Monday, May 27, 2013

Kentucky 2013

6/1/13 – 6/8/13

9 days, 3 states, 1,970 miles

Days 1  Chicago – Elizabethtown (362 mi)

Day 2  a) Elizabethtown – Tompkinsville;  b) Tompkinsville – Danville (264 mi)

Day 3  Danville – London (208 mi)

Day 4  London – Manchester (216 mi)

Day 5  Manchester – Hazard (207 mi)

Day 6  Hazard – Grayson (203 mi)

Days 7  Grayson – Florence (182 mi)

Day 9  Florence – Chicago (326 mi)

It’s a no brainer.  When you have just a week off and want to do some quality riding, Kentucky is hard to beat - it’s close, it’s beautiful, and it has plenty of smooth and winding 2-lane roads. 

Our original plan was to ride 250-270 miles a day.  But by the end of day 2 we decided to shorten our daily routes somewhat so we could slow down and enjoy the scenery.  The remaining days were replanned and shortened to a little bit more than 200 miles each.  This allowed us to ride most roads at 35 mph and arrive at our destination fresh and ready to explore the town (at least the road to the nearest restaurant.)   
This is a typical picture – a small plot of land and a tobacco drying barn.  Those barns are everywhere.  Before 2005 growing of tobacco was strictly regulated.  Each farmer cold grow only a certain amount of tobacco based on the government issued allotment.  In 2005 the government lifted all quota restrictions on tobacco growers.  Usually when government price support ends, prices fall and an industry goes through realignment and consolidation.  But then it rebounds.  On our previous trips later in the year, not a single barn was empty.  I guess a rumor about the demise of American tobacco industry was premature.


BTW, almost half of world tobacco is grown in China – 46%.  US is a relatively small producer with about 8% of the world production behind China, India and Brazil. 

Scenery.  This is what we were here for.  And the roads of course.






I wonder how the car managed to drive over this bridge?

What you see behind the tree is a bear cub.  He ran up the hill and hid behind the tree when we approached.

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