Thursday, December 10, 2009

Trip to Louisville

Here's the promised recap of the quick trip I took to Louisville, KY yesterday.

I left my house at 8:00 yesterday morning, in order to make an 11 AM bus to the "Possibility City" (yes, that's one of Louisville's nicknames). After boarding the bus (which was full), we set out for the 107 mile trip down Interstate 71.

Right out of the gate, the winds were gusty as predicted by John Gumm and others, including myself. Sustained winds were between 25 and 40 mph when we left at 11:05 AM. Gusts were higher than that and the bus showed it on the way down. Immediately after we hit Interstate 75, the bus started to get bumped around. It went left, it went pretty much did anything BUT go straight the entire way down to Louisville. I can't blame the driver for that...but I now have my threshold for high winds and bus trips aboard the Greyhound at 40 miles per hour. Any higher than that and it scares me.

As I traveled, I began encountering damage ranging from tree limbs to entire trees down. I didn't see much property damage, but there were some areas that had some damage.

I arrived in Louisville around 12:50 PM, and set right down to business...which was really pleasure. I had planned to head down to Jefferson Mall on the south side of town. immediately became crystal clear that that was not going to happen. I can tell you this...walking in downtown Louisville was anything BUT easy. At one point in my efforts to find a local National City or PNC ATM (at West Jefferson and 5th Streets), I attempted to go north along Fifth towards Market...and immediately was blown backwards. And by backwards, I literally mean BACKWARDS. I could not get across Jefferson! Good thing is, there was one in the building behind me...the PNC Plaza. I went inside, got a few bucks, then went to the Arby's on Fifth and West Liberty. At this point, winds were now gusting between 50 and 60 mph. Doors became impossible to open from outside if they opened outward. Such was the case the rest of the time I was in Louisville.

But, in another occurrence that ALSO became common the remainder of my day in Louisville, people opened doors for me. This is a great example of Southern hospitality at its finest and really defined my experience in Louisville. It didn't happen often if at all on either end of my trip in Cincinnati (which was a shame), but in was almost second nature to people. I won't forget that.

Finally, it was time to return home. I got back to the Greyhound terminal a little after 2:30, waited until almost 4:00, and then got back on the bus. Unfortunately, the tiedowns wouldn't work on the bus, so I had to hang on tight. Fortunately, I made it back with less bumping, getting home about 8:00. The interesting thing on my way home was that I was able to pick up at least one Louisville radio station (840 WHAS-AM) all the way to Gallatin County - but most faded away before then, somewhere in Carroll County. Even so... 700 WLW was a hard pickup even near the KY Speedway (at least without a ton of static), and I didn't get a full lock on Q102 until Boone County. I would have thought I'd get a good fix on WLW earlier, and I needed info on what was going on back home for when I got there.

All in all, a good trip. I found out my tolerance level for wind, and cold as well. I'll make another trip in Spring...I'll probably stay longer, and do it on a not-so-windy day.

Below: The scene around 11:20 AM EST in Florence, as seen from I-71/75.

Courage + Belief = LIFE

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