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10/26 and 10/27 - Our Weekend in Kentucky

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What a beautiful day!  We drove to Paintsville (about 25 southeast of West Liberty) to shop at Walmart for groceries and a much needed small electric heater and to try to find a "black water gate" (don't ask).     Then it was off to explore.  First stop, The U.S.  23 Country Highway Museum.   U.S. 23 is a designated National Scenic Byway honoring country music entertainers who were born or lived along it.   The Judds, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tom T. Hall,  Ricky Skaggs, Hylo Brown, Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gale, Dwight Yaokam and Patty Loveless are some of the musicians who called that area their home.

At the museum we ran into Art and Ricky and Sue and Rodger, some of our  fellow campers.  We had already planned to meet them for lunch so we all decided to visit  Butcher Holler, birthplace of Loretta Lynne and Crystal Gayle and then grab some lunch.  I loved the movie "Coal Miner's Daughter" so I was excited to see the original cabin where Loretta Lynn was born.

We followed our fellow campers up some very narrow roads in the hills, I wouldn't want to meet any big logging trucks coming down those hills!   In order to get directions to the cabin you have to stop at the general store which is owned by Loretta's brother and ask (more than likely you will also purchase something).   It was a pretty cool store (wood floors, lots of photos, antique tools and accessories on the walls).   I bought a few postcards to send to my fellow Coal Miner's Daughter fans and then it was on to the cabin.





The cabin was just as I remembered from the movie except for all the graffitti on the walls.  They made the mistake of allowing fans to write on the walls in one room and then it got out of hand - too bad, it detracts from the experience.

Loretta's niece, Connie showed us around the cabin and gave us the family history.  Then we got to wander around and take pictures.

Marty picked up a guitar that very possibly was the first guitar Loretta Lynne ever played.  It belonged to her father.

I am so glad that we were able to visit Butcher Hollow, I just wish I could get that darn song out of my head!!

Letter from Loretta Lynn thanking her fans for stopping by.
After lunch, Marty and I drove to Ashland, KY which is extremely close to Ohio and West Virginia.  We were still on the hunt for  a"black water gate" and we were headed to Summit RV to find one.  We didn't find one there either and actually made it out without buying anything - first time in an RV store without a purchase, how did that happen?    Since we still needed to do laundry, we checked the GPS to find a laundromat and even though we were at the right address there was no laundromat or so we thought.   When we went into the tanning salon which was the address the GPS sent us to we found out that it was a combo tanning salon/laundromat.  What a great concept, tan and laundry at the same time! No tanning for me, I was just very happy to use their free WiFi (and get four loads of laundry done in an hour and a half!).  

The drive back to West Liberty was through the usual dark and winding hills of Eastern Kentucky.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another beautiful Kentucky morning, a little chilly but the sun is shining and it's a great day for a bike ride.   We discoverd that the Dawkins Bike Trail, a Rails-to-Trails trail, is only about a 1/2 hour away from West Liberty.   After doing some chores around the trailer (yes family, I do cook), we got in the car and headed southeast to Hagerhill for our bike ride.

Rails-to Trails are our favorite kind of trail.  They are abandoned train lines which have been converted into biking-hiking-horseback riding trails.   They usually are flat or have a very easy incline so it's relatively easy riding.    Wisconsin has the best of these trails, the Elroy-Sparta Trail.   It's 32 miles long with three train tunnels, one of which is more than 1/2 mile long!  

The Dawkins Bike Trail is 16 miles long so far (they're still working on it).  It wasn't as scenic as I thought it would be, we mostly rode behind houses and small farms.  We stopped for a picnic lunch in a church parking lot before heading back.


 Our total ride was 20 miles which means we can cross off Kentucky on our 50 states bike riding list and we get to go to DQ for a Kentucky blizzard - Life is Good!