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SOUTH CENTRAL U.S.
Dec. 29 2009-Jan. 1 2010
PART 1

This automotive trek to ring in the new decade was the stuff of legends. In almost every town, we thought, Where will we go next? The answer: Bipville. Just joking! This fact-finding mission took us through 8 states (not counting the brief but necessary dips into Cincinnati at the beginning and end). So read 'em and peep...






Southwest on I-264 in Louisville. This is bypassing downtown on the Henry Watterson Expressway - much of which was Kentucky's first freeway, dating from around 1948. The freeway was intended as a US 60 bypass. The stretch pictured here may have been one of the very first to open, but it's unrecognizable today, because of the major reconstruction project of 1985-95.




This building along the outer side of I-264 features a gigantic picture of football legend Paul Hornung.




Along I-65 in Cave City, KY. This sign advertises something called Dinosaur World - which seems to be some sort of park that features giant dinosaur sculptures.




The IGA oval meets the Chevron monster. This is looking north on KY 101 (Main Street) in Smiths Grove, KY, from a (ppphh!) gas station near the exit from I-65.




Illustrating again the unsuitability of Kentucky highways for cyclists, this is west on the former US 79 - East 9th Street in Russellville, KY. This became KY 3240 in 2007.




When people talk about hybrid vehicles, I didn't know this was what they meant. The vehicle in front of us is a tractor with the bed of an Isuzu pickup spliced onto it. Here we're going southwest on US 79 at the junction with US 41 in Guthrie, KY, at a spot called Tiny Town.




Just past Guthrie, US 79 crosses into Tennessee. It eventually runs almost to Austin, TX.




US 79 uses Wilma Rudolph Boulevard in Clarksville, TN. Here it crosses the Red River (a tributary of the Cumberland). Note that the left side of the road has a bridge with a framework.




Austin Peay State University is a public institution of higher book-learning in Clarksville. This "Let's Go Peay!" banner was sighted along College Street in front of the school. The name Peay in this case happens to be pronounced "pee." Get the obvious play on words?




Southwest on College Street at 1st. Despite being close to the center of a mid-sized city, this road appears to be intentionally bicycle-unfriendly. Maps agree that this is TN 48 but differ on whether we've just lost US 79.




College Street ends at Riverside Drive - Byp US 41A. Some sort of walkway looms overhead. Although the road is Byp US 41A, it's surprisingly close to downtown. However, Clarksville has a very small downtown for a city of its size.




Though this is south on Byp US 41A, this is reasonably close to downtown.




A view of the long, long rail bridge over the Cumberland River near Adams Street in Clarksville. The other side of the river is fairly undeveloped for being near such a large city.




Riverside Drive splits from the Cumberland.




As we go southwest on TN 13/48 leaving Clarksville, this is a view of the Cumberland River.




Southwest on TN 149 approaching Cumberland City, a puffy cloud seems to loom above the horizon. (Is it an Allowed Cloud?)




Why, the cloud is from a power plant.




A better view of the power plant. This is a TVA facility along the Cumberland River in Cumberland City. This coal-fired plant has one of the tallest chimneys in the world.




This has to be south on TN 13 in or near Waverly.




Now we're on I-40, and we're looking north on the Tennessee River.




West on I-40 at mile marker 134 near the Eagle Creek exit. Odd for a rural Interstate, I-40 here has a median barrier instead of a wide strip of grass.




One bladder fills up, and your whole trip goes haywire! Our tour south through Hardin County, TN, was nearly decimated by the lack of gas stations with restrooms. At one such establishment, the cashier even lied right to my face about the johnnypot being "out of order." We programmed the GPS to find gas stations, but it sent us 15 miles out of the way just to find more toilet-free stations. As the GPS grew frustrated, it briefly led us onto the unidentified road pictured here. We eventually wound up well off course in Counce, TN.




TN 22 becomes MS 2 at the state line. The colors in this video shimmer strangely because we were traveling into the sun.




Southwest on MS 2 north of Corinth, MS.

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