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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Crossing Many Bridges!

Wednesday March 27,2013 7:08 pm Room 228 Sleep Inn Owensboro, Kentucky

Ah, today started with a laugh. Bill has a bumper sticker on the car that says " I miss Ike, hell, I even miss Harry".  A young guy, about twenty or so, asked him what the bumper sticker meant--LOL. Bill told him who the men were, including that Harry Truman was from Missouri. I think the kid's eyes glazed over so Bill said it just meant that he is a really old guy. LOL  I remember Ike and Harry--not really sure Bill does that well!!!

Then we got on the Interstate to go one exit to the road we wanted to take East and in the passing lane, facing us, with his headlights and colored lights flashing, a Statie rolling slowly backwards. We couldn't figure what was going on as we passed the guy but as we exited we saw the traffic in front of us stopping and a long line of trucks and cars backing up to our exit--we just made it--we would have been sitting there trying to get to the exit if we'd been just about two minutes later. Don't know what the problem was but were glad we lucked out.

As we headed toward our next exit that would lead us to the bridge from Bird Point to Cairo ( Kay-row) Illinois we saw the big flashing sign saying the bridge was closed until tomorrow so we stayed on I 57 and crossed over the Mississippi River that way. Then we took 51 south into Cairo. What a mess!  A section of beautiful mansions but for the most part broken down houses and flattened streets. A real dichotomy but obviously a very poor place---elegant houses and churches tooth by jowl to buildings that can only charitably be called shacks. Nowhere any evidence of Capone's affection for it.

South of town we came to the closed bridge we'd had to by-pass and immediately crossed a vintage bridge into Kentucky. These two bridges are the two mentioned in the article that says they contributed to the demise of the city.


We arrived at Wickliffe and decided to grab lunch and look at the map, since our only plan had been to get into Kentucky but had no idea where we were headed once we got there. Paducah was close but too close to stop in so we decided to head to Owensboro.
The Wagon Wheel was most interesting--the waitress was wearing a Christian t-shirt--the front proclaiming that He Gave His Life for You--the back affirming that this is The Promise. The specials board had at the bottom that " we are blessed to be able to serve you"  I just can't get used to this battering all over the country--not just the Baptist South. At least our mugs weren't from the local church as happened last year in Tennessee. I was the only woman in the place, except the two waitresses. Guess they could tell we were Yankees--God save us!

 After lunch we were headed to Owensboro but, first, we thought we'd check out the Wickliffe Mounds. The waitress said they are right next door and indeed they are. They are not open, however. The guy we met from Iowa back in Ponca City said the reason the South lost the war was because they are never open---No one is ever around on Sun or Mon--no one works beyond 330 on Thurs and surely not after 1 on Friday. He isn't far off.

When I saw Joliet and Marquette's menu I felt as though that might have been a better choice than my two bacon, one tomato slice, one thin leaf of iceberg on my BLT. I think I'd have skipped the bear grease though.

Anyway, off we went to run the back roads of Western Kentucky, after first noting that skateboards and skates are not allowed on the Wickcliffe Court House grounds--lol--probably, especially not during court proceedings. On through Barlow, La Center, Kevil and across the Tennessee vintage bridge, complete with very banged up guard rails that I tried to ignore.  The tugs and their  barges were working up and down the river.

Lots of farmland in the river valleys and horses, cows and even a couple of black sows and their adorable piglets. Then another bridge and we crossed the Cumberland. I really liked that bridge and also the bottom lands we entered then. This road follows one of the Trail of Tears trails--since there were several paths used to drive the Cherokee and others to Oklahoma by Jackson's orders. We also came across what was obviously the build up of tailings from a mine---looked just like the Bisbee Az mines--turned out to be a  rock quarry.

Arrived in Marion where we changed routes cutting more eastward before turning northerly once more. The Ohio River really determines the direction of these back roads, except for those obviously headed to river ports. There were many historical signs we could not stop for--either because of location or because I saw them too late to tell Bill to stop. This one for the Deanwood PO was on a huge curve with the sign almost in the middle of the road. So treacherous that I took the pictures without reading the sign until I had it on the computer.

Providence was an interesting town--up a steep hill to the main drag--with another crossing on the 90degree downward slope--and a miner statue standing in the middle of the crossroads! Interesting picture taking--missed the beautiful white marble Providence Bank on the side hill. Another change in route here--41A-and oil rigs tucked in among the trees. A small oil field in the area, obviously.

Into Dixon, and a scenic byway 132 to Sebree. Thought that the roads until now were pretty scenic--but who am I to judge?  I love the old barns and make up stories about the people who lived there and used them before they were left to collapse. Would have loved to have been at the Purple Opry on Sat--bet it is quite a good time--bluegrass music--banjos and fiddles--love it.

At Sebree one picks up 56 into Beech Grove and this one has a sign to say it is a scenic byway. 132 is only designated as such on the official Ky map! The consolidated school in Beech Grove looks like it has seen better days. After several miles of beautiful planted large fields we came over the rise into St Joseph/ Maple Mount and the Ursuline Sisters of St Joseph--The site is beautiful and all the brick buildings stand out on the brow of the hill looking like a Southern military school or a Catholic girls' school--to my discerning eyes. The Ursulines have always had as their mission the training and education of young women and there is a beautiful convent and school in New Orleans on Ursuline Street.


After passing through West Louisville--someone has a real sense of humor--we came to Owensboro and our rest for the night. Once more I asked for an upgrade and once more we have a two room suite with two baths. In this instance it is two bedrooms and I'm thinking of asking for it again tomorrow. There is a bluegrass music museum here and if it is open I'd love to see it. Also an art museum with a collection of old stained glass. Sounds beautiful. Since the wi fi is  good it would give me a chance to do the bill paying for April. So, I'll check the museum and we'll go from there. For now, if you look at the floor plan you will see we have the only suite in the motel!

Will let you all know tomorrow --for now, it is time for Modern Family so I'm off. Goodnight KandB

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