August 9th – 06:30-19:49 – Friendville MD to Shelbyville IN – 418 Miles
I set the alarm for 5am, got up and got everything ready to go. After a shower and getting the gear packed I took off but it was 06:30. I figured I’ll have to get up at 04:30 in order to leave at the targetted 6am.
I passed over the Ohio river and went on to Cambridge where I had planned on staying the previous night. In Columbus I briefly considered bypassing Paramont King’s Island, one of my scheduled stops, mainly because I was behind on the trip but I figured the heck with it. I’m on vacation and headed south on Rt 71 toward Cinncinati.
At one gas stop I was checking the bike, just making sure it was all intact and found the lost strap hanging from the left side of the rear axle. It must have gotten caught. I pulled it off and put it into my pocket. While I was pulling out, I noticed a faded yellow warning grid on the pavement next to the driveway. I was curious about it as I went over the curb and scraped the bottom of the bike :-0 I’ve done that before so I knew it wasn’t that bad but still.
I exited at King’s Mill and checked out the park from the road. If you’ve been to Paramount’s King’s Dominion here in Virginia you’d recognize the green tower.
I checked out the Harley Dealer (Aces & Eights) that was located outside the park but didn’t see anything worth picking up.
Finally, at 13:55 I pulled in, paid my $10 parking fee and parked the bike. One of the security guys came over and we chatted for a minute. He was interested in the TourMaster pack and tank bag. When I got the bike covered and cinched down I popped out the cell-phone and called Rita. While I chatted and headed for the main gate a guy with his kid in tow stopped me and asked if I wanted a ticket.
One of his kids guests and bailed and he didn’t want to just blow off the ticket. Since I was by myself he offered it to me for $20. I went ahead and gave him $20 and headed up to the entrance.
Before I went in, I dropped off my pocket knife at the security window.
I went through the gates and the ticket was good. It was a little drizzly and thunder was rolling. I didn’t see any lightning though.
I wandered through the park a bit until I found “The Beast”. It’s on the top ten list of great wooden roller coasters and it’s why I stopped by.
When I headed in to the line one of the line guards was telling folks that lightning had just hit and that the ride was paused. They would start the ride 5 minutes after the last lightning bolt hit. So I stood in line and waited, watching the stupid TV’s. Eventually the ride started and we headed up. They must have seen the line of people and opened up the inner gates.
I waited in the “front half” line. There are two lines, one for the front half of the car and one for the back half. After a short time I was in the line for the front seat. About 20 minutes after getting in line I was up and in the front seat ready to go.
This is a 7000′ wooden coaster with two tunnels and lasts about 5 minutes. It was a great ride! I kept my hands up and knees locked under the hand bar. On the second loop the guy at the controls kept saying to keep your arms down so I lowered them a little and he stopped 🙂 In the second tunnel I had to lower my arms to be straight out in front of me instead of up since the tunnel was so low.
Finally at the end we got out and headed down to the pictures but I had my arms in front of my face at the first downhill so I didn’t buy the picture.
I checked out the other rides in the park but didn’t see anything else that appealed to me and I left the park. I stopped by the security window but couldn’t find my ticket. I mentioned it to the security guy and he said that they found the ticket. Fortunately it was the same guy and he gave me back my knife.
It was still a little wet when I got to the bike so I put on my rain gear. When I finally was ready to bail it was 16:30. I got back on the freeway and headed to Indiana. I picked up a few rocks including one that whacked the right side of my nose.
At one of the gas stops I called Rita and asked her to check for a Motel room in Shelbyville. She found one but when I stopped again for gas it was a nice day so I went camping instead.
Rita checked around and found “Fairland RV Park” just off the next exit. I pulled in, paid my 10 bucks and picked my campsite next to the lake. There were some folks parked at the lake with some of the cloth fold up seats. A guy with his wife walked up while I was looking over the place and we chatted (he was missing all of his front teeth top and bottom). He said that he was a biker and that his bike was in the trailer. If I needed some help with my bike he’d be happy to provide it and they wandered off.
I went out and grabbed dinner. When I got back I set up the tent and covered the bike. Again the wooden sidestand plate helped again as I was parked on the grass.
I sat outside on the park table and updated the journal. There were some guys at the lake (about 20′ in front of me) chatting and a couple were over fishing on the other side of the van.
After the third mosquito attack (she had to be sucking bone marrow or cartilege; she was in the finger joint) I retreated into the tent and got ready to sleep. It was about 20:30. I shut out the light and got comfortable. After a bit the guys with the pick-up cranked up the country tunes and the party got started. It’s Saturday Night in the RV park. About 10 minutes after that I put in my ear plugs and went to sleep.
That worked until just after midnight when a fight broke out. From what I can tell during the drunken fight one of the guys got kicked in the head. He and (picture the sound of a 15 year old fat kid; high pitched yelling) perhaps his wife were yelling that “motherfucker, I want you out”. I took out one earplug to listen. There were lights shining and people walking around. At one point the guy asked about my tent but the wife said that “it’s the biker” and they left me alone. One of the more interesting comments was the guy yelling that he had a gun too (!). I had my hand on the cell in case shots rang out.
I went back to sleep.