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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Strange Things One Thinks About On the Road

Tuesday February 4, 2014  3:39 CST Sleep Inn Room 218 Bowling Green, Kentucky

Late start this morning—on the road at 9:30 am. Since we stayed just East of Cincinnati the first order of business was to drive through. It is an easy city to drive through and I’ve always loved the Great American Insurance Company building—probably because it was the company for which my Mom and several of my aunts worked on those famous insurance maps that you find in museums these days—down on Maiden Lane—what a lovely name for a street in the financial district. Within minutes we crossed the Ohio into Covington, Ky and so, at least to my mind, we entered the realm of the old South.

The very first sight in Covington was a stone cliff with flows of ice, not unlike the photo I took on the way to Batavia on Sunday. So much for being in the South! Around Louisville we saw the first flurry of planes on this trip. Usually the Columbus / Dayton skies are filled but not this trip. At one point I happened to look out my side window and saw almost within reach, it seemed, just above me a plane followed soon by a variety of airlines circling and suspended in a holding pattern waiting their turn to descend to Earth. Not far off we also saw a huge gathering of geese, who I hope were outside the landing pattern, but I don’t think so.  Bill says that’s why they’ve mounted machine guns on the front of the planes. See, I’m not the only one who has strange hypnotic thoughts while traveling among the behemoth semis through fog and snowy scenes.

We took the Louisville by-pass so I never really see that city. I always get a kick when I see the Billtown Road exit. Is there a Billtown –what’s its history and who was Bill?  Eventually, we hooked back into the road to Nashville. We had seen one car off the road on the bypass but here we passed about four of them. The storm came through two days ago—why haven’t they been towed away?  I’d want my car asap—it is a wonder they haven’t been stripped.

As we drove along the fog became more noticeable—actually we thought there was fine snow up ahead, but no—there was no precipitation at all. All at once I became aware of the bent over trees and the frosted limbs of others. Looking at the temperature we saw that it was exactly 32 degrees Fahrenheit—for my Italian friend—freezing point of water. So, what was happening?  We, science majors that we are, think that the fog was being formed because the air was cold and humid and the land was much warmer.  But when the fog hit the cold trees, the water in the air condensed and froze creating lacy white limbs and top heavy small evergreens.  We found that less than a mile later, with lower elevation and higher temperatures the trees were ice-free!

I felt like that woman in the NY Lottery ad or the guy. She is walking in a beautiful botanical gardens of ponds in different geometric shapes. She thinks about pizza being round in a square box but cut in triangles. He is driving along in a fancy sports convertible wondering whether a mystery book would become more mysterious if the last page were torn out. Both of them have won the lottery and the voice over asks what you would think about if you won the lottery. Well, I haven’t but I’m retired and that is just as freeing!  Thought-wise, anyway!

Soon we arrived at Bowling Green and the lure of Smoky Pig just pulled to car off the highway.  Even the local policeman eats there for lunch. It’s a good thing I don’t live here—I’d eat there every day!  I had my ribs—I had the pork shoulder one time and it is delicious but I just love the ribs. It is the best BBQ sauce –not too vinegary, not sweet at all and not overwhelmingly catsup—actually none of those things are even tasted, yet they must all be there. It is perfect.

After eating we decided that since we want to take the Trace tomorrow we would stay at the Sleep Inn as we did last August—it is comfortable and has a friendly staff. Besides, such a lunch –although it was at 1:30 here , it was 2:30 for us—makes one a bit sleepy. So, here we are—comfy, full and all settled in for the night.  And, within a half hour of checking in, it began to rain and is now freezing rain so without knowing it, we made the best decision. I just hope we have a somewhat nice day for the Trace tomorrow.

Until then, take care, stay warm and drive carefully—sounds like all your roads are going to be snowy or icy.  KandB

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