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 Post subject: Sidetracked in Kentucky
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:47 pm 

Joined: Dec 28, 2010
Country: USA
State/Province: MS
City: Gulf
Heading home to Mississippi Gulf Coast from Lake Hope, I planned to slab the 975 or so miles, and if I got close, maybe take a side trip to go ahead and pull the dime.

Should have known better!

I crossed the river into Kentucky at Portsmouth on four lane US23 south, and soon found myself going northeast on 23 south when I wanted to go southwest. No map, of course. So I says to myself, I says, "I'm going the wrong way again, dammit!"

Then it happened.

I saw a little sign, with a circle on it, and the number 7, and a mushroom standing there with a little green arrow that said " turn here". Much like Alice, with her "Drink Me". Nice looking two lane, headed southwest.

I realise, in hindsight, that the mushroom was just a flashback, but I turned anyway, onto KY Route 7.

Welcome to Wonderland.

I rode Rt 7 it's full length, to West Liberty. Nice wide 2 lane, 55 mph speed limit, good clean pavement, good visibility, lots of 70 mph sweepers. Some sections of 40 to 60 mph sweepers. There's a few tight spots, and little towns or villages, where 30 or less is a good idea, but there are plenty of road signs to let you know.

Made an accidental side trip between Kehoe and Carter, through Iron Hill. Lost my chicken strips on KY Route 2!

Got a map at West Liberty, headed west on US460. Beautiful scenery, nice and curvy for a 4 lane, speed limit 65, beautiful cruiser country.

Missed my turn south onto 203 at Mize, and a good thing, too! Ended up taking 77 south at Mariba.

Incredible. Unbelievable. Surreal. A gem. Words fail me to describe. This is by far the best unknown biking road I have ever found. Also known as Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

I rode north to south, downhill through the gorge. I recommend the other way, south to north, uphill, if that meshes with your trip route.

Anyway, as I turned left at Mariba, some old codger in an old Ford Ranger went in front of me at the turn. I thought I'd just scoot around him at the next clear stretch. That road doesn't have any clear stretches! Besides, that old guy wasn't slowing down!

The road runs along the top of a ridge for the first stretch, with lots of swoops and whirleys, blind curves, blind hills, farm houses with the front porch two feet off the road, and this old dude knew every inch of it.

By watching his brake lights, and the roof of the cab, I knew to grab a double handfull, or not, around all the blind hills and curves. Without him driving in front, I wouldn't be able to go half as quick. Top speed 45 or maybe 50, in spots. Mostly less, AND STILL CHALLENGING, even with a guide!

When he finally pulled into his driveway, he was waving out the window and laughing like a lunatic! So was I! I suspect he has an old Norton out in the barn, or some such.

Suddenly, just a few miles down the road, everything was different. A quick right hander, a forest service sign, and Shazaam! I was diving downhill through a dang rain forest! In Kentucky! Rocks, cliffs, waterfalls, bicyclers, college students, ferns, weddings, big trees, all that. Welcome to Red River Gorge!

And the road. What a road. About as wide as one lane on an interstate, stuck on the side of a cliff in spots, with a double yellow down the middle. Two pickup trucks passing would be swapping paint. Swoopy, twisty, curvy. Top speed 30, if you're crazy. Pull outs every mile or two, lots of very nice places to stop and have a snack.

Then out the bottom through the magic gate, back into the real world. No elaboration on that, don't want to spoil the surprise. That little mushroom guy was there, too. Waving and grinning. Oh wait, that was me, waving and grinning... I will say, though, that it keeps out the riff raff.

Last few miles curvy, touristy but nice, like around Helen, pop out on Bert Combs Parkway at Lombard and Slade.

Then south on 11 past Natural Bridge and Rushing Falls, more scenery than any one person can take in, 40 to 80 mph, good pavement, well marked.

Then KY 30 at Levi to London. More scenery than any one person can take in. 40 to 80 mph, good pavement, well marked. 4 lane in spots. Blah Blah.

Sorry, after Route 77, any normal extremeny scenic curvy fun road is just another extremely fun curvy scenic road.

At least, until I got home to Mississippi Gulf Coast, and realized, we just don't have any roads like that here.

Ride safe, Rubbah side down now ya'll, you heah!


2009 250 Rebel - wrecked by red light runner
2012 Bonneville T100

 Post subject: Re: Sidetracked in Kentucky
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:01 pm 

Joined: Aug 9, 2012
Motorcycle: 2008 FLHRC Road King Classic
Rebel: 250
Country: united States
State/Province: In
City: Peru
Seemed like a beautiful trip! Thanks for the share, too bad you didnt get any pictures. Maybe next time eh?

1985 CMX250C Rebel "Juice" Sold
1982 GL1100 Gold Wing - Traded for an F250 pick up
2009 VN900C "Sunni"

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