Sunday June 18
Day 7
Through the Kentucky mtns

Well, I started the day the way I finished yesterday. Leaving the RV park, I turned in what I thought was the correct direction on hwy 245 and drove a long ways. Then it occurred to me the signs were saying 245 North. Didn't want to be going north! But I had gone so far, I thought I would persevere and pick up the Interstate that runs from Louisville to Lexington instead of the Bluegrass Parkway. Eventually my road intersected I65, a north/south road, and I got on going south because I really did prefer to take the Bluegrass. Well it seemed 245 actually ran northWEST, and I65 ran southWEST, and I ended up picking up the Bluegrass Parkway all the way back in Elizabethtown. An hour after I left Bardstown, I passed Bardstown again headed east on the Bluegrass, having made a biiiig circle to the west. At that point I was desperate to get out of this state before I get lost again.

For all its fancy name, the Bluegrass Parkway does not allow you to see the bluegrass country at all. The parkway is lined with woods and all you see is the road, the grassy median, and surrounding trees. Nice looking, but not horse farms.

At Lexington, the Bluegrass Parkway fails to connect to the next piece of the eastbound route, just as the Western Kentucky failed to connect with the Bluegrass in Elizabethtown. It must have been another situation of you have to exit onto the north/south freeway in order to jog over to the eastward extension (called the Mountain Parkway). With no signs to help, I merely arrived at the end of the Bluegrass where it dumps you onto US 60 so you can drive through the center of Lexington on it. Well, I did enjoy seeing Lexington city, and there was no traffic being as it was Sunday morning.

Once US 60 got out of Lexington, I finally got to see the horse farms, and they absolutely shriek big money. A typical pasture is immense, my guess 20 or 30 acres, carpetted with velvetty green bluegrass that looks like a lawn (no weeds in sight), and enclosed by board fencing in perfect condition and recently painted; some white, some dark brown. In that vast pasture will be maybe 15 horses, grazing clumped together in a little herd. I thought to myself about how horses must be much more social than cows, since a herd of cows in such a large field would be scattered all over, with many cows off by themselves. Alas, I could get no pics of the horse farms due to having to drive the motorhome in traffic. :-(

The morning was cloudy with intermittent rain showers, which held the heat down; so I got to stop for lunch and a bit of relaxation for once. You don't find pullouts or scenic overviews here in Kentucky, so I had to stop in a parkinglot; but I selected a small empty lot surrounded by extensive green lawns, well away from the road, so it made a very pleasant stop. Hee hee, it was the lot for the county Board of Education -- totally deserted on a summer Sunday. I had hoped there would be a rain while I was stopped; it would have been a very pleasant experience, sitting at my table munching my lunch with the rain drumming down on the roof and running down the windows; but alas it stayed dry, and actually from there on it I enjoyed no more showers.

After lunch I left US 60 for the Mountain Parkway, and almost immediately it began to rise into the Kentucky Mountains. into the mountains deep in the mountains I was resolved to attempt no more secondary roads, stick to the Interstates where the getting-lost quotient is at a minimum. The Kentucky mountains are much more mountainy than the Ozarks. Alas, these pictures don't show the up and downness; they look much flatter than the reality. The mountains are not gentle; they have steep, heavily wooded slopes running down to deep valleys, where the main evidences of habitation may be seen. It was very much a wild-country drive except for a few towns along the way. The Parkway leaps across the deep valleys on high bridges and when it crosses a river, it is way down there. One last river crossing on a high bridge brought me to a sign, WELCOME TO WEST VIRGINIA -- and shortly thereafter I arrived at the Foxfire RV Resort, where I type this.
I'm having yet another equipment malfunction but this time it has nothing to do with the motorhome. This laptop has always been flaky; it messes up files fairly frequently, but usually they are not important files. On this trip, a couple of days ago it messed up my user settings, which lost me all my bookmarks, all my cookies, my address book, all my customizations, and most of my desktop icons. It took me about 4 hours of work to get all my bits of software functioning properly again. And then last night, it messed up the file with all my planning for this trip in it. Windows now thinks there is no such file -- and I found its tattered corpse in one of the .CHK files. This is going too far. Yes, I remember the trip plan well enough to re-generate it; but that's way too intrusive to endure. The laptop must either be replaced, or it must get a new hard disk. I am not sure whether the problem is just a flaky hard disk or something more dire. Anyway, now that it has started trashing vital files, who knows whether it will last until the end of this trip. Arghhh.