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Sunday, October 18, 2009

From Ky to MO

Went to Lexington VA with our friends on Monday on a visit combining an important health treatment with thorough examination of that town’s thrift stores. The latter enabled my wife and I to kit ourselves out with warmer clothes as fall marches on. Driving back to Frankfort we took in the beauty of the surrounding scenery, including some Kentucky farmsteads and a country store selling overwhelming cake. Time passed all too quickly before we had to be on the way again as we approached the one third mark of our trip. Leaving Frankfort we journeyed to the south eastern part of the state, stopping off at Mammoth Caves where we experienced a small slice of some 350 miles of chartered cave networks since this national park was opened in the 30s. A tribute to the CCC, the conservation corps founded under FDR’s New Deal, was opined by the impressive forest ranger on the bus as we headed to one of the caves. Tired, I was lifted by his articulacy and natural authority. When he heard we were “from England” he told us to apologise to the Queen for what he was doing to “her language”. I was too slow to reply, as I should have done, that he speaks far better English than her as his speech is coherent and he enunciates his vowels whereas her Anglo-Germano-artisto pedigree makes many of her vowels hard to decipher. We left the caves and headed for Puduka, famous for little other than state incentives for artists to gentrify its poorer parts. On arrival we headed for a focal part of a city that appears to have only poorer parts, the Salvation Army Center. In the US these are de facto welfare centers where good value clothing and sometimes social services are on hand. Paduka was no exception and we took advantage of the former before somehow heading right out of town earlier than intended. Row upon row of strip malls and dead motels passed us by before we realised we had exited the city. We washed up through pleasant and increasingly flatter terrain in Missouri (MO). The lesser known town of Russelville beckoned us to its liquor store, gas station and Econo Lodge. All of these were fine, though I am not eating another Mexican until California. They are never hot and rarely serve beer let alone margaritas.

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