My Summer Road Trip

August 7, 2014


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I packed up my bike early to head for Indianapolis this day.
As I got ready to leave, I had (another) nice chat with Johnny. He and his co-workers from Verizon were working on improving celular towers in the area. Johnny was from North Carolina and rides. Nice guy. Interesting too. We had also chatted the previous evening after I got back from washing clothes.
I followed 61 towards Elizabethtown, KY. A pretty route but probably not as winding as I had expected.
Many farms, a variety of crops...
As I neared Elizabethtown, I saw a sign saying I was near Abraham Lincoln memorial sites. I decided to turn into Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Site. Immediately I was a bit confused. Was this newer looking building somehow directly related to the Lincoln family?
Turns out the Inn and its small cabins were built in 1928 as a TRIBUTE to Abraham Lincoln's mother.
Although they're "new" compared to anything the Lincoln family might have lived in, they are nonetheless interesting looking structures.
So what IS here that makes this Lincoln's birthplace? You can't help but notice this building... a monument of some kind?
I had to go into the park office to find out just what I was seeing. Evidently the structure was built in 1911 around a log cabin believed to have been built with logs from the original Sinking Spring Farm of Thomas and Nancy Lincoln, Honest Abe's parents. 52 stairs lead up to the monument, one for every year of Lincoln's life.
There are pictures inside the park office showing the dedication ceremony that was held after the monument was completed.
And... here's the log cabin inside the monument.
A simple one room cabin whose structure matched the Lincoln log cabin. Only one problem... turns out the logs used COULDN'T have been from the original cabin (as determined by carbon dating perhaps?).
I suppose that's why they now call this the "symbolic" birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.
The cabin certainly IS created in the fashion that homes of the early 1800s would have been.
And details of the surrounding monument building...
... are certainly presidential.
As a fan of Abraham Lincoln (I took American history in high school and thought of Lincoln as one of the US's best), I think the monument is a nice tribute.
I'll tell you what is TOTALLY genuine...
... the Sinking Spring!!
You can't rebuild nature with false parts, can you?
Time to "head on down the highway". Next stop, Fort Knox!
Inside the visitor center, the chain of command.
Back outside, this is when it got weird. I had driven in off US31W. There really is nowhere to go except to the fort BUT there is a lane that visitors (me) are supposed to use to get to the gate, as in NOT to the gate (because you can't go in) but to the Welcome Center.
I had been in the far right lane and you needed to be in the far left lane (of 4) to get to the center. I missed by one lane and soon found out... oh-oh... I'm going to have to just head back out because I used the wrong lane. But hey! I'm on a bike and I could go backwards down the short exit from the welcome center... OK, good! Now, let's take some pictures!!
After taking pictures of the fountain and the gold painted tanks at the fort entrance and of the gold reserve in the distance, I was just getting on my bike when two armed soldiers came walking towards me and flagged me down. By not going THROUGH the right entrance, I'd missed some sign saying "no pictures". They asked to see the pictures in my camera and I had to delete all of them except the unpainted tank in front of the welcome center, the welcome center and the fountain. All else was erased. I (of course) apologized for my stupid error but admittedly am STILL curious why pictures of a gold painted tank (which is obviously to show off the entrance) are not allowed. The soldier even told me I could find pictures of those on the Internet. ???!?!
Whatever... I certainly didn't mean to offend. The soldiers were nice enough. I'm just glad I didn't end up in a cell for my transgression!! :)
That encounter must have affected me more than it should have because when I stopped for gas up the road, I dumped my loaded bike (bike falls when stopped). Several people at the gas station were quick to come to my aid and as grateful as I was for the help, I was also hugely embarassed. Perhaps that is why I didn't take the time to readjust my mirror right then and there but I was already on the Interstate before I realized the the fall had caused the mirror to come loose and now it was flopping in the wind. I didn't have TOO far to travel before I visited a park on the Indiana side of the Ohio River. There, these two nice people, tried their best to help me tighten my mirror.
More Canadian tourists.
To the west, a railway span over top of a huge dam.
The I-65 bridge I'd travelled over to get to where I was.
The Louisville skyline. Kentucky is south of the Ohio River.
The full railway span to the west of where is was standing.
Across from where I was parked, an ice creamery/bicycle shop.
I went further down that riverside road to the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
From this side of the railway bridge, you could see the water flowing over the dam.
People were being given "fossil" tours along the river bank...
... but to be honest, the terrain confused me. I THINK the river along side this stretch of land is higher on the south side than on this side. What do you think?
The river is definitely higher behind this dam. That was clear.
Look at the deposits of logs along the shoreline. This indicates that they sometimes allow the river to get higher in this area but for now, it's blocked off.
I went inside the museum to get help (a wrench) to fix my mirror and saw this guy. Wouldn't want HIM stepping on me!!
Many thanks to this park person who was so very helpful in fixing my mirror! Riding on the Interstate with a floppy mirror was just not an option. Ironically, when I tried to get back on the freeway, I took a wrong turn and could not get back on because of construction at the entryway. I rode up US31 until I got into a small suburb and asked how to get back on the freeway. I was advised not to. There was construction until Seymour, they said. Stay on 31 until then. Am I ever glad I made the wrong turn and that I was told to use 31. At one point when I passed UNDER the interstate, traffic was actually at a standstill!! After Seymour I reentered I-65 and got to my hotel by 4 o'clock. I was able to dump my bags then go to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to get my MotoGP tickets. I also got advice on a route from IMS to my hotel on the southeast side of the city without using the Interstate which was now packed with rush hour traffic. It was such a good route, I used it to and from the Speedway every day!
P.S. My hotel was right beside a Walmart. That night I went a bought a wrench which went directly into my toolkit. Lucky thing. I ended up having to adjust my OTHER mirror as well!
61 to Elizabethtown, KY
US31W to Fort Knox
US60 to I-264
I-264 to I-65N
I-65 to Louisville, KY/Jeffersonville, IN
US31 to Seymour, IN
I-65 to Indianapolis, IN

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