Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Good News Is We Got Safely Through Kentucky

The bad news is we have no idea what the state looks like, thanks to torrential rains 

We begin packing  for the trip on Wednesday. We check and double-check that we have everything stowed, and then check one more time, making sure we haven't left anything this time (like um, the dog leash we left back in Texas). 
We also buy some screw-type quick links for the trailer.  During our last road trip, one of the hooks for the motorcycle tie down straps came loose. Instead of relying on hooks again, we connect everything with these links, which screw shut.
For this trip, we decide to tie the front end down as low as we can, which should keep the front wheel straight and cut down on the amount of bouncing.
 We then make sure the back end is also connected by quick links, and just as secure.
Take a good look, cuz tying the motorcycle down securely? Is about the only thing that goes as intended on this trip! 

We wake up Thursday morning to scattered showers. We were hoping for an early start, but find ourselves watching the radar instead. Finally, there is a break in the rain and we hit the road. The Otterbee zips north on I-75, heading to the Kentucky border.
The rain may have stopped for the moment, but we are now driving through strong winds, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey. As we cross the state border,  the skies turn ominously dark. The highway is now weaving through low mountains, and the wind keeps getting stronger.

Just past Williamsburg, the heavens open up and the deluge begins. I-75 turns westward, across the Daniel Boone National Park and yes, more mountains. We creep along in the rain, smack in the middle of a long line of semis going barely 40 miles an hour.

We Are Heading to Our First Boondock!

Fortunately, we are only driving 120 miles the first day. We reach the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea at noon, just as the rain lets up. While the Biker walks our husky, I try to force blood back into knuckles that are still white from fighting the wind.  (We'll post a review of the Artisan Center in the next day or two)

Of course, this means we're also hitting the cafe in the middle of the lunch rush, so it takes forever to get food and something to drink. We finally sit down - and start laughing. The sound system has been playing local artists and the current selection is a band doing a cover of "Rain, Rain, Rain". 

Rain, Rain, Rain

We get a few hours break from the rain, but Harvey blows back in with a vengeance as the sun sets.  This is our first time staying anywhere without hook ups and we spend the night listening to a tropical depression beating on our 18 year old roof.  We do find one tiny leak, but there isn't much we can do to recaulk the seam until we get to Louisville. 

 And More Rain!

Fortified with a hot breakfast and lots of coffee, we leave Berea at 10am. Our faithful Otterbee takes us north past Lexington, where we pick up I-64 west. The wind has settled down some, but the rain continues to get worse. We finally give up and pull into a rest area just before Frankfort.

 It's 11:00am on a Friday, but the rest stop is packed. We nab one of the last open spots, while our Husky begins yipping for a walk, which he only does when Things Are Urgent. Our rain ponchos are nearly useless against the monsoon outside, so now we have sodden, wet clothes hanging everywhere. 
We Decide to Push Through

One of the best things about having an RV is we always have a fridge and a bed. We take a short nap, eat lunch, and watch the radar.  Eventually, we decided to take a chance and try to push through. We point the Otterbee west and take off down I-64 towards Louisville.  Since the park is on the other side of the Ohio river, we can only get there by going through a mix master - which seems like a Very Bad Idea right about now. 

Instead of taking I-64 all the way through, we grab the 285 loop, then cut over to 841 to cross the bridge. Louisville has turned all its bridges, except one, into tolls. Since we don't have a tag, we will get mailed a bill for $7. We would have still had to paid $7 if we had taken the mixmaster to the other bridge, so we  figure we're actually came out ahead.
 We Make It Safely To Indiana!

The rain lets up just enough for us to see the sign at the state border. We take the right exit through a clover leaf (definitely proof that highway engineers hate motorhomes), then immediately take the wrong exit. We slowly and carefully thread our way back to Stansifer Avenue.  With a great sigh of relief, we pull into North Louisville Campground - only to be told that the motorcycle trailer has to be parked in the grassy field on other side of the road.
There is absolutely no way we can unload a motorcycle in that field, so we grimly unload the motorcycle as the rain continues to beat down. We've just unloaded the bike when another lady comes out and tells us that no, our site is long enough, and we don't need to unhook the trailer.  

With a great deal of self control, we pay for the first two days (Amazon is picking up the rest of the month) without saying anything. Not one of the three staff working apologizes for the mistake, or for making us unload a motorcycle when it's 55 degrees and pouring rain. We'll review this park later, but you can already guess the level of customer service provided here :(

On a happier note, the dryers at this park are only 75 cents and between the dryers and our handy boot dryer, we finally get everything dry and packed back away. We also check the leak and its also dry, which tells us that we just need a little more caulking on the seam - or maybe we just need to avoid tropical storms!


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