Sunday 5 June 2011
Nashville TN to Cumberland Falls KY 210 miles
My flight was late, but my bags made it (long story, just know it’s a minor miracle that they made it to Nashville with me and not to Austin with Rex. Rex’s bag was found a few days ago in Baltimore…) and Kim picked me up at BNA about 4 PM. We were both starving, so we totally broke one of our major Sassy Sister Road Rules and stopped at Wendy’s for a little snack. It just turned out that we had exited on US 31E, which is exactly where we needed to be, so after we were not starving, off we went. Our destination – Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky, allegedly 3.5 hours from Nashville. And what was the first photo that we took? It was a pink elephant! Who knew it would not be the ONLY one we saw?!?
As we drove along admiring the many large horse farms, old tobacco barns, and the gently rolling hills of middle Tennessee, we realized that a big storm must have recently passed through. We saw branches and even trees down, and lots of leaves and sticks all over the place, and the road was still wet. Glad we missed that! Before long we were in Kentucky, and it was here that I had to really start paying attention to the maps and navigating. Those of you who have followed us in years past will be glad to know that we remembered to gas up before we got off the main highway! We also had to stop around 9 PM or so at an Arby’s (twice in one day we are ordering from chain restaurants!!) and get some food to take with us so that we could have a little supper if we ever arrived.
Along the way, we saw lots of critters – dogs, cats, alpacas, skunk (well, we mostly smelled them, and knew we were home again!), and LOTS of deer. Our favorite critters of the night – a rock formation on the side of the road that was painted to look like a cow jumping over the road, and the thousands of fireflies that decorated the countryside and transported us back to our childhoods. Kim did a great job dodging the deer, many of whom jumped out onto the road as if they wanted to ride with us.
We’ve learned a few things about the numbering system of highways – the big US highways are usually one digit or two; state roads are often double or triple digits; county roads are the triple digits; and the four digit roads….well, they are often like single lane streets, and they don’t always find their way onto printed maps. We’ve become pretty familiar with some of them over the past few years! We found ourselves on routes 90, 92, 27, 700, 1162 (as well as some un-numbered and unnamed roads), and 90 again before we made it to Cumberland Falls, but of course, we made it. One other observation from our evening drive – we are still baffled by roundabouts, especially when listening to the Garmin!
We checked into DuPont Lodge at Cumberland Falls State Park, found our room (not without a bit of difficulty, and without the benefit of elevators), and had a bit of a laugh about it. We had been told it was a small room, but we figured any room that was big enough for two queen sized beds couldn’t be too small. Let’s just say it was big enough for two queen sized beds. But it also had a chair, a table with a TV (old kind, not flat screen) on it, and a night stand. That was pushing it a little! We got settled, enjoyed our little Arby’s picnic, and hit the sack, ready for a big adventure.