Friday October 6, 2017- Trip Day 62 & 63
Floodwall Mural, Maysville KY
Roll along roll along Kentucky moon
Shed a ray of light on one I love tonight
Roll along roll along Kentucky moon
The above are lyrics written by a fella by the name of Jimmie Rodgers back in 1932. The moon last night was beautiful!
We drove southwest on Ohio 159 then south on US 23 to Portsmouth Ohio (20,000 souls) Thursday. The both roads were far superior than the Amish buggy roads that “miss smarty phone” has picked for us. Portsmouth is located on the Ohio River just east of the mouth of the Scioto River. It was the southern most port on the Ohio and Erie Canal. The city boomed early with major industries that included meat packing. Later a rail yard was added making the Canal less important. By 1916 she was listed as a major industrial center with steel and bricks being the major products. Population rose to over 40,000 souls in 1930. Since then the steel works has closed and labor outsourcing has caused a decline in jobs. The population has dropped by half.
At Portsmouth we picked up US 52, the Ohio River Byway, and headed west. That title, in my opinion is somewhat of a misnomer. Although the road parallels the Ohio River one only catches glimpses of it now and again. The two lane road is nice for a few miles with 12′ lanes then narrows for many miles to 10′ lanes so once again I have to concentrate on keeping the rig on the road and in my lane. I miss a lot of pretty scenery that way. The population along the way is pretty sparse with just a couple of settlements not worth naming and a number of farms. Near our turnoff we drive through Manchester (pop. 2000), a down and out town. We continue on without stopping. Just before Aberdeen we turn left towards Kentucky.
OMG! We’re staring at a very narrow steel suspension bridge! The Simon Kenton Bridge witha span of 1060 feet, was completed in 1932 when vehicles were a little smaller and narrower. Man, I hope no trucks are coming our way. There is no wiggle room on this bridge. The lane is less than 9′ wide with a high concrete curb on the right. I put the trailer within inches of the center line and can’t see the pavement between the right side of the trailer and the curbing in the side view mirror. We did pass two trucks nearly clicking mirrors as we passed. I find after we settled in for the night that a more modern bridge was built in 2002 and that would have been the one to take……. little did I know……. I just went across the one closest to our destination but the William Harsha bridge is just a couple of miles down the road.
We are now in historic Maysville, KY (9,000 souls), founded in 1784 by Simon Kenton. Had we crossed the newer Harsha bridge we would have missed this beautiful downtown district. We would have also missed driving down some pretty narrow streets dragging our fifth wheel all the way.
Careful observation of semi trucks passing through town gave us a clue to our escape route when the time came. Frontiersmen Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone are amongst the city’s founders. Boone is known for blazing his Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mountains amongst his other accomplishments. Maysville is historically important as a port on the Ohio River.
It exported bourbon whiskey, hemp and tobacco. It was once a center of wrought iron manufacture sending ironwork to decorate the buildings of Cincinnati OH and New Orleans LA. It was also an important stop on the Underground Railroad as the free state of Ohio was just across the river.
From Maysville we head up the hill into much newer Maysville. Lot of new construction and more big box stores and chain restaurants……. and traffic. We push through and now are on our way to Whispering Hills RV Park located in Georgetown, KY. State highway 62 is another E ticket for the driver of a big rig. More rolling hills to negotiate, a very narrow road deck with no shoulder, just a ditch to contend with. The countryside is most beautiful as this is now Kentucky horse farm country. We pass farm after farm with lots of equines out enjoying their pastures. Unfortunately there is no, I mean NO place to pull off of the road to take some pictures. We pull into Whispering Hills RV Park after the driving twice as far as norma ltired but ready to take on another great day tomorrow.
Our Neighbor’s Cheerful Night Lighting