Thursday, July 26, 2018

Kentucky State Route 70

Sometimes you find a road, other times the road finds you. Kentucky State Route 70 West is one of those roads it will challenge you. It will take all you have and ask for more. This was a great road to ride a motorcycle. Highway 70 is an experience that will not be forgotten. 

Part of the local HOG Chapters directors challenge was riding to the Corvette Museum and Mammoth Cave National Park.  So I take the usual way to get to Bowling Green and the Cave.  US Highway 79 and then 68.  Once I get to Mammoth Cave, I decide to take a new way home.  I look at the GPS for the most crooked road west.  The winner is Kentucky Highway 70.  

This road proved to be a pure joy to ride. A mixture of cures and straightaways through the rolling hills of Southwestern Kentucky following the Green River,  It was just fun.   

After coming to US Highway 431, I head south to Russellville rejoining US Highway 79 for the ride back to Clarksville. As far as riding a motorcycle goes the State of Kentucky is a blank slate.  There are a lot of yet undiscovered motorcycle roads and not enough time to find them all. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Drive through the Deep South.

Coming home to Tennessee from South Carolina we decided to take the road less traveled.  To cut a path through the deep south on roads that we have never driven on before.  So we head to Georgia and Alabama, leaving South Carolina behind.  First, of course, we have to get some Carolina Barbeque.

Understand all BBQ is regional. And it never means hamburgers and Hotdogs on the grill. Carolina BBQ, especially South Carolina pork BBQ is served with rice and hash. Hash is a pork and vegetable gravy. Pork is lightly smoked. Unlike Texas and Tennessee BBQ that is served with heavy sauces. Fried chicken is usually part of the Carolina BBQ menu.

On our way through the deep south, we stop at 3 Historical sights in Georgia and 3 in Alabama.  Then on to an old Army Post, where we both went to Airborne Training. Then our last stop is a National Nature Preserve before heading home.

Ocmulgee National Monument - I am surprised, I haven’t heard more about this national monument. The mounds were inspirational, you actually get to go inside them. They were part of huge Indian cities in Georgia and Tennessee. The Mississippi Valley Indians who lived in relative peace from 900AD to 1600 AD until the immigrants showed up.  I'm sure some were good people.

Andersonville National Historic Site - A testament of man's inhumanity to fellow man.   An American Civil War Confederate POW camp, 14k union soldiers, died due to mistreatment from 1864 to 1865. The camp commandant was one of the only confederates executed for war crimes. The National Prisoner of War Museum is here also.

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site - Jimmy Carter was the first president that I voted for in 1980. Well, we all know that he lost that election, but went on to be the shining example of an ex-president, due to his humanitarian work.  This site shows an original side of small-town southern life that included his family farm, his high school, his presidential campaign headquarters, and his family store.

Ft. Benning GA US Army Airborne School -  This was a Stroll down memory lane. I went to jump school in 1981 and Terri in 1982. While she was still in the Army, we jumped a few times together. The joke is if our oldest son only needs 4 jumps to get his Airborne Wings. So while on this trip we have this crazy idea to go by Fort Benning. It was very emotional for both of us. To relive one of the proudest moments in our lives was moving.  Complete the 3-week Airborne School at Ft. Benning, after completing 5 jumps you get your wings.

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site - Very interesting except that it was closed, but we did get to walk the site. Everyone knows the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. It was initially an experiment, but ended up helping win the air war in WWII. One of the reasons Truman finally integrated the armed forces a few years later.

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site- This was also closed on Sunday but was worth the drive through it. The Tuskegee Airmen lived here while in training.  We also saw Brooker T. Washingtons house.  Tuskegee Institute a historically black college gaining international fame for innovations in Agriculture.

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park - Learned a lot about how 23 million Acres were taken from the Creek Indians. The state of Alabama was basically created from this battle that Andrew Jackson won. Although it isn’t this simple, Andrew Jackson eventually expelled all the Indians from the southeast through the Indian removal act. The largest Indian battle in American History. 800 hundred Creek Indians lost there lives. Jackson lost 54 Men. The Indians were outmanned and outgunned.

Little River Canyon National Preserve - This was our last stop before coming home. Little River Canyon is one of the only places in the world where a river flows on top of a mountain range/plateau.  It flows on top Lookout Mountain in Alabama it was incredible.

We discovered a lot about Southern America, the drive up Eastern Alabama was not something I expected, small fields tucked in between rolling hills of the most eastern part of Alabama. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Glitch on an International Flight - London Calling

You never know what to expect when getting off a plane, especially when that plane is flying to another country.  There usually some kind of surprise.

Note to self, next time getting off the plane don't stop at the bathroom to clean up before Border Control.  After freshening up a bit, we come back out to the corridor to a rush of Chinese making a mad dash for the start of the line. What is this I say, did an Air Bus A380 just land from Shanghai?  So for 45 minutes, we wait in line with the magical hum of the Chinese language, before hearing those words welcome to the UK.

This was the start of our 6 glorious days in London.  We stayed a night in Windsor across the street from Windsor Castle, on the Queens birthday no less.  Then 5 nights in a Flat in Central London, amidst shops and restaurants.   We rode the Tube and the Bus, we could be anywhere in the city in 30 minutes.   We had a great time, the idea that London and the rest of Europe are being taken over by Muslim immigrants is not only false, but a lie planted on Facebook by Russian Trolls.  Like in America their diversity makes them stronger.

Make no mistake about it Americans are closely linked to England.  Before 1776, we all were English before we were American.  It is an undeniable part of our heritage. You might ask, what was your favorite part of London?  I would say all of it.  I never felt safer and more secure walking those streets in one of the most culturally distinct cities in the world. The sites are good, but the people outstanding.