Big Bertha and the Bad, Bad Barrel

Due to the catastrophic flooding in Southeastern Kentucky, we had to alter out original plans, and took a more northern route across the Bluegrass State. Although route 64 remains high and dry, a great deal of it is under construction. It can be unnerving to pilot the RV down long stretches of one lane highway that is lined with both traffic cones and concrete barrier walls. It is particularly harrowing when the truck in front of you keeps brushing against the orange barrels.

We were in the homestretch, preparing to exit the construction zone, when the 18-wheeler who had been brushing the barriers, decided to sideswipe one of those bright, orange cylinders, throwing it directly into our path. Yep, all that orange came flying at us, like a kid projectile vomiting circus peanuts. There was no time to react, to brake, to safely swerve. I simply had to plow into it. That is when Bertha met the barrel. Of course the mangled mess was dragging beneath the undercarriage, and we had to pull off onto a narrow shoulder. We were at the end of miles and miles of roadwork. Both lanes had just opened up. Naturally the vehicles behind us were flying down the hill like roller coaster cars at Disney’s Expedition Everest. Did that stop my lunatic husband venturing out onto the highway to wrench the gnarled glob of orange plastic from under Bertha? Of course not. I’m not sure how I kept from wetting my pants as I watched him (successfully, thank God) dislodge the wreckage, but I definitely needed a defibrillator to restart my heart afterwards.

The RV bumper is a bit broken and the fog light is beyond repair. All things considered we fared well.

Upon entering the Twin Knobs Campground in the Daniel Boone National Forest, we were alerted to the presence of active bear in the area.

Funny, an encounter with Baloo or Yogi seemed tame compared to that brush with a barrel.

Although Northeastern Kentucky did not experience the utter devastation that was felt further south in Knott County, there was still evidence of the recent, relentless drenching. Even the lakes are spilling over their banks. Roads and sidewalks are swallowed up and waterfront trails are washed away.

On a bright note, our campsite was extremely spacious and dry. In spite of a forecast for storms in the area, we had rain-free conditions. Hopefully, that trend will continue and the water will recede.

We managed a walk through the town of Morehead, home to Morehead State University. We visited the Kentucky Folk Art Center, which displays the works of self-taught, Appalachian artists. The whimsical work of wood carver and illustrator, Minnie Adkins was featured.

You can take a walking tour of historic Morehead, which includes a railroad museum and moonlight school. The moonlight schools addressed a need to teach literacy to individuals who could not attend school during daylight hours due to the long working hours required in the labor-intensive jobs that defined the impoverished area.

And now, time for some Zen moments in the pollinator’s paradise of the Daniel Boone National Forest, before we hit the road again.

Here we come, Braxton County, WV….

Stay tuned.

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