. Marvin the Road Dog brought back of colony of "little black rolly-pollies" after one of his walks. In 24 hours the colony had multiplied ten-fold and there were thousands of these tiny bugs that would roll into a ball and scoot across the RV. About 3/16" long and they were fun to get rid of!

    Great field report!

    Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    Default Changing tactics

    By the end of the day Monday, we were extremely tired. The decision was made to head out of town the next day. The weather had started to turn for the worse, anyway, and seeing the moonbow was probably not a possibility.

    We went to get our film developed and I bought a cheap pair of sneakers, then headed out to eat.

    The original KFC is in Corbin, so we stopped in there. I saw the tour bus in the parking lot but didn't consider it until we went inside. The place was absolutely packed with teenagers on some sort of excursion. Many of them had tee-shirts depicting the Grand Canyon or some other road trip type places, so they couldn't be considered harmful. The food is par for KFC, but the statue of Col. Sanders somehow makes it spicier, and seeing the original kitchen offers a good dose of nostalgia.

    Getting the pictures (120 of them) back, we headed to the motel that was arranged for us. It was, how can I put this, not amusing. We didn't sleep much in fear of something crawling on us from the carpet.

    Tuesday we headed into Georgetown, and settled into a nice hotel room with a hot tub in it. Wednesday we took the Toyota plant tour - I highly recommend that, it's nice being in a factory where the workers actually appear to enjoy their jobs - and we started to wander home. US-460 until it hooked up with I-64, then up through WV and into MD, stopping there for a night. Thursday up into PA on I-81, trying to avoid some "professional" truckers who thought it was a good idea to tailgate in a downpour (we eventually pulled over until it passed).

    In Hamburg, PA, we stopped at Cabella's, which has an incredible display of taxidermied animals in the heart of the store. Elk, deer, polar bear, mountain lion, elephant, etc. We spent over two hours in this store, even eating at their cafeteria (which was quite good), and we don't even hunt!

    We wandered some of PA's two lanes, getting back on I-80, past Kittatinny and working our way to the Taconic State Parkway in NY (we took I-84 for a very short time, it was uneventful, and I knew then I had to get off of that road [still don't like it]). There is a rest area on the Taconic that has an incredible view of the Catskills. By the time we had passed it, the sun had set and the sky had a deep purple shade with the outline of the mountains below it.

    NY-23 into MA-23 and up to the Mass Pike. A light fog was on the ground, but nobody else was out. NY-23 has some remnants of road trips gone by, mom & pop motels and diners, a place I need to get back to and get some photographs.

    We got home Thursday night around 11:00 or so, a day early and a little shaken. The second week went by very fast, and we were trying to balance being on the road with an underlying feeling we needed to get home. I think we came up with a good compromise, mixing up the Interstate and two lane driving on the way back, but we both wish we could have done more of what we wanted to do. I suppose we'll just have to take more trips this year!

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