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  • Post-GONE: Day 5

    Posted on September 16th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Today was a short day of driving, but it wasn’t without it’s surprises. Twice today I found myself driving down a “road” that I shouldn’t have been. While I thought I had verified the Google route with the GPS software, something just didn’t mesh in the end… but for the most part, the planned route was quite enjoyable.

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    Temperatures today were quite cool again; it was even below 50°F at times. I had a little concern that it was going to be too cold for my “Summer Only” tires, but everything worked-out fine. With the cold temperatures came more fires, but this time the smoke lingered in the mountains… it was very cool. Fortunately there was no rain and all of the roads were nice and dry.

    I’ve been very impressed with the speed limits on the roads in Kentucky (and previously in Missouri), as everything seems to be posted at 55 mph! It’s completely different than California… it’s almost like the state decided that the drivers are smart enough to change their speed based on the road conditions. Either that, or they don’t want to police speed limits… so set them high enough for even the craziest of drivers.

    This area of Kentucky is really big into coal, and on almost every road there were very large trucks. While I did need to be careful of them, I was also really grateful to them… as without the big rigs hauling coal, none of these roads would have existed (or have been as well maintained). Also, the only places to stop for breaks were the little coal towns.

    An interesting thing I’ve not seen before were a series of rope bridges leading to people’s homes. At first I thought they were just something for adventurous types, but then I realized that they were the only way from the road (over the river) to the house. Sounds like a difficult way to get home in the dark!

    Most of the roads in this area are carved into the rocks, and it was interesting to look at the different layers. There are many places where there are towering vertical walls of rock on both sides of the road… I can only imagine how much material needed to be moved!

    The first time I knew I was on the wrong road, it started out narrow… and before I knew it the pavement turned into dirt.

    At this point my GPS was telling me to continue on the dirt road for another 5 miles… I disagreed! After turning around I jumped back on the “state numbered route”, which was actually the way I wanted to drive all along.

    The second time I had to make a “detour” from where the GPS was telling me to go, I again turned off of a “state numbered route” and onto a narrow country road. I was feeling a little weird driving down the road, and the locals giving me strange looks didn’t help, but when my car bottomed-out on a bump in the road I knew I was turning around. This resulted in me just taking the interstate, but I was able to see a really large coal facility (where all those trucks were going to/from).

    Towards the end of the day, I started to think about tomorrow’s long drive. When I arrived at my hotel I quickly looked to see if there would be another hotel that would allow me to knock-out some of tomorrow’s drive. Unfortunately, the only hotel was 4 hours away (based on my planned route), so I guess I’ll start early tomorrow for the long drive.