Wednesday, May 20, 2009

KY County Courthouse Tour (10)

120 Counties Visited
122 Courthouses

As late as last Friday the weather forecast remained doubtful for the later portions of the upcoming week. Bright sunshine and moderate temps were universally predicted for Sunday through Tuesday. With this forecast in mind, I invited both Bill Hulen and Kevin Pugh to accompany me on my next and final KY Courthouse Tour. Sadly, Bill was unable to ride due to previous appointments.

After a quick gas up, Kevin and I left Paducah Sunday morning at 7 am, east-bound to Shepardsville, KY. and the Bullitt Co courthouse.

(102) Bullitt Co.
Shepardsville, KY

We rode into downtown Louisville on two lane, tree canopied streets, past Churchill Downs and Cardinal Stadium. This is a magnificent mature neighborhood full of beautiful, well maintained, hundred-year old homes.

(103) Jefferson Co.
Louisville, KY

The largest Kentucky county by population is Louisville/Jefferson County , which has a population of 693,604.

The Jefferson County courthouse is enormous! For a size comparison, notice my Wing parked in the lower right side of the photo. This building is simply too large to include in one photo at close range.

(104) Oldham Co.
LaGrange, KY

From Louisville we rode north-east on 1-71 to LaGrange, KY. After visiting Oldham Co's courthouse we were treated to some great two-lane twisty roads.

(105) Henry Co.
New Castle, KY

(106) Trimble Co.
Bedford, KY

(107) Carroll Co.
Carrollton, KY

(108) Gallatin Co.
Warsaw, KY

In 2000 the Gallatin county population was 7,870 in a land area of 98.81 square miles, an average of 79.6 people per square mile. It is the smallest county in the state.

(109) Owen Co.
Owenton, KY

(110) Grant Co.
Williamstown, KY

(111) Kenton Co.
Independence, KY

This is the first of two courthouses located in Kenton County.

Kenton and Campbell counties are side by side in the Covington-Newport area. Each county has an inner city courthouse to the north and another courthouse in the southern part of the county. I assume this accomodation allows people to complete their courthouse business without coming into the city.

After leaving Independence we made the decision to find a motel and dinner in Florence, KY.

The next morning we turned north and rode through beautiful, green hills and curvy roads to the small hamlet of Rabbit Hash, KY, on the banks of the Ohio River. I found this area to be quiet and peaceful, in addition to being quiet scenic.

Rabbit Hash is the home of the oldest, continually operated general store in Kentucky. It is also recognized by the National Historic Register for the part it played before and during the Civil War, ferrying runaway slaves north to freedom across the Ohio River.

An original log cabin at the site of the Civil War ferry landing in Rabbit Hash, KY.

(112) Boone Co.
Burlington, KY

Six miles downstream from Cincinnati we crossed the Ohio River on the Anderson Ferry into Ohio.

We stopped just across the Ohio River to check Kevin's static filled CB ground wire connection.

We soon discovered Kevin's battery was dead. Kevin found a replacement and eventually, we started his bike, and were able to resume our ride.

(113) Kenton Co.
Covington, KY

This was the second courthouse for Kenton Co.

While stopped in downtown Covington, we quickly learned Kevin's bike remained unable to hold a charge, despite the new battery. Kevin decided to head for home while the bike still seemed capable of making the trip. I followed him west on I-71 until he was well within one gas tank's range of Paducah. Kevin made it back to Paducah without further problems.

After Kevin departed I returned to the Covington / Newport area and resumed my courthouse tour solo.

(114) Campbell Co.
Newport, KY

(115) Campbell Co.
Alexandria, KY

This is the second courthouse for Campbell Co.

After leaving Alexandria I called it a day and returned to Covington to find a motel room for the second night.

Old Augusta Ferry (The Jenny Linn)
Augusta, Ky

Tuesday morning I left Covington shortly after daylight and followed the Kentucky side of the old river road south-east in a moderate to heavy fog. Eventually I arrived in the picturesque river town of Augusta, KY. Unfortunately the ferry was closed due to the fog.

Augusta is a beautiful little river town with peaceful, tree-lined streets filled with restored buildings and quaint shops.

I rode south to Walcott, KY to visit The White Covered Bridge. This covered bridge is privately maintained and in immaculate condition. It is located in a small park near the main road in Walcott, KY. By now it must be apparent I also have an interest in ferrys and covered bridges.

(116) Bracken Co.
Brooksville, KY

(117) Pendleton Co.
Falmouth, KY

(118) Robertson Co.
Mt. Olivet, KY

Robertson County is located in north-eastern Kentucky in the middle of the Licking River and Bluegrass regions of the state. It is the smallest county in population, and the second smallest in area with one hundred square miles of land.

Johnson Creek Covered Bridge (Four miles southwest of Mt. Olivet, KY)

(119) Mason Co.
Maysville, KY

I have had the pleasure of riding my bikes in Ohio many times in the past but I have never been able to find a safe place to take a picture of the state sign. While in Maysville, I decided to cross the Ohio River again and check out the sign at Aberdeen. Fortunately, this time a volunteer group was painting a mural on the concrete abutment below the sign and had the highway cordoned off. I was finally able to add Ohio to my state sign collection.

(120) Fleming Co.
Flemingsburg, KY

The Goddard White Covered Bridge
Goddard, KY

(121) Nicholas Co.
Carlisle, KY

(122) Harrison Co.
Cynthiana, KY

The Valley View Ferry across the Kentucky River

This paddle wheel ferry, opened in 1780, is the oldest continuing business in Kentucky. It is located on Tates Creek Road, 12 miles south of Lexington. It is now publicly funded, free to use, and is easily the best maintained ferry I have ridden in KY.

High Bridge

My last stop was a trip to High Bridge KY. The majestic High Bridge railroad structure, considered an engineering marvel of its time and featured by the Smithsonian Institute, is an honored landmark that spans the Kentucky River at the breathtaking Gorge and Palisades. When built in 1877 it was the highest railroad trestle in the world.

I departed High Bridge Park around 3:15 pm, stopping in Bardstown for a quick sandwich and a tank of gas. I arrived home around 7:15 pm after riding 1278 miles for the three day ride.

I regretted Kevin's battery problems knocked him out of half of this trip, but, in the end, anyone who travels knows you always have the ever-present mechanical and electrical glitches to deal with. Kevin and I have had many great trips in the past and I look foward to many more in the future.

This trip completed my tour of Kentucky's Courthouses. The courthouse theme was simply a means to explore my home state of Kentucky. It accomplished that goal and many more. I highly reccomend it to anyone suffering from a bad case of "Wanderlust".

My wife, Carolyn, will be retiring next Wednesday and my travel focus for the forseeable future will shift primarily to automobile trips. I will also still be making shorter trips on my Wing. Look for a web link to our new blog to be posted here in the near future.

And finally, two signs I saw on this trip that put a smile on my face. The first was actually a bumper sticker I saw twice.

"Wag More - Bark Less!" (Sage Words to Live By!)

The second was seen near Lexington, KY in the center of some very expensive horse country.

"The Double Stink Pig Farm"


"You could be the one who takes the long way home, roll down the window, turn off your phone, see your life as a gift from the great unknown and your task is to receive it" (Mary Chapin Carpenter - "The Long Way Home")

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a butterfly". ~Unknown~