We decided to go completely off of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route today, taking state and US highways in order to make the best time to be able to reach Grand Rivers, KY. We took KY Rt 81 South. The traffic on the highway was a bit heavy at first, with a lot of semi trucks, but after the morning rush hour, it was not bad at all. The first major town we came to was Calhoun, where we found a good breakfast at the Lighthouse Cafe.
We stopped for a coffee at the Acoustic Cafe in Madisonville, which seemed to be the place to be for live country music in the area. The owner and a couple of his customers were interested to hear about our trip. It seems to have been an exciting day all around for them, as they said that just before we were there, a guy who happened to be the guitarist for the band Black Oak Arkansas had stopped in and played for them a bit. We asked them for a recommendation on dinner in Grand Rivers, and they suggested a Place called Patti’s.
The afternoon was a bit overcast, and thankfully cooler than expected. The terrain all day was gently rolling, which made for a pleasant ride; both Ray and I felt pretty good. Just before getting to Grand Rivers on Highway 62, there was a brigde under construction, with an alternating one lane of traffic. During the red light, we took our place behind a semi truck, and another semi took his place right behind us. So, it was an all-out sprint to get across the bridge with the semi breathing down our necks. I could not recall the last time I had put in such an intense effort for a sustained interval.
My head was still spinning and I was still trying to catch my breath as we turned into town and sat down at a table in Patti’s 1880’s Settlement Restaurant. As we looked over the menu, we realized it was a fancier and more expensive place than we had hoped for, but it was the only game in town anyway, so we sat back and enjoyed it.
We scouted out the local campgrounds, but there was also a motel in town, the Grand Rivers Inn, and when we talked to the manager, she gave us a pretty good deal, so we decided to stay there. Grand Rivers is a small resort community serving the area at the northern end of the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. The lakes are Lake Kentucky and Lake Barkley, which were formed in the 1960’s with the Tennesssee Valley Authority dam project.
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