On Monday morning I was up around 5 AM and spent some time writing until we had to pack it all in. Before leaving, we hung out a bit more with our friends, Lori and Jimmy Grimm, then said our goodbyes until the next time we can get together. (Possibly next year on the way back from Alaska.) On this day, we just needed to make tracks, so we headed south on IL-145 to Metropolis, Illinois, and got on I-24 east, crossing back into Kentucky, and then I-69 to the Western Kentucky Parkway. Since it was all interstate, I managed to get some work done on the drive, at least when the terrible roads would allow it. (One of the reasons people give for always taking interstates is that the roads are better. They are NOT!) At Central City, home of the Everly Brothers, we stopped to grab a quick bite at KFC. Then it was back on the Blue Grass Parkway through Elizabethtown to KY-55 and north to Taylorsville Lake State Park.
Despite being exhausted, I was, once again awake until around 2 AM. That made Tuesday morning a little rough but I did get some work done while sitting up. MW (Mr. Wonderful) and I headed out around 8 AM for a hike that we thought was about 2.5 miles. It turned out to be more like 4.5 with a LOT of up and down. MW was running into so many spider webs that he finally got a branch with some leaves and held it out in front of him. THAT, my friends, is why you always see my “following” pics. Aside from the spiders, we saw several deer, three box turtles on the trail, and a couple of frogs. By the time we made it back to Petunia, my legs were screaming and my hip wasn’t too happy either. A couple of ibuprofen helped. While sitting outside cooling off, I found ticks all over my pants AGAIN! (This time I was smart enough to use the magnifying app on my phone…definitely ticks! Extreme close-up is below. You can tell size by knowing they are sitting on yoga pants!) We stripped off the clothes outside and sprayed everything down with bug spray before putting it in a plastic bag to take to the laundromat later. (We weren’t taking any chances on them getting in the trailer, so even that stayed outside.) They were really just on the pant legs, and most likely came from the grass we had to walk through at one point. Honestly, you really have to always check your clothes after walking through tall grass or the woods in warm weather. That’s why I prefer hiking in winter. No snakes then, either! After getting cleaned up, we headed into Taylorsville to find some lunch and check out the laundromat. We ended up at Hometown Pizza for sandwiches. There is minimal cell coverage at the park, so MW dropped me off at McDonalds to work for a while, then picked me up later.
Wednesday I woke up with a headache again, and slowly got myself together. While MW was sitting outside, we had an unexpected visitor right near our campsite. I was surprised we couldn’t smell him at all. The laundry was calling, so I headed into town. At the Taylorsville Laundromat, there was a woman using ALL of the washers, so I had to wait for a little bit. It was a hopping place. Several folks came in after me, and it took a little longer than normal since I also had to wait for dryers, too. Afterwards, I headed over to Subway to grab a bite and catch up on some writing.
Taylorsville Lake State Park is really nice. Located west of Lexington, it would be a great place to stay to check out Lexington, Louisville, the Kentucky Horse Park, and a good portion of the Bourbon Trail. The lake is popular for boating, kayaking, and fishing, although it cannot be seen from the campground. There is a marina with fuel, supplies, and a deli across the lake. They also rent several types of boats. Swimming is available at the dam. With 24 miles of trails, hikers, bikers, and horseback riders will find plenty to explore. One thing we haven’t seen before that was pretty cool is an orienteering course. (We’ll be checking that out on our next visit.) The campground includes 45 very nice RV sites and 10 equestrian sites with electric and water, plus 15 primitive tent sites. There are two playgrounds, two bathhouses, and laundry facilities. Cell signals for both AT&T and Verizon were weak, but there was plenty of over-the-air TV. We really enjoyed our stay here. There was minimal road noise, but mostly, it was just peaceful. We will definitely be heading back to this one. For this stay in August, 2022, we paid $89.04 for 3 nights.
Thursday we started with a drive around the park for the rest of the pics. After that, we wrapped everything up and hit the road a little before 9 AM. We first headed south down to the Blue Grass Parkway, then east over to US-127 south. At Danville, we hit US-150 south, then I-75 south down to Corbin, Kentucky. We’ve stopped there on a previous trip and decided it was the spot for lunch. Corbin has a very nice downtown area with shops and eateries and is famous as the location of Harland Sanders’ first restaurant, opened in 1930. It would eventually become Kentucky Fried Chicken, and you can learn all about that and have a nice lunch at the Sanders Cafe and Museum. On this visit, though, we chose the The Wrigley for lunch and were NOT disappointed. MW had the Hot City Nights Chicken Sando, and I went for the Salmon Tacos. Holy smoked fish! Both were excellent, but the clear winner was the Brussels sprouts…halved, flash fried, and tossed in their secret, sweet and spicy sauce. They were so amazing that we took a large order home with us for later! As I said above, Corbin has a lot to see, but if there was nothing else there but this place and these sprouts, I’d tell you to go.
After lunch, we took 25E through the Cumberland Gap down to Tazewell, Tennessee, then TN-33 took us back to the barn. We were happy to see our valley.
Whenever we get back to the barn, we have a list of chores to take care of. First up is getting rid of the abundance of weeds that grow up EVERYWHERE when you are gone for 6 months. We also are going to have to tackle some cattails that have suddenly appeared in the pond. If you let those things go, you won’t have a pond at all! That’s just the tip of the work iceberg, but you get the idea. I’m continuing with my walking program. So far I’ve increased my average daily step count from a pitiful ~1,600 per day to over 5,000, with some days well over 12,000. Still have a long way to go, but my mobility is much better. It’s beautiful here, and walking early in the morning gives you lots to look at.
While we were out of town, the Clinch Mountain Lookout Restaurant changed hands. I’ve been seeing their Facebook posts, and they seem to have some cool stuff. We headed over there on Saturday to check it out. There was a hot bar, but I’m not a fan of crawfish and gumbo, so I just went with the basic hamburger. It was RIDICULOUS! There was no way my certified-by-more-than-one-dentist small mouth (Mom & MW, it is a fact! Get over it.) was going to bite into that! I ate half with a fork and knife, and MW cut the other side in half horizontally at home later and put in on a bun…still ample beef.
So that’s it for the Westward, HO! trip…28-1/2 weeks, 25 states, and 54 campgrounds. Although not without its trials, it was a great trip, and we saw a LOT of new stuff. In a couple of weeks, we’ll head down to Georgia to help my parents with some stuff around their new house. Then later in the month, it’s back to Colorado to watch Navy whup up on Air Force with some of our Naval Academy crew. As always, I’ll take you guys along for the ride. See you on the path!
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