Scipio Indianus

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Dillard, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. Dillard

    Dillard Seeker Super Supporter

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    Hello friends. I hope you're all well.

    First off, I know the title of this ride report is borderline ridiculous, but I'll explain it a little later. And when I do I'm sure you'll all agree that it's still a really stupid name for a ride report. But here we are...

    So let's check out a few teaser pics while I open another bottle of wine.
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  2. Dillard

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    Oh I had grandiose plans of an epic ride West. 12 days. 19 days. 35 days. The Southwest or Mexico. Possibly both? Pavement or dirt... I bought all of the BDR maps and continued planning.

    Katharine, my cat, could sense my happiness and was clearly angry with my eventual departure.
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  3. Dillard

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    Let's jump into the Way-Back Machine and rewind to one year ago when I retired from the military. I always assumed I'd just jump on my bike and ride for a month or two after I retired. But of course that didn't happen. So I kept planning this epic thing and missing chances at short rides of three or four days which might have been a lot of fun. I mention this because my buddy Johnny has always told me that, "if it's personal it's universal", and I've found that to be true. So I think there may be a lot of people out there planning epic rides that never materialize, and they skip chances to just enjoy a few days on the bike alone, or with friends.

    Here's some food pics because I know you guys love those.
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  4. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

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    Good start ! :-)
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  5. Dillard

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    So anyway, I eventually decided to just get on the bike and ride for a week or so. I'd always wanted to ride up to my old hometown in NE Indiana so that became the goal, and from there I thought about heading Southeast through OH and WV before turning for home. I figured the weather would ultimately determine my route. I decided all of this on a Tuesday morning, after realizing I had a short day of obligations and could head out in the afternoon if I pushed it a little. So that's what I did, I rushed. I scrambled around and packed and locked up everything and cursed and couldn't find things and got irritated. Then I was all set to roll out, even though I wasn't too excited about the whole thing. It's normally not a good idea to rush and do things at the last minute, but I've been doing it for 49 years.

    For this trip I chose my trusty/rusty 2009 KLR 650. It was an easy decision since it's the only plated bike I own. But somehow my bags must have shrunk because my usual adventure gear filled them and I had to ditch some comfort items; I packed my bivy sack instead of my tent, which is super small and light also. Ah well it didn't matter, I was in a hurry.

    Here's a pic as I rolled out around 3:00 and headed North.
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  6. Dillard

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    I normally steer clear of Interstates, but the first hour of this ride would be North on I-59, which isn't a terrible ride anyway. I hadn't ridden long when I realized I didn't want to be there, didn't want to be on the bike at all. Things just didn't feel right, and I didn't like rushing my departure. Of course, it's not like I was going to the damn Moon, so nothing I forgot would be a problem. I mean, I'm riding around the U.S., so almost any problem is easily fixed. But still, I just didn't want to be there. So after 26 miles, I turned around and rode home. Walked into the house, poured a glass of whiskey and chilled on the couch.

    Then next morning I woke early, drank some coffee and quickly repacked (swapping out my tent for the bivy sack).
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  7. Dillard

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    I guess I should mention that I live in central Alabama, Northeast of Birmingham. I rolled out of the house around seven in the morning. Immediately back onto the Interstate for an hour's ride north, but this time it was a completely different feel. Cool temps, light traffic, and the bike felt great. I had a clear head and a smile on my stupid face.

    I'd eventually get onto highway 117 and cross the Tennessee River near Stevenson, AL. But near Fort Payne I spotted a very small Fawn at the edge of the trees near the interstate. Extremely small, like a foot tall. I've never seen fawn that small, it was obviously a newborn. But I didn't think deer gave birth this late in the year (late August). Not important, just odd.

    So once I jumped off the Interstate my attitude improved even more; hilly and curvy roads took me northwest to the Tennessee River.

    I crossed the river a couple hours into my ride. The Bridge looked cool so I stopped for some pics.
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  8. Dillard

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    The day's plan was pretty simple; ride north through Tennessee to Frankfort, Kentucky. From that point, who knew. Northeast Alabama is a pretty area, as it clips the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. And the weather was terrific. It's not often we have August days with zero humidity. Just a fantastic time to ride.

    I rode highway 72 north into TN. Grabbed some fuel in Jasper, then took highway 28 north through Whitwell and Dunlap.

    I really enjoy Veteran Memorials and always try to stop at them. I'm always impressed by the terrific Veterans Parks in even the smallest towns all across the country. I spotted two in the next few miles, at Whitwell and Dunlap.

    Whitwell, TN.
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  9. Dillard

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    In addition to military weapons and vehicles, the names of KIA and MIA from every American conflict were etched into stone forever. I was impressed to see monuments for two Medal of Honor recipients from the area. BACA7B38-26D8-4672-877A-B8B320CA27AA_1_201_a.jpeg
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    A couple young guys were cutting all of the grass in the park. We exchanged nods as they made their laps. I took a few minutes to eat a Cliff bar and pound some water.

    I contemplated this sign in the parking area while I munched on the food bar. Seems like a good thing to keep in mind.
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  10. Dillard

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    Then the Veterans Park at Dunlap, just south of the town. I should have gotten better pics because there are several vehicles and airplanes in the park.

    An Eternal Flame in an artillery shell? This was well done.
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    And look at all of those names. It's heartbreaking.
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  11. Dillard

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    At this point the time was around 10:00 and I continued north on highway 111 which turned out to be a divided four lane, which....meh. Not what I expected but it worked out. At the KY border it became highway 127 and eventually got curvy and fun around Lake Cumberland.
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    Lots of nice looking Houseboats down there. Have you priced those recently? They're not cheap.
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  12. Dillard

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    And the Wolf Creek Dam.
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    So for whatever reason the dam was one-lane traffic only and had those portable red lights at each end. A group of cars passed as I buttoned up and put away my phone. Then the light turned Red. But at that point I was basically riding through it, or at least cranking the bike and preparing to ride through it. Of course, with the speed of my KLR, I knew I could crank the throttle and catch the group of cars before they reached the far end of the dam and the group of cars waiting to cross. I didn't even come close. And as I finally passed through the other side I received several angry gesticulations and middle fingers from the cars which already started to cross so I had to kinda squeeze by.
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  13. Dillard

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    The big thing I wanted to see on this first day of riding was the burial site of Daniel Boone. My father, the Original Dillard, is from Corbin, Kentucky, situated along the old Wilderness Road between the Cumberland Gap and Boonesborough.

    I'm going to digress here but it's a good story: Our Kentucky ancestors were hardy woodland folk and some of the first white men to venture up into Indiana from KY. At one point on this journey, Indians raided the campsite of my ancestors late one evening, stealing two daughters and riding off. The Dad, Son, and Uncle tracked this group all night and raided their camp early in the morning, stealing their daughters back and riding for many miles before stopping. Only then did they realize that they had each grabbed a girl, which was one too many. So they raised the young Indian girl and made her part of their family. Anyway, I grew up with these types of tales and also stories of the great American, Daniel Boone.

    So I wasn't going to miss visiting Daniel and Rebecca's grave site in Frankfort. It's a terrific cemetery, on a bluff overlooking the city. Daniel and Rebecca have the prime spot.
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  14. Dillard

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    Views of Frankfort from the Boone's grave.
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    And Reliefs from the pillar.
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  15. Dillard

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    The Frankfort Cemetery looked to be pretty old, and I spotted some impressive markers on my ride in, so I walked around a while to dig some history.

    I noticed an area for Civil War soldiers. I'm not a fan of the Confederacy, but I do appreciate a military cemetery. So here are some pics.
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    "Confederate Soldier". It's not much, but at least the kid got a marker.
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    I particularly like the words on Captain Jones' grave, "Shot to Death". Not, "Killed". Or, "Died in Battle". But, "Shot to Death". Now maybe it's the Romantic in me talking here, but that makes me think that the Captain received several bullets, as if hate or passion or something else was involved here. A quick internet check doesn't show any major battles on November 2, 1864.
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    When you think of all the things which could be on your tombstone. For the rest of time. "Beloved Son and Devoted Father"; "War Hero"; "President"; "...an asshole and a swan-killer"

    I think I'd be very happy with, "CSM Jones of Alabama. Shot to Death". But hey, as I said, I'm a Romantic.
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  16. Dillard

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    More terrific headstones from the Cemetery.
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  17. Dillard

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    Is this too much cemetery stuff? I think it's good to visit the dead so they know you're thinking about them. And that you appreciate them, or something. Some of the stones really tug at your heart.

    Like this one. The entire family had nice but basic headstones, and then there was this amazing angel for the daughter, Antoinette, who died 4 days past her 17th birthday.
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  18. Dillard

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    Okay just a couple more, because these really jumped out at me.

    These graves made me think of Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton and his wife Isabel. After Burton's death, Isabel had a tomb erected which looked like an Arabian tent. Anyway, she ensured that her casket would sit next to Richards but not on the same level, something like four inches lower, because she idolized the man. And hey, if you're going to idolize someone, Burton is a good choice.

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  19. Dillard

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    I rolled through a bit of downtown Frankfort and the place looked pretty nice. I considered staying (and visiting the Buffalo Trace Distillery) but it was still too early in the day so I kept moving north on highway 127, which was now just two lanes so that was better. Kentucky is a pretty state and I really enjoyed this ride. I crossed the Ohio River on the Markland Dam and turned East on 158 which hugged the shoreline of the Ohio. I'm a northern Indiana kid and really haven't seen this part of the state, so I was a little shocked at how hilly and awesome it was.

    It was nearing five o'clock when I stopped in Patriot to get some pics. They were celebrating their Bicentennial and flags lined the streets.
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    Patriot reminded me of all Indiana small towns. But being situated on the river like this was fantastic. Seems like they have a good thing going here, especially these homes on 'Water' Front street.
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  20. Dillard

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    Time to find a camp site but as I rode out of town I the road was half blocked by large "Road Closed Ahead" signs. So I made u-turn and rode back into town to get directions. I stopped at the "Patriot Package and Liquor/B&B Bait & Supplies" (I swear), figuring if these people didn't have the answers, nobody would. The sweet lady in the package store told me that at this time of day all of the road workers go home so, "you can just drive around the signs and equipment, that's what I do every night". I thanked her and of course I wanted to spend some money in her store so I grabbed the closest thing, a small bottle of peach flavored Old Camp.

    I rode on to Rising Sun. What a great town. I parked by the river, and walked around snapping pics.
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