Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Day 19: Mount Vernon, IL - South Charleston, WV

Oh look!  It is raining.  And it continues to rain across southern Illinois and south-western Indiana, both of which are flat, agricultural and unexciting.  South-eastern Indiana, on the other hand, starts off the trend for wooded hills, acceptably deep valleys and a far from straight I-64 all the way here.

After Indiana comes Kentucky, reached by crossing the Orsum Ohio1 into Louisville.  The Ohio here looks to be rather more Orsum than the Mississippi in St. Louis is Mighty.  Plus it has some excellent bridges, and nowhere to stop and photograph the wretched things.  First new state since ages ago, although Kentucky is not technically a state, but rather a Commonwealth, which is Quite Interesting.  In fact, that's where I heard it first.

Kentucky, and for once it had stopped raining
Yes, this picture was taken in the dry; it had stopped around 10 am and held of for about three hours, until 2 pm.  The reason why 14 - 10 = 3 in this case is because in crossing the Orsum Ohio I'm back into the Eastern time zone and lose an hour in mid-stream.  I found another handy truck to draft shortly after entering Kentucky, but then he went and spoiled it by showing every sign of wanting to go to Cincinnati.

More rain, and more on than off, across Kentucky.  It looks rather like the bit of Pennsylvania I crossed what seems like half a lifetime ago.  The rain does not put off the sports teams of Kentucky Christian University, no, they are standing in a downpour kicking footballs around2.

Just when you thought northern Kentucky was one of those places no-one could possibly fuck up, you come round a corner and down the hill towards the West  Virginia state line.  And there on the right is a sodding great oil refinery, with nary a tree to screen its loathsomeness from the passing Motor-ist.  I'd had Kentucky pegged as fields full of blue grass and horses, but the grass was either green or brown, and the only horses were the hideous models of Seabiscuit on sale in the Visitor Centre near Louisville.  Seabiscuit?  Arsebiscuit, more like...

West Virginia, and for once it had stopped raining
West Virginia was initially not being rained on but that didn't last long.  Unsurprisingly, this bit looks much the same as the bit of Kentucky over there (points), but has an Impressive River, the Kanawha.  Over which may be found a Several of Bridges:

Dunbar Bridge over the Kanawha River, Dunbar, WV
There are some good ones in Charleston, where I was originally planning to stay.  But I didn't quite know what to make of Charleston - it's an uneasy mix (well, to my untutored eye) of wonderfully preserved Colonial buildings sat cheek by jowl with utilitarian concrete medium-rise nastiness.  And they can't even blame the Luftwaffe.  At least up here where I am the medium-rise slab of concrete nastiness is surrounded by low-rise concrete retail outlets, vendors of toothy comestibles and a "gas" station.  And my hideocomically expensive room has one of those whirlpool bath things, which I will shortly be trying out, to test its effect on swollen feet and wonky ankles.

New states (or Commonwealths) visited: Kentucky, West Virginia

  1. Sorry...
  2. Note for Americans, and other alien life forms: the game is called "football", because the players control the ball with their feet.  And they don't wear crash helmets3.
  3. Except Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, obv

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