Ale-8-one is a Kentucky made soda that's just delicious. It's a ginger ale with a little fruit flavor added. It's not too sweet, has no caffeine, and always hits the spot.
I mention this wonderful soda because it could be the highlight of Kentucky. At first it seemed Kentucky had the wind of Kans-Ass, the humidity of Misery, and the hills of Ill-Annoyed. Now with the weather cooling and a whole lot of rain, including one tornado warning, it's just the wind and hills, no more reminder of Misery.
The tornado warning at Rough River Dam State Park had us a little nervous. A tent didn't seem to be the best shelter from that kind of storm. When we set up camp we knew some storms were rolling in. The woman at the gate even told us that the laundry room in the bath building was a storm shelter and if things got really bad we could head to the near by lodge. We set up camp, made dinner, and went to bed. We hear the storm roll in so we zip the rain fly up nice and tight and I doze off to sleep. Juliette wakes me up asking, "What's that?" "Sounds like an air raid siren," I answered. Then we hear something over a loud speaker, but can only make out the word 'tornado'. We got a little nervous, put everything that was not too important in the tent, and took everything that was important to the laundry building. We stayed there a while then got a ride to the lodge. After things calmed down we got a ride back to the camp ground. At this point it was about 11pm (way past our bedtime) and still raining pretty hard, so we just stayed in the laundry room on the dirty concrete floor. Neither of us slept too well.
The next day we headed to Lincoln's Birth Place State Park. It seems that things are harder to find here in Kentucky. This goes for hotels, camping, restaurants, service stations, and even our own stuff. We tried to find this Nancy Lincoln Log Cabin Inn near the park. We rode up and down the highway and even called to ask for directions. "You went to far, come on back north and take a right after the green dumpster, go through the gate, and come to the house", we were told. We never found said green dumpster and finally snuck under a gate to set up our tent in a day use picnic area. It was free and had a bathroom, but we (at least me) slept really bad because of nasty friend chicken at Lincoln's Jamboree.
Speaking of Lincoln's Jamboree.... that place was comically bad. We saw they closed for dinner at 7pm, right about when we got there. We went in and asked if they were still serving and the young woman told us, "Yeah, just grab a tray." We got some fried chicken, two veggies, a slice of pie, and a soda all for $5. It was a rip off. The food was so bad and it gave me the worst heartburn I've ever had. We then asked the little old lady behind the counter if she could fill some water bottles. She said impatiently, "Well I don't even know what we'd charge for that, let me ask". She went to the kitchen to ask another little old lady how much it'd cost to fill the bottles. Old Lady One waved me over to show Old Lady Two the bottles. "Oh, I don't know... 25 cents". I chuckled a little in disbelief. We went back to the drink fountain and Old Lady One said even more impatiently, "Can you take the lids off, we're all just trying to get home." She filled them and charged us a quarter for each bottle. A rip off for water yes, but more than worth it for the entertainment value of the whole interaction.
We finally found a cool town in Kentucky, Berea. This wonderful little town is home to Berea College, a college for the folks of the near by mountains. It was one of the first inter-racial schools in the area. We found a real coffee shop and got the first real cup of coffee in a week. I needed it.
On the bright side of things, the leaves are changing, providing us with some of the most beautiful views of the trip. The hills here are a little gentler than we've seen in a while and the motorists are very polite. Overall it's a pretty cool state to ride through, it's taking us forever to get through it. The three sick days mentioned in the last blog entry turned into four because of a wicked case of the trots (it hasn't gone away, just look at all the "trotting along" comments in Juliette's blog) that's still hindering us a little. The weather isn't helping either. It rained all yesterday, all last night, and all this morning. Everything is wet and I lost my warm hat with the good brim. Despite all that, the days we do ride, we ride pretty far.