2013 Bardstown Motorycle trip
Day 2

August 23

It was nice to wake up today somewhere other than my house. No remodeling. No fire pagers. No broken air conditioning. A couple days before our trip I came home from work to a funny sound and a warmer-than-usual house. The fan on the air conditioning condensor sounded like it was grinding rocks. Luckily, Donna had a window unit from her apartment days so I stuck it in the bedroom window and ordered a replacement fan motor. It'll be waiting for me after vacation. We'll make do until then.

We're meeting this morning at 8am for breakfast in the hotel lounge. Donna had set her alarm for 7:15. She got ready while I laid in bed being lazy. When she was done it was my turn.

Since we were on the ground floor it was only about 40 feet to the breakfast lounge. John & Debby were already there. I continued out the back door to the bikes where I hooked up the GPS and our helmets. They had biscuits and gravy which I love, but sometimes it doesn't love me, so I had some boiled eggs and toast.

The weather forecast for today is sunny, hot, and humid. No rain is forecast but right now it looks like it could rain. That is fine with me. I'll take overcast anyday when I'm riding. We'll be heading to Frankfort to tour the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

After breakfast we stood around the bikes enjoying vacation and the smokers smoke. There is one less smoker in our group. Mike quit smoking this summer! We clean the windshields and piddle around a while longer enjoying the ability to do vacation nothingness.

The tour at Buffalo Trace doesn't start until 11am so we had plenty of time to get there. As we started north on KY-555 I was annoyed to realize I had forgotten to deploy my camera. There were some nice old barns and garages I would have taken some pictures of. There was construction on the Bluegrass Parkway and it was two-lane for several miles. When it turned back to 4-lane we cranked up the speed and the cruise control.

My wireless mouse batteries were dead and Donna needed a few items so we decided if a Walmart presented itself we would stop and kill some time there. After all...going to Walmart is a vacation tradition. Tradition was maintained in Lawrenceburg. We got the supplies we needed. We talked to a couple guys in the parking lot about motorcycles. It sprinkled for about 15 seconds.

We arrived at Buffalo Trace about 20 minutes before our tour. We smoked, piddled, and noticed another bike's rear tire was having some tire clearance issues. Did I mention Buffalo Trace has motorcycle parking right up front?

It was a short walk from the parking lot to the gift shop. We have did the tour where they describe the distillation process so today we are doing a tour that is more about the history of the distillery. We found out this tour didn't start until 11:30 so this gave us some more time to look around the gift shop, take some pictures outside, and use the restroom. Donna and I eventually found a nice couch in their lounge area. I might have nodded off for a few minutes.

At 11:30 our tour started in the lounge area where our tour guide gave some history on the area in general and Buffalo Trace in particular. I'm not going to describe every aspect of the tour, just the highlights as I see them. Donna got teased a couple times about her Wild Turkey shirt.

I'm a train nerd. Just ask Donna. Buffalo Trace used to have almost three miles of track on their facility. Trains brought in coal for their boilers, grains for their distillation process, and other supplies. About 30 years ago a flood washed out a railroad bridge which was never rebuilt so now they rely solely on trucks for their supplies. This section of track is the only track left at the distillery. Sigh....

This older building is attached to the building where they receive their grains. It used to house the George C. Dickel distillery from the 1930's through the 1950's. Now it is used for storage. This building is next to the Kentucky River.

This building was built in the 1700's and is one of the oldest in Frankfort. It will be undergoing some refurbishment in the future.

This building is notched because there used to be a railroad spur there, but as I mentioned earlier, the railroad tracks have all been lost to history.

The markers show the water levels from past floods. It takes months to clean up from the mildest flood.

I thought this was neat. All of their storage buildings are connected by small tracks. The whiskey barrels roll along them and eventually end up at the barrel-emptying facility. All it takes is an initial push and the barrels free roll by themselves. I love the mechanicalness of it all...plus...it reminds me of trains.

After the tour comes the free bourbon tasting. As a non-drinker it all tastes like paint thinner to me so I gave mine to Donna. I will say their bourbon creme mixed with root beer tasted very good!

All the distilleries give tours that describe the distillation process. I really enjoyed this tour since it dealt more with history. I would highly recommend it.

After our tour we headed to their on-site restaurant...the Firehouse Cafe. We had about 20 minutes before they closed at 2pm. It is built inside an old firehouse. Donna and I had turkey sandwiches and baked beans. It hit the spot. After lunch we stopped at the gift shop one last time then headed to the bikes.

Jerri and Donna are Frankfort newbies so we decided to visit Daniel Boone's grave then go to the Kentucky Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. John knew where to go so he led. The cloud cover we had been blessed with most of the day was starting to break up and it was allowing the sun to make things hot.

It was fun following John and the ride through Frankfort was scenic. They have train tracks running through town like they do back home. All was going well until we went up a hill near the center of town. This road used to dump out near the Kentucky military museum but now all the exits say "Do Not Enter". Mine and John's GPSs both said this was a valid route.

This dilemna posed no problem for John. He just whipped his trike around on the hill and headed back down. If you're on a two-wheeler, though, this is one of those puckering situations. If your bike tips to the downhill side you're screwed. Mike and I both slowly and cautiously backed our bikes around in the road. I had kept my luggage rack on and now when I tried to back up enough to point downhill the rack kept hitting the pavement. This sucked. I had to ride uphill slightly in tight quarters and turn down the hill and maintain enough momentum to not tip over. At one point while turning downhill it felt pretty scary as the bike lurched some but we made it back to the bottom unscathed. Donna said the situation killed her bourbon buzz from the tasting. Ha!

The rest of the ride to the cemetary was drama-free. We spent some time in the shady area enjoying the beautiful view of Frankfort from Daniel Boone's grave. It was quiet and peaceful. Eventually another group came along so we left.

Daniel Boone's grave.

Our next stop was the Kentucky Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. It uses a large sundial to point to the names of soldiers who died based on the month they died. By now it was hot and humid so we spent more time in the shade than we did browsing.

Frankfort, KY. 15:17, mileage 68,646 - The overwhelming consensus was for a cold beverage so we stopped for gas nearby and spent some time lounging in the shade. From here we reversed our morning's route and an hour later we were back at the hotel.

After showers and some napping we met in the hotel lounge about 6:30pm and ordered supper from Snappy's Tomato Pizza. Donna and I had calzones and potato bites. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm good. We discussed tomorrow's activities and lounged around.

Today my brother Monty and his girlfriend Stephanie left on their motorcycle trip. They took a meandering route to Kentucky Down Under near Horse Cave, KY. They eventually made their way to London, KY, where they stayed for the night.

106 miles.

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