7/11/96 - T+10 - My Old Kentucky Home
Rolling hills covered with blue grass, white rail fences, and thoroughbred colts
frolicking in the sunshine, this can only be Kentucky. Today was an easy day, one to rest
up, catch up on chores and refit some equipment. This means that there isn't as much
scenic photography to view and not the usual adventures to review. In exchange, I'll be
telling you more about my perceptions of a different part of the country.
First off, let's talk a little bit about accommodations on the road. As defined by the
rules of The Crossing, the top three desired traits in a place to stay are cheap, cheap,
and cheap. Traits four and five are clean and a good shower. Just so you don't think I'm
totally off base. My first week on the road saw me in the northeast and in tourist areas.
This translates to hotel/motel rooms above the $50 mark. Because of socio economic
conditions, I'm going to disregard this portion of the trip for my dissertation. This last
week has been spent in more normal portions of the country. Each night I have pushed
harder and harder to find the complete economic value in accommodations.
What I've found is a minimum dollar amount that one must spend on a hotel room. In
Luray, I spent $32 per night for a nice clean room in a family owned motel. Last night I
spent $28 per night for a room in a family owned motel in Grayson. The room in Grayson was
clean and safe, but I think the features of the room had just been cut too low for my
liking. What I'm talking about here are towels. I lean towards cloth, all cotton if
possible, and fluffy. At $28 per night they towels have crossed that basic requirement of
being cloth. From a distance they appear to be but up close they seem to be made out of
some extremely porous material that has the absorbency level of a rock and the softness of
60 grit sand paper. Therefore, I've decided that $30 must be the line not to cross for
Now let's talk about geography. Part of the beauty of our country is the difference
between the different parts of the country. So it's in the celebration of these
differences that we will discuss Kentucky. The first tale that I just tell is about
checking out of the motel this morning in Grayson. As I walked into the lobby to check
out, the lady behind the desk was talking to her sister on the telephone while she
processed my paperwork. There were two other people in the lobby watching television. One
man and one lady, both low forty something. Not wanting to interrupt the lady on the
telephone, I said to the man watching television, "Excuse me, How long does it take
to get to Memphis from here?" You be the judge, it seemed to be a fairly straight
forward questions. He didn't understand. I pursued the issue with a couple of additional
questions, each one seemed to be equally puzzling to him. It was weird, it was strange, it
was like something out of Deliverance!
The second experience relates to tonight's accommodations. I ended my travels for the
day in Loretto KY. The only problem was that Loretto doesn't have any hotels, motels, camp
ground or even rest stops. So from Loretto I moved on down the road to Lebanon which
actually has an impressive array of accommodations. Well if you consider three motels
impressive. I selected the finest looking of the three, the Hatfield Inn. It's a new
facility up on a hill, the lobby is nice and all the rooms face an indoor hallway.
Therefore, one could actually call it a hotel. It passed the $30 rule, $37 per night. The
room looks nice and neat, the towels are fluffy. Everything seemed normal.
At least until I noticed the items on top of
the toilet. As you can see in the picture, there is a small bucket containing several
clean while rags. Also included is a laminated cards informing us of:
In an Effort to Keep Our Towel Supply Looking Its Best We have Placed These pieces
of Stained, but Laundry Clean, Toweling Here for your Use in Cleaning Guns, Fishing
Equipment, Boats, Autos, Shoes, or Any Other Use Needed. YOUR COOPERATION IN THIS EFFORT
WILL BE APPRECIATED.
Oh Shit! What have I gotten into here. Am I the only person in this hotel without a
firearm? Then it hit me, Hatfield Inn, as in Hatfields and McCoys! Shit. I walked out to
the car and noticed the marquee on the sign proclaims that "Even McCoys sleep well
here!" Then is dawned on me. I looked around and saw them, hills. While Yankees look
down on us southerners as all being lower on the evolution chain than others. Well what
Yankees don't realize that there are different classes of southerners. The south is
divided into two classes of people. No I don't mean black and white, I mean flat landers
and hill people. Those of us from the flat lands are much closer to "normal"
than the hill people. Just in case you are wondering, I'm from Memphis, that's on the flat
land, my mom is from the Mississippi delta, that's flat.
Well let's look at my two previous mentioned experiences, Grayson KY, in the foothills
of the West Virginia mountains. Here in Lebanon, hills. The Hatfields and McCoys, lived in
the mountains. Deliverance, they were in the mountains. I think there is a pattern here.
In fact, all of Kentucky is hills! Boy, this isn't the south that I know!
Fortunately no one from Kentucky will be reading this because they probably can't read
anyway. Hopefully anyone who has friends and relative in Kentucky will realize that this
is only the delusions of a mad man and vagabond. Therefore, I pray they won't hunt me down
and kick my butt!
If God is willing, I will be heading north tomorrow night. Sancho has gone out to
sample the local bourbon and the lovely ladies. I give him a 60/40 chance of returning in
one piece. My only concern is that Rozinante is wearing New York plates. I'm from
Tennessee so I'm OK if they talk actually talk to me. If they only look at my plates, then
I'm a dead man. If I don't get you speak to all of you again, I want you to know that I
love you all!
Note: Any typos in the sign from the rest room are from the original and not from me!