Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lonely Kentucky Back Roads

With vintage Samsonite in tow, I left Charlotte headed north to just outside Winston-Salem where I met Sister Sister-in-law Cindy at her home in King. This would be the first hour and a half stretch of what turned into - altogether - a 12-hour trail ride. Our destination? Bardstown, Kentucky to our second SOTF event:  Moon Shine Run 2013 & Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Believe It or Not:  I live in Charlotte, NC  (Queen City), and Cindy lives in King, NC. Our lives run parallel in a Freaky-Friday-movie kinda way. Wait. It gets better...

The Knob, Pilot Mountain ~  Route 52 North ~ Cindy's Stomping Grounds

Cindy's driving skills and my nerves were put to the test early into our journey when we were greeted by thick fog in Virginia.

In fact, there was not much Mother Nature didn't throw our way:  Dense fog, 80-degree temps, wind advisory, tornado watch, tornado warning, cold front, sleet, freeze warning, and rain. O.M.G. the rain. We were only gone four days for Pete's sake; that's one season per day!  Ma Nature was annoyed with someone, and Team Bella was on the receiving end.

One of our many rest stops.


Our cowgirl caravan Cindy's Suburban blazed a trail through North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. We crossed the state lines into Kentucky where we discovered the most breathtaking roadside scenery. Our eyes were peeled for bluegrass and thoroughbreds as we made our way to Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World.

Just as before, we kept a close eye on the weather forecast. We were getting reports of severe weather as the front was fast approaching. The wind was picking up, and Bella was getting fussy.

Cindy Petty made an unscheduled pit stop when she saw Bella's petticoat curtains flapping in the wind. She went into pit crew mode, securing the window with duct tape and checking the wheel temps as a precaution while under a green flag pit stop.

Not long after Bella's tantrum, I started whining. Cindy, bless Pat, had her hands full. Not only was she the driver, she was the entire pit crew and  babysitter. With every weather update, I became more anxious as we neared the campground. The wind was blowing Bella every which way but loose, and I was not a happy glamper. My search for bluegrass quickly turned to motels. And there were none. Elvis sang no truer words.  I didn't have to remind Cindy of one of the scariest moments of my life; when I was in a mobile home that was tossed by a tornado. And there I was, headed straight into the eye of a storm to stay overnight in a tiny, 15-foot, 42-year-old canned ham. No offense, Bella.

Believe It or Not:   When I married Cindy's brother and Cindy married my brother, we both bought homes-on-wheels and moved into the same trailerhood, ha. Cindy and I were glampers when glamping wasn't cool. 

We began seeing signs for the campground...then, "Finally!!! Civilization!"  I made a mental map of every.single.motel in sight in case my fight-or-flight response kicked in. 

Meet & Greet was already underway when we arrived at White Acres Campground. We  plopped sat down to a catered dinner like a couple of weary grub-line riders hot off the Oregon Trail.

By now the sun was setting, and we still had not parked/unhooked Bella. Regardless of how panicky I was about the impending storm, we needed to get Bella set up in what little daylight we had left. We grabbed a quick toddy or some before heading to our campsite. Did I mention the sun was going down?

Town Branch Distillery coffee-infused bourbon

Bluegrass Sundown

1 part bourbon

2 parts hot water

Top with heavy cream

Yes indeed, y'all, the sun was going down.