Thursday, March 19, 2009

KY County Courthouse Tour (9)

101 Blue Counties Visited of 120 Total
Red - The Next Trip        (Click Map)

Monday, March 16th, 2009

I finally saw a three day window in the early spring weather. Riding with me on this tour was Bill Hulen, a good friend and one of the original members of the "Riders of the Long Table" at FDR Honda.

We left Paducah at 6:30 am, stopping in Princeton for a quick Hardee's breakfast before continuing east on the Western Kentucky Parkway.

(Click to Enlarge)
Just west of Beaver Dam, we turned south to investigate The Rochester Ferry on the Green River. We didn't wait long before a small, elderly woman in camouflaged coveralls and a ball cap, powered up the old, rusting ferry, and made the crossing to pick us up. We paid our "2 buck" ferry fee and were soon ferried across the river. As ferrys go, this has to be one of the smallest.

Bill Hulen, riding The Rochester Ferry across The Green River.

Our next planned stop was the Reed's Ferry, about 7 miles east. The road soon turned to a loose gravel, forcing us to take the prudent approach and skip this ferry. Nine hundred pound Gold Wings are not well-suited for gravel riding. I plan to revisit this ferry, approaching from the east.

We continued east to The Valley View Ferry, south of Lexington, which crosses the Kentucky River. Unfortunately, our ferry woes continued when we found this ferry remained closed for the winter months. With luck, I will revisit this ferry on my next courthouse tour.

After a quick detour north to Lexington to by-pass the Kentucky River, we soon arrived in Richmond, picking up our first courthouse picture. Throughout the afternoon, we delt with light rain and slick mountain roads with no guard rails, requiring a fairly conservative ride.

(78) Madison Co
Richmond, KY

(79) Estill Co.
Irvine, KY

(80) Jackson Co
McKee, KY

(81) Owsley Co
Booneville, KY

From Booneville we turned south, where we spent the night in Manchester, KY. Did I mention motels in this part of the state are in extremely short supply?

(82) Lee Co
Beatyville, KY

We awoke to a fairly dense fog and a late daybreak. The ride to Beatyville was a beautiful ride, despite the early morning fog. The hazy pictures are due to lingering moisture in the air.

(83) Breathitt Co
Jackson, KY

This part of the state has some of the most scenic, winding mountain roads a biker could ever ask for. The beautiful mountain scenery more than made up for the minor fog problems.

(84) Wolf Co
Campton, KY

(85) Powell Co
Stanton, KY

While Bill and I were stopped at this courthouse, we were nearly trampled by a swarm of police cars as they responded to an emergency call. Unfortunately we were parked directly behind their cars as they roared away.

Powell County was the home of the legendary race horse trainer Woody Stevens.

(86) Menifee Co
Frenchburg, KY

(87) Morgan Co
West Liberty, KY

(88) Elliott Co
Sandy Hook, KY

(89) Carter Co
Grayson, KY
(90) Rowan Co
Morehead, KY

We spent the second night in Morehead, KY.
(91) Boyd Co
Catlettsburg, KY

(92) Greenup Co
Greenup, KY

(93) Lewis Co
Vanceburg, KY

(94) Bath Co
Owingsville, KY

(95) Montgomery Co
Mt Sterling, KY

(96) Clark Co
Winchester, KY

I would like to thank the mayor of Winchester who personally greeted us in front of this courthouse, and included some interesting history about the courthouse and the city of Winchester.

(97) Bourbon Co
Paris, KY

I departed from my normal habit of including a bike in the picture simply because I could not find an angle that would include the bike and do justice to this magnificent structure. In my opinion, this is one of the best courthouses in our state.

We met a former Circuit Court Judge in front of this courthouse who gave us a brief but very interesting history of this building and how it was rebuilt twice after severe storm damage.

(98) Scott County
Georgetown, KY

(99) Franklin Co
Frankfort, KY

The KY State Capitol Building
Frankfort, KY

(100) Shelby Co
Shelbyville, KY

(101) Spencer Co
Taylorsville, KY

We left Taylorsville and rode southwest to Bardstown where we had a quick lunch before heading home. We arrived back in Paducah Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 pm. The 3 day, round trip total was 1210 miles.

I have 19 counties left on my Courthouse Tour. You can safely bet it won't be long before each will receive a visit.

I would like to thank Bill Hullen again for a very enjoyable ride. Bill is a very interesting traveling companion, a great Wing rider, and a lot of fun to have on a trip.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even if chequered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory or defeat. ~Unknown~

I have never been lost in my life; I will however, admit to being confused for several weeks. ~Daniel Boone ~