Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Maysville Kentucky : A Motorcycle Ride Interrupted

Any day upright on two wheels is a good day.  Our ride from Clarksville, Tennessee, to Maysville, Kentucky, was full of twisting roads and canyons with rivers.  This ride was special.  Majestic horse farm after horse farm.  We get to Maysville and check into the French Quarter Inn.  For dinner, we walk through the town to Caproni's on the river.  

"Caproni's has been a Maysville dining tradition since the 1930s as a sandwich shop for railroad workers.  But in 1945,  Leo Caproni, along with his brother Alfred and sister-in-law Lea Caproni, purchased and operated the restaurant for many years.  Located beside the Amtrak railroad station and along CSX tracks, overlooking the Ohio River, at the base of what is now Rosemary Clooney Street.  A fast freight and passenger train roars by within feet of diners."  

At dinner we learned that Maysville was the hometown of Rosemary Clooney.  George Clooney was her Nephew. Rose is a famous singer and actress in her own right whose work spanned 3 decades.  Her most famous role was in a White Christmas with Bing Crosby.  But you still hear her songs in commercials and in the media today. 

We found out that the Clooney house was a museum in Augusta, Kentucky, in Rosemary's old house.  So, of course, after breakfast at the Delite Cafe, we have to make the 20-mile trek up the Ohio River to Augusta.  

What a treasure.  I’m a big movie buff, so all this stuff is fascinating to me.  George, to me, was just getting into the family business.  His mother and father still live here.  George has recently purchased a home here in his ancestral homeland.  Mainly to visit his mother and father.  The town seems to have a habit of guarding their privacy which is a great thing. 

The house was spectacular, with costumes from her movies and singing career.  Although she is not of our generation, she still is recognizable reinventing herself in the 1970s.  I was surprised to learn that Goerge Gershwin was from the same street.  It is no coincidence that a culture like this doesn’t happen by accident. 

This is a great example of how interconnected we are.  How family and contacts can evolve.  The funny thing is I had completely forgotten about her.  In the 1950’s she starred in a movie with Bob Hope, a comedy “Here Come the Girls.” After the movie, Rosemary and Bob became lifelong friends.  I remember her singing on the Bob Hope Specials, which I tried not to miss as a kid and teenager.  I was strange like that. 


After this, we ride a short loop in Ohio.  The weather is not cooperating with us today.  We dodge a few thundershowers in the hills above the Ohio River.  To me, this is the good stuff of traveling.  Special tidbits of things you’d never thought to expect.  Things that you remember for the rest of your life.  Maysville is a fantastic town a great destination,  Tomorrow we plan to ride some new roads in east Kentucky. 

Well, we ran into a little trouble.  Not going to make the Underground Railroad museum. Terri picked up a nail in her rear tire.  After getting a tow truck, we are at the Harley dealer now in Lexington, getting her rear tire replaced.   Because of the changing weather conditions, we decide to cut our trip short and head home.  The ride home was a dance with the weather. 

There is nothing like riding a big V-Twin into a thunderstorm.  You smell and see the rain way before you feel it on you.  The clouds form before you in a marvelous dance.  Sometimes the rain starts slowly; other times, it's like hitting a wall of water.  In the southern heat, it is refreshing, like jumping into a swimming pool.  A relief from the thick soupy warm air flowing around you before the storm.  

Riding in weather like this is a chess match with nature.  With live radar, you can plan your route around the storms.  Ultimately nature ends up winning.  Even with the weather, it was a good ride.  We went to some new places and took some roads we never had ridden before.   We did finally make it home.  

It was a good trip; we had planned to be gone longer, but the weather threw us a curveball.  There are a lot of roads to ride in east Kentucky; we just scratched the surface.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

In the Heart of Vermont: Rockledge Farms Woodworking

We broke camp early this morning in West Point, and we made it to our destination here in Vermont. Another great Harvest Host Location. A farm with a furniture workshop. Once we see the sign for Rockledge Farm Woodworks, we turn down a dirt road about 300 feet down is the farm on the left. We stop on the side of the road and walk up to the building. A man cutting grass on the side of the building gets off his mower and says, welcome to the farm. Scott pointed to a mowed driveway through a hayfield. He said go get set up and settled. I told him we'd be over to the shop afterward.

We drive the path to the back of the field that backs up to a mountain stream. It is an idyllic situation like being in a painting of the Vermont countryside. The RV parked in a small mowed area of a clear running stream. The one thing I've noticed about Harvest Host property owners they know the beauty that they own. They feel blessed by it and want to share it. Some actually feel an obligation to do it.

I'd like to say a little bit about this Farm which has been in Scott's family since the 1930s. His wife and Scott moved back home temporarily to take care of his mother in the last years of her life. They had every intention of picking back up their professional careers but ended up staying 30 years. I told him I can understand how this place can grab ahold of him. Today they had their grandchildren on site. Their son is part of their furniture business. Scott’s wife from Beaumont, Texas, brother-in-law went to school with Janice Joplin, which I found interesting. It is a very small world we live in.

After setting up, we make our way over to the shop. Which is in an old barn next to their Victorian house. He apologizes for the state of the shop, which only has a few pieces since most of the furniture has sold. Also, most of their work here is custom orders. Scott The furniture is crafted from trees that are cut on the farm. The Vermont north woods contain a good variety. We buy a bread knife that measures the slice of bread and a french rolling pin.

Afterward, we make the walk back to the RV. We have dinner outside next to the stream, saying to ourselves what a great experience this has been. Tomorrow walks in Killington and then off to New Hampshire. This has been a special part of the trip.