Carrollton, GA to Somerset, KY
Total trip miles to date: 15,349
The day began with sunshine and a 7:30 appointment with Mitch at MSA Classics for an oil change. I made the 4 mile trip to MSA and Mitch was ready and waiting. He immediately jacked up the car and began draining the old oil and replaced the oil filter. He also checked the rear brake and belt tension for me. I was impressed with his knowledge and how he worked, a craftsman, and I could tell he takes great pleasure in doing things right. Very impressive! I checked the tire pressures while he worked and we got it all finished in short order. I drove back to the motel only to find out that I had left the tonneau cover at MSA. No problem as it’s on the way up Hwy. 27. Thanks for quality work, Mitch!
The drive up Hwy. 27 is beautiful through Georgia, Tennessee, and KY. Rolling hills, great views, and enough turns to make it interesting and keep you on the ball.
The Spirit was a hit everywhere it went. With every stop, folks came up and said, “I’ve never seen anything like this.” The verdict? Unanimous approval based on smiles. Sometimes I get pictures by email from folks who take shots, then do some homework and find out about the trip. The picture above is one of those. The weather was perfect today, not too hot, and mostly clear. When one large cloud made its way over us in the middle of Tennessee, I had to take a picture of it. It seemed lonely up there.
Tomorrow is Sunday, a day of giving thanks and feeling gratitude. I certainly am feeling that as the journey winds down. It will be good to see family again when I get to Harrodsburg and Danville. Today, I was reflecting on my first 18 years spent in Kentucky. I can’t help but think about those years before I left for Florida. I carried my love for the Kentucky Wildcats with me when I went to Gainesville. I remember going to a Florida and UK basketball game in the old Florida gym. I had asked a beautiful young woman out on a date to see the game. I couldn’t believe she said yes! What a day that was. My favorite two teams playing, a beautiful date, and I got to meet and have a conversation with the great UK announcer Caywood Ledford before the game. A dream date, right? Wrong!
The Cats were ranked no. 1 or 2 nationally and Florida unranked. Deep down inside, I really wanted the Cats to win. I was UF for everything, except basketball. Frankly, UF was not that good at BB back then. They were on that night. It came down to the end of the game and UK pulled it out. The old Florida gym was a tough place for visiting teams to play. It was clear to my date where my allegiance was, even though I tried to hide it under my UF letter jacket. She got up as the game ended, saying, “You should be ashamed, Will Freeman. At least take that jacket off. She huffed off, never to have anything to do with me after that. See how deep UK basketball can get into your blood? Even to this day, I pull for UK basketball.
Cedartown, Rome, LaFayette, Chattanooga, Dayton, Harriman, Oneida. The towns flew by, offering me breaks to slow down, grab a bite, or get gas. The small towns were spaced out nicely. I’m just 50 miles from Danville and Harrodsburg as I overnight in Somerset, KY. I found a Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant, a KY institution, and pulled in to have a Big Boy burger and a slice of their amazing strawberry pie. A man came up and introduced himself as Brad Grinnell. We had a great conversation about the name Grinnell and I made another friend. It’s amazing how people just come up to me and begin conversations, all because of the Spirit! She has done her job well, and been a dependable friend on many a lonely day.
The overnights are counting down fast, just 3 are left. I hope the weather cooperates the rest of the way, but rain or shine, we will forge ahead and get this journey finished. It’s hard to believe that I have been on the road for almost 80 days. Kentucky was my home for my first 18 years, but my real home is in Grinnell, where I have been for the last 38 years. It will be good to be home, come Tuesday.
Days until arriving back in Grinnell: 3