2010 Cherry Point motorcycle trip

August 15

My fears of a late night on the ambulance were well founded. I didn't get to bed until ~2am and we had a run at 5:20, so when I got off work I went home and took a nap. I got up around 11, packed everything, ran some papers to the ambulance station, and stopped by the credit union to pick up some cash for the trip.

Bedford, IN. 13:18, mileage 43,518 - The official start of my trip. I pulled over in the credit union lot and sent the "I'm off" message to family and friends.

Because of my late start I'm abandoning my leg through Madison down US421 to Frankfort. I'll take the more traditional route to Paoli and down US150 to I-64.

Galena, IN. 14:27, mileage 43,575 - I had half a tank of gas when I left Bedford so I pulled over in Galena for fuel and supplies. On the trips with Mike Padgett this has been our last stop on our way home. Today it is my first stop. I got some pop, tea, water, and ice for the cooler. The weather is hot and humid so I put on some sunscreen. The weather in Whidbey Island was perfect and I'm not enjoying this sauna.

A few miles down the road there was a short traffic jam due to the I-64/I-265 merger and a closed traffic lane. It only lasted for a few moments and soon I was headed for the I-64 Ohio River crossing. I prefer this bridge over the I-65 bridge any day.

A couple orange beasts.

Midway, KY. 16:05 - I pulled over at a familiar rest stop. I got a new bottle of water, stretched a bit, and reworked my camera mounting setup. The weather was looking a little dark to the east. Near the I-75 interchange I saw a train.

Richmond, KY. 17:01, mileage 43,692 - A quick stop for gas. From here I'll start my journey down US421. I'm excited as I've thought about driving US421 for years.

As USxx highways go this part of US421 is pretty rural. The road isn't very wide. Looks more like a state highway or county road. I went passed the Blue Grass Army Depot just south of Richmond. The place seemed well-manned for a Sunday and there were lots of railroad tracks.

Near Bighill the road became increasingly wetter. Several minutes later I caught up with the rain. It was never more than sprinkles and lasted for probably twenty minutes. I eventually rode out of the little rain shower onto dry roads. I took a backward shot of the road.

This part of Kentucky is very rural. For the most part US421 snakes through the valleys. There were a couple mountain crossings with associated curves and switchbacks, but for the most part just sweeping rural road. The route feels very isolated. Even though my Goldwing has been mechanically sound since I've had it, a valve stem failure this past summer haunts me a little. I'd hate to have a bike issue in these parts.

Riding through Manchester I saw this yellow Fiero trike. It looked like it had ran out of gas and the guy was putting more back in. Farther down the road I saw a red one. Fiero trikes must be popular here.

This morning before leaving I had decided that Harlan, KY, would be my destination for the night. I had made reservations at the Holiday Inn Express there before I left. I had programmed it into my GPS and it kept me abreast of my expected ETA. I probably should have stopped for a break or two, but I wanted to get there before dark. There also weren't many places to stop. The occasional gas station would come and go but not much else presented itself. The rundown houses, closed businesses, and many buildings being reclaimed by nature were a testament to the poverty and hardships of the area.

The heat and humidity, the dampness from the earlier rain, the lack of sleep and showering for almost two days, and a growling stomach all combined to make the ride tedious. It seemed like one little village after another punctuated by valleys would come and go, and a mileage sign would let me know I was slowly getting closer.

Just a few miles north of Harlan the road was the most scenic and fun. It climbed up the side of a mountain past some gravel pits then wound down the other side for what seemed like forever.

Harlan, KY. 20:27 - After 129 miles and over 3 1/2 hours of continuous riding I arrived at my destination for the evening. It felt good to climb off the bike. My hands were stiff and my butt was sore. I checked in, dropped my stuff off, and headed to a nearby Walmart.

I hadn't been able to find any locking pins for the hitch, so I had used a 1/4" bolt. I found a locking pin here, as well as some pop. There was also an attached Subway, so a Subway Club became my supper. As I packed everything in the trailer a guy slowed in his car and told me he really liked my "tractor/trailer" setup. Despite being tired it made me smile.

I took a picture of a pretty Kentucky sundown then headed back to the hotel. The sandwich tasted wonderful. The shower felt great, as did the bed. Tomorrow I'll head to New Bern, North Carolina, where I'm scheduled to spend the next couple weeks.

302 miles.

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