May 31, 2009

Across 40 North

Sunday, May 31, 2009
Celina, OH

We surprised ourselves to find we were on the road this morning by 9:15. Kentucky Horse Park is right along I-75, our chosen path northbound for most of the day today, so we started making northerly progress right away. Traffic was surprisingly heavy for a Sunday morning, especially when we bisected both Cincinnati and Dayton. I know I probably shouldn't be shocked by this... these are big towns... lots of people... and people have places to go... people to see... important things to do.

I've griped before about the poor condition of roads in the USA -- especially the main arteries in our large and medium sized cities. Neither Cincinnati nor Dayton let me down on this issue either -- they both had horrible roads, bridges and approaches with pot-holes and drop-offs that would almost bottom-out the suspension of the bus-house. You'd expect something would break... but (knock on wood) so far the Newmar has suffered this abuse quietly.

I wrote someplace that I'd comment more on the Kentucky State Horse Park where we camped the last few days. This 1200 acre facility is, like Kentucky as a whole, all about the horse. In fact, there's a tremendous amount of construction going on right now to prepare for the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010. My sources tell me this is the first time ever this event is being held outside Europe -- a real feather in somebody's riding crop here in the State of Kentucky. These games are held every four years, timed to occur two years before the Olympic Games. Apparently stuff that happens at the WEG helps determine who goes to the Olympics. It's a really big deal to horse people.

What I can report is that the preparations here at Kentucky State Horse Park are large-scale and top-notch. There's a ton of money being poured into large buildings and arenas all around the property. It was a pleasure to see and we'll be waiting for next year to hear more about this event.

While camped there it wasn't uncommon at all to see horses pulling carts or wagons or buggies passing by on the campground roads. Dar caught a number of them on photos she quickly snapped as they clip-clop'd by. Not something we normally see in the places we stay.

Our drive today went very well and we decided to stop in Celina, OH. We found a place to camp in the Mercer County Fairgrounds -- they have 250 campsites and we could have chosen any from the 248 that were open and available for the night. With the help of Butch, the campground host, we found a perfect spot in the shade of a big hickory tree.

For dinner tonight we picked up a couple steaks at the local grocery, some corn on the cob, carrots, onions, potatoes... and I pulled out the grill to do it all up. It turned out great.

So that's the report from the road for tonight.

T

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