Wednesday, August 1, 2007

AMA IBET - Bound for Maine, Some Stops in Ohio

On tap for my second full day on the road will be a zoo, a distillery town, the home of the AMA, and lunch with two MTF folks. After leaving Bowling Green, My GPS will lead me to Lincoln Memorial National Historic Park in Hodgenville KY. From there I took back roads to Boston KY for my first AMA tour photo of the day. 

The center of this town consisted of a gas station/general store and a very tiny post office building tucked in behind it. I nearly missed the post office building, pulling into the gas station parking area to get my bearings. Where the heck is it? I was craning my neck to try to see around the gas station, when I saw a car come out of a little narrow drive. 

At first I thought it was a private driveway, until I noticed the street sign above it that said Post Office Road. I pulled out of the gas station and turned down this narrow one-car wide lane which wound down a hill and behind the gas station to – what else? – the post office!

I continued on the beautiful little country roads that would eventually lead me back to the interstate. I had been running more or less parallel to I-65 since getting off in Hodgenville. This road took me over what seemed like an awful lot of railroad track, all of which abruptly ended when the tracks entered a chain link fence. Looking up, I noticed the name on the top of one of the buildings: Jim Beam. Well, of course! Now I made the connection. But this was way out in the middle of nowhere! I immediately thought of distilleries, prohibition, and moonshine. Could that be how Jim Beam got its start?

The Louisville Zoo would be my next stop. Jill’s directions were flawless and I zigzagged my way into the city and pulled into the entrance to the zoo without difficulty. Photos taken, I just as easily made my way back to the interstate and pressed on to my lunch engagement with my MTF friends at a Bob Evans restaurant just east of Dayton OH. Between Louisville and Dayton, the road took me through Cincinnati and I was reminded yet again just how beautiful this city is. Access to the city from the south is quite scenic, the road dropping down quickly toward the river, with the city laid out ahead as one crosses the bridge.

Our lunch complete, we said our goodbyes and I continued on toward Cleveland, with just a couple more stops to make before calling it a day. There’s a Baltimore in Ohio, a very small town east of Columbus OH. I headed east on I-70 a short ways before getting off and dropping south on a small roller-coaster of a road that took me to Baltimore. A giant water tower with the town name painted on it loomed ahead, and was a potential photo candidate. I zigzagged through the town trying to find a place where I could park the bike and get an unobstructed view of the tower. I finally gave up and headed for my original pre-scouted destination, the library. It was the quintessential small town library and I half expected to hear songs from The Music Man start playing at any moment.

As I headed back toward the interstate, I determined that I still had enough time to make one more stop along the route toward Columbus. I noted the signs for Pickerington as I headed east on I-70, so on my way back I took the exit and headed to the AMA headquarters, which were just off the interstate. I wasn’t sure if the museum would still be open, but I took a chance anyway, because I wanted to see the buildings. I was not disappointed. The grounds were gorgeous and as I wound my way up the driveway, I thought how heavenly it would be to commute to work here every day on two wheels. To the left was a large parking lot, straight ahead was a large multiple story building, but as I approached, the sign pointed me to the right to the AMA museum. Up a short, steep hill and the drive led me into a red brick courtyard and circular drive. I immediately realized that it was closed for the day, but I parked in front of the museum anyway and took a photo, complete with rally flag.

This was a very productive and satisfying day. I only had 80 miles to my pre-determined stopping point for the night: Ashland OH. Tomorrow I should make it to Massachusetts.

Next entry: Womens Rights and Waterloo

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