Sunday, August 16, 1981

56. Berea, Kentucky

Day 56:  Sunday, August 16, 1981
Danville to Berea:  30 miles

Today was a kind of a rest day for us.  Berea is less than 30 miles from Danville, and we were to meet Lena at a campground west of Berea.  So we slept in until 8:30, had a leisurely breakfast, and looked around the playhouse.  It's an outdoor dinner theater that has been in operation since about 1950.  Eben Henson, its driving force and playwright-in-residence, has had Hollywood experience as an actor and director.  Lee Majors got his start here, and other actors who have gone on to stardom have appeared here.  It's an interesting place.

I intended to cycle up to Harrodsburg before heading over to Berea, but I never made it.  Danville is a pleasant town, and I enjoyed cruising around it.  Its Constitution Square park contains the original post office, built 1792, and replicas of other log buildings that occupied the square in the town's early years.  Surrounding the square are other buildings, both brick and frame that figured prominently in Kentucky's history, including the house of Ephraim McDowell, an American pioneer in surgical technique.

The old stone fence
The old stone fence
On the way out of town, I made a wrong turn, and went out Route 150 instead of 52.  On a shortcut back to the intended route, I stopped to photograph an old stone fence, and was greeted by four dogs.  A fifteen-year-old boy came out of the house behind the fence, and we talked for a while.  Then his father drove into the yard, and invited me to stay for dinner.  So I got to meet the rest of the family.  He is an orthopedic surgeon, and bought the house, 200 acres, and 100 head of cattle eleven years ago for $110,000 when they moved to Danville from Louisiana.  They've done a lot of restoration work on the house, which is almost 200 years old.  He's building a stone fence in back to match the one in front - cheaper than paying a stonemason $60 a foot!

Trumpet vine
Trumpet vine on a fence row
 It wasn't until four in the afternoon that I left the Jacksons' house.  The 30 miles to Berea via Routes 52 and 21 were pleasant, with good roads, light traffic, and open, rolling countryside.  The ride was hilly but fun.  The junction of 52 and 21 is at the town of Paint Lick, so named because the Indians painted signs on trees near a salt lick.  There are many beautiful homes along the road - some old, but many built in the past ten years.

Cows cooling off
Cows cooling off

There should be another page of notes here, but it's missing.  Now it's September 26, and I'll have to improvise.

Another interesting stream
Another interesting stream

I caught up with Jack at the campground at 6:45.  Lena wasn't there yet, but we didn't have long to wait.  Jack was really glad to see her.  After we got the Airstream trailer parked and had some nice hot showers, it was getting on toward 8:00.  We didn't really feel like cooking, so we buzzed down to a local steak house, which turned out to be an excellent choice.  I had a meal of perch - it must have been the best meal I've had on the trip so far.  No, I take that back:  my lunch with the Jackson family in Danville today was also great.

What with the food, the scenery, and the people, today was one of the most enjoyable days on the whole trip.

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