Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spring Fling

As most of you know, Ron and I took a trip through the Deep South. It included major stops in Alabama, Mississippi, and an interesting look at a Kentucky town, and a Cave of Mystery. (I just wrote that to build suspense.) I also had an opportunity to eat a fair amount of barbeque, an endeavor that deserves a trip solely devoted to that task.

It took us two days to get to the gay campground which hosted the CMEN (California Men Enjoying Nature) Gathering. About a hundred guys showed up at one time or another, including Ron and me. We had a very gay week during which Ron's sore throat got worse, and I got a sinus infection, but that does not stop intrepid travelers.

After the gathering, we head down to Florida and drove through the Panhandle, then crossed Alabama's Panhandle, and ended up in Mississippi. We stayed our first night in Mississippi in Hattiesburg. We had a bodacious meal at the local Outback. I tell you, even though the restaurant is a chain, we got the full Mississippi treatment. I was impressed. The next day we arrived in Southaven, Mississippi, and visited with Ron's Mom and sister (and dog) for a few days.

From the northwest corner of Mississippi, we headed around Memphis, and crossed Tennessee, south to north, passing Bucknsort along the way. That night we stayed in Bowling Green, Kentucky. We had a memorable evening in Bowling Green. We walked around the town square, and had a good meal right on the square. From there we took a walk toward the university, and ran into some students playing game on the sidewalk. The game, of course, is Kentucky Cornhole, which is very different from Idaho Cornhole. It helps to be drunk when playing this game (which is why the college kids were doing okay at it). We weren't, but threw a couple of beanbags just for the bragging rights of doing some cornholing in Kentucky.

One of the students suggested a walking tour, which we took. Lots of pretty houses, but a very quiet town.

The next day we headed up to Mammoth Caves. Wow. What a big hole! It's the largest cave in the world: 367 miles on six levels, or something like that. We had a Kentucky native who loves this cave as a tour guide. He's truly an asset to the Park Service. It was a country pleasure hearing his stories, and a wonderful tour.

The rest of that day, we high-tailed it to Ashland, on the eastern edge of the state, and stayed at yet another Fairfield Inn. We stayed at a number of them on our trip. Moderately priced. Great beds. Nice people.

It's no longer Fly Over Land; it's Drive Thru Land, not just for the KFCs and Burger Kings, but for the righteous experience of seeing the beautiful land unfold in front of you, mile after mile. It's about as close as I'm going to get to heaven.