Memphis Cruise Day 2

Route: Aberdeen, OH to Rock Island, TN

  • From Aberdeen, OH, take US-68 south to Campbellsville, KY
  • Take KY-55 south to Columbia, KY
  • Take KY-61 south to TN-53 at the KY/TN border
  • Take TN-53 south to Gainsboro, TN
  • Take TN-56 south to McMinnville, TN
  • Take US-70S east to Rock Island, TN

Hello Folks,

Today’s portion of the Memphis Cruise was a bit more exciting than the first.

I started my day by crossing the Ohio River via a two-lane suspension bridge. A quick look downriver revealed a beautiful vista. A similar glance upriver revealed a rather imposing looking nuclear power plant. Keep in mind that the entire area (including both the plant and where I pitched my tent) was flooded earlier in the year. Even though I was camping a mere mile or two downriver, I don’t seem to glow, yet.

One interesting note about Kentucky: One piece of 1950’s Americana survives here: the Drive-In Theatre. I saw one that actually advertised real movies; instead of “I Dismember Mommy” or “Friday the 13th-Part 74”, this place was showing “Volcano” and “Jerry Macquire.”

Another note about Kentucky: I’ve never seen so many perfectly-manicured 10 Acre front lawns in my life! These people take this “bluegrass” stuff far too seriously.

As you already know from yesterday’s report, I visited a “Copy Mart” in Lexington, KY to send the last message. Nice people. While the Newton struggled to negotiate with AOL, I gave the clerk some contact info regarding my motorcycle baggage, and helped the manager connect to the Internet.

When I stopped for gas in Harrodsburg, I noticed that the Cruiser’s headlight was out. After 45 minutes of troubleshooting (and lunch), I finally found that the connector was loose at the back of the headlight bulb. I made the fix and continued down the road: victorious, but behind schedule.

Repeated from message #1: Some of these roads must have been made specifically for motorcycles. As fun as it is, 200+ miles of Twisties can tire you out.

I was only 50 miles into Tennessee when I saw the first sign for Elvis souvenirs.

Philosophical Question: Are these people exhibiting strong signs of:
A) obsession, or
B) extreme marketing savvy?

I move back to catch the Cruiser in a shot. Note that this was before I did the wake-up call on the Cruiser, so it still had the stock mufflers.
I move back to catch the Cruiser in a shot. Note that this was before I did the wake-up call on the Cruiser, so it still had the stock mufflers.

No sooner had I finished pondering the question above when another sign notified me that I was now cruising down the “Dottie West Memorial Highway.” Everything here revolves around Nashville (Grand ‘ol Opry) and Elvis.

I ended up stopping for the day in McMinnville (home of Dottie West—no kidding, really). Gas station clerks guided me to Rock Island State Park for a campsite. Thankfully, this place won’t turn into a madhouse until this weekend (Memorial Day), so finding a spot was no problem.

Another puzzle: I can easily deal with the noise of bullfrogs in the background (no, they don’t say “bud-wise-er”), but I did need to ask my neighbors to turn off their country music before I went to sleep. Question: Am I unconciously exhibiting good taste, or am I simply “country/western-challenged”?


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