Into Kentucky

I am parked at the Cracker Barrel in Shelbyville, Kentucky, and looking forward to the parking lot clearing out so I can get myself on some levelers!

Part of the trouble with figuring out tonight’s overnight spot was that Google Maps kept routing me out off of I64 and around Louisville. I did some research and learned that the Sherman Minton Bridge, which connects I64 in Indiana to I64 in Kentucky at the western edge of Louisville, was shut down due to maintenance concerns for several months. Even though the bridge has now been reopened for two months and Google knows this, it has failed to update its mapping application. Once I knew that I could stay on I64 through Louisville, it completely changed how far I felt I could get today. None of the Louisville overnighting options were on I64. It made sense to get clear of the city and then pull over. Shelbyville had a number of options, with the Cracker Barrel the only sure bet.

Cracker Barrel is a restaurant I have mixed feelings about. I love their food, but it is so unhealthy that I feel guilty when I eat there. But tonight I had a good reason to do so and I savoured every bite, including their OMG crustless coconut cream pie (which is actually a toasted coconut custard).

But let me go back to the beginning of the day. I didn’t want to get to the Cracker Barrel too early, hoping to miss the dinner crowd (that plan failed), so I had a slow mo morning in St Louis and pulled out at 10:30, with my ETA being 6PM. Huh? Oh, I was going to cross into EST today!

Miranda at Harrah's St Louis

I did a double take when I saw this rig pull in last night!

Getting through St Louis this morning was much easier than it was at rush hour on Thursday. I was glad to be going eastbound because check out the westbound lanes:

Shortly after crossing the Mississippi into Illinois, I got off the freeway to get fuel and have visual evidence of why I loathe getting gas in the motorhome with the car attached. Why do some fuel stations have those stupid useless cement bollards at each end? Let’s just say I miscalculated my turns. A good Samaritan tried to warn me, but I saw this happening in the mirror and knew I couldn’t stop it:

I drove another 100km to the Goshen Road rest area for lunch:

Goshen Road Rest Area

After lunch, I put a capful of Turtle Wax car detergent into a bucket and diluted it with a couple of cups of water. Armed with a soft green scrubby pad, I spent at most 15 minutes vigourously scrubbing away the remnants of the bollard’s attack on my car:

There’s still a very faint line on the door and one by the wheel well, but you have to know they’re there. I’m glad that my cursory assessment at the gas station was correct; I just scrapped the paint off the bollard but didn’t do any real damage to the car. You can all start breathing again. 😉

Now, I’m going to say something that is going to leave some of you in disbelief and assured that I am a couple of cards short of a deck: the east smells different from the west. I really noticed it at the Goshen Road rest area; there was this humid scent of humus that I haven’t smelled for years. It could be that the vegetation is different.

I drove some more and crossed into Indiana:

My only experience in Indiana was at a really horrible rest area. The welcome centre on today’s route was much nicer:

I found this map interesting. I drove on the northwestmost red line on this map and was traveling on the southwestmost red line:

The Indiana welcome centre had information about the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. I think he looks very handsome without his beard:

Lincoln is an historical figure who feels very real to me, not legendary. I think it’s because I saw the place where he died. There was a pillow on the bed that was supposedly stained by his blood. I don’t know for sure if that was real or not, but it made an impact on me.

Lincoln’s mother died of something I’d never heard of:

The NPS has a very informational page about milksickness.

The overpasses in Indiana, like those in Michigan, are painted sky blue:

About 10 miles from Louisville, it became imperative that I stop to use the bathroom and I only had a quarter tank of fuel left. So I pulled off the highway at an exit where there were several gas stations. I found one that I could easily pull into, but the roof looked low. I was very happy that they bothered to post the clearance level. It was 13′, which gave me a foot and a half to spare. 🙂

I crossed the Kentucky state line on the Sherman Milton Bridge and was then formally welcomed into the state:

It says birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, but I think of it as the birthplace of my favourite female singer, Loretta Lynn. 🙂

Driving through Louisville was easy. I stuck to the centre lane when possible. There was almost no traffic and no one honked at me!

Louisville, KY

The Kentucky welcome centre is very beautiful!

From there, it was only about 10 minutes to Shelbyville. My GPS thought the Cracker Barrel was almost a full kilometre past where it is, so I missed it. I was very glad that just a couple of kilometres down KY-56 there was a small shopping centre into which I could pull in and turn around. I saw the Cracker Barrel on the way back, but was confused by the sign that said that RV parking was thataway, leading me to think that there was another entrance. Thankfully, the next entrance was a U-shaped one, so I was able to get turned around again and finally manoeuvre myself through the Cracker Barrel maze into one of their three RV slots.

This was the first night since I left Lethbridge that I arrived absolutely exhausted so I was glad to have an excuse to have supper made for me, and even gladder that the manager was so quick to say that I could stay.

The sky has been rumbling for the last hour and it has finally started to pour. It is also very dark out even though it is just 8:30EST. I will be getting to bed early tonight so that I can pull out reasonably early tomorrow. I have a fairly short driving day planned, so I’m hoping to get to a rest area fairly early on where I can spend part of the day and catch up on some things.

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  • I noticed you were wanting to find overnight options along the way on your trip. I happened to find this website today where you can find people that have RV parking for a night or two of boondocking in their driveway or such. It looks to be a relatively new site but may have something to offer, if not now then maybe later on down the road. Check it out:

  • Glad to hear your trip was “relatively” uneventful now that I’ve seen the second picture of your car.

    Thanks for the link to information about milk sickness. Growing up in Illinois I had heard of it but had no idea what it actually was and probably would have never looked it up had you not made it so easy to do. 🙂

  • Mmmm Cracker Barrel.

  • Linda, be honest, did your heart flutter when you saw that first pic? 😉

    Bast, I think we’ll be eating there quite a bit over the next week. 😉

  • Have you visited the Loretta Lynn Ranch/Campground off Hwy 40 in Tennessee? We drove through it on our trip East last year and it’s a beautiful location. Didn’t stop to see the museums and tours and such but put it on the bucket list for a future trip. We stayed an hour down the road at Parkers Crossroads, cheap camping, friendly folks. (New ownership a few years back, if you see some bad reviews check the date)

  • WOW!! WOW!!! You have had quite a day. Glad your car is OK. All I can say is you are full of energy and ready for ANYTHING!!!

  • Gary, it really wasn’t that much of a day, seriously, not even with that unexpected bit of trouble near the end.

    This trip is going so well! 🙂

  • Haven’t been to Tennessee yet, but Hurricane Mills is on my bucket list! I am doing my best to talk myself out of doing a detour to Van Lear/Butcher Holler today. 😀

  • Rae, You are my hero and Inspiration to know that you can really do ANYTHING you put your mind to!! Enjoy the ride!

  • Gary, you’re so sweet. 🙂

  • Cracker Barrel is always very accommodating and I love their catfish! Very close call on the car BTW! Be sure to use touch up paint if any metal is exposed.

  • Croft, the problem with CB is that their RV spots are only 44′ long. My rig is 50′ long and I hate to unhook when I’m pulling in for the night. Yesterday, I just barely fit in the slot. CB will always be a backup for me.

    As for the car, the worst that happened is that I took a bit of clear coat off in two spots. The green paint is unaffected. I’ll give the car a good wax once she’s had a good clean and you’ll never know she was kissed by a bollard!

  • Shirley, isn’t this a great site? I was involved in its development. 🙂

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