I find it refreshing to be disconnected from cyberspace while exploring the back roads of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  The absence of good restaurants is less refreshing, but the delicious hickory smoked BBQ makes up for it.  I am not, however, a big fan of Burdoo (Kentucky Road Kill Stew).

Stairwells everywhere

Our only real destination was the Campbell House, an old hotel in Lexington, Kentucky.  Tom had stayed here before and was told that it was haunted.  It’s a great hotel, full of character ….. but no ghosts as far as I could tell.

Lexington is smaller than I thought …. only three tall buildings in the whole city.  After walking about and tasting some of the local hickory smoked BBQ (Rib Tips) we stopped in at De Sha’s for a taste of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale on tap.  Unbelievable!  It’s served in a snifter rather than a mug due to its high alcohol content.  We just missed the last tour of the brewery.

James Oliver drawing Batman

The couple sitting next to us had also stopped in for a snifter or two.  Jame’s father, Jim Oliver was also an artist.  He won the 1990 competition for the Kentucky Duck Stamp.  James is a chip off the old block.  He agreed to do a drawing in my sketchbook.

James Oliver’s ink drawing of Batman

Before retiring for the night, I wandered the halls of the haunted hotel and stopped to draw the grand piano and wing back chairs in one of the sitting rooms.

Sitting Room at Campbell House

In the morning we stopped at Keeneland Race Track before heading south.

Keeneland Race Track

We stayed for two races.  In the second race, my horse, #4, Zeb, won!  Having placed a $5 bet, I won $20.50.  Not bad for my first horse race!

4 pm, Route 150 in Kentucky

Along Route 150 we saw miles and miles of stone walls of the design shown in the ink drawing above.  The bottom part is flat rocks piled horizontally upon one another.  The top layer is the same flat rocks leaning vertically upon one another.

I’ll stop for today….. this reminds me of the 50’s and 60’s when we bored one another with slide shows of vacations.

Route 49, North Carolina

Sketchbook drawings:  ink is drawn with a fountain pen.  Watercolors are painted with a waterbrush using pigments in pans stored in an Altoid Mint Box.

We’ve been keeping track of the mileage.  Yesterday the 1988 K-Car got 29.55 miles per gallon.  We’ve averaged about 27 mpg.  Not bad for an old car.

I promise this will be the last post on book binding ….. for a while.

An ordinary Composition Book

After drawing on the last page of my store-bought, coptic-bound, lined, travel log journal I felt desperate.  There was something about drawing and painting on the lined paper during road trips that I like.  Unlike the blank paper I have of all sizes, stashed everywhere throughout the house, I don’t have any lined paper that is large enough to make a sketchbook journal with the lines going in a horizontal direction.  My solution?  Cut apart one of the many yet-to-be-used composition books on my shelf and re-bind it.

Stage one and two

After cutting the book apart, I re-organized it into signatures.

Useful information

The inside of the front and back covers is filled with “useful information”.  I like having such information at my fingertips.

Rebound Composition Book

Finished Composition Book.

Another view

Now I’m ready for my next road trip.  I leave on Friday to head to a haunted hotel in Lexington, Kentucky.

Tom and I took a test run yesterday, preparing for our upcoming road trip.

First Stop … Old Turnpike Road

It’s amazing that there are still roads near home that we have not explored.  Tom sat in the passenger seat and acted as timer.  I drove. I attempted, and succeeded, to find roads we have not traveled before.  After driving for fifteen minutes I searched for a safe place to pull over, park the car and pull out the two chairs from the trunk.  For the next fifteen minutes I worked in my sketchbook as Tom wrote a quick horror story.  Then we moved on.

Second Stop … Jane Chapel Road

The second stop was a wide spot in the road beside the ruins of a curved-roof barn and a silo buried in vines and hidden by trees and brambles.

City Street …. Hackettstown

Our last stop found us on the Main Street of Hackettstown.  I think the timer was hungry and thirsty.  It appeared to me that it was a very short fifteen minutes of sketchbook time.

We ended the trip with a stop on the other side of the mountain at the Long Valley Brewery Pub with a pint and a platter of food…. a successful trial run for the road trip.

Sketchbook drawings – drawn with a fountain pen in a sketchbook made from rejected watercolor paintings.  I applied watercolor using a waterbrush and my half pans stored in the Altoid tin.  Not enough time to apply color to the last sketch.