Monday, Sept. 1
[Note: I am having lots of problems with the wifi and uploading photos--so, no photos, they may be added later.]
Monday morning began with Joe making some biscuits for Jan (she had mentioned she loved homemade biscuits) and we had a nice breakfast with Jan and Gary. Then, with many hugs, we got into our RV and headed south toward Kentucky via Cincinnati. About 20 minutes later, we got a call from Gary, telling us that my camera was in his car. He and Jan were on their way to Cleveland for the day, so…. No wonderful zoom lens for the rest of the vacation. I will be using my phone and my small point-and-shoot camera, which is not very good.
We drove for about 2 hours, occasionally through rainstorms, until we reached the outskirts of Cincinnati. We had decided that we wanted to find a dog park for Cassie. She had spent a lot of time in the RV over the weekend, and she seemed to go a bit crazy just before we left our friends—she jumped out of the RV and careened happily through their spacious back yard, very reluctant to come back to us. Besides a dog park, we wanted to pick up a few pints of Graeter’s Ice Cream before leaving Ohio. Thanks to Google, we had located both a very large dog park, and not far away, a Graeter’s. So we left the highway for some ice cream.
After a little maneuvering in a smallish Trader Joe’s parking lot just next to the Graeter’s, we bought a couple of things in both stores, including 3 pints of ice cream. Then we headed for Otto Armleder Memorial Park, which has a 10-acre dog park. We had a fast lunch, and then took Cassie out to play. Thanks to the rain, there was a bit of mud near the gate, but the fenced area was so huge that there was plenty of grass to run and roll in. There were water fountains for the dogs, and benches for people, and trees for shade…. Altogether, a great mid-day break for all three of us. The weather had cleared up by that time, and was actually a little too hot in the sun. Luckily there were enough trees for us to stay shaded while Cassie ran about sniffing and occasionally playing with some of the other dogs.
After about 30 minutes, Cassie decided she was ready to leave—she abandoned us and headed for the gate on her own. We gave her a lot of water, and then returned to the RV. It was about 3pm by that time, and I felt we ought to do at least something in Cincinnati before crossing the Ohio River into Kentucky. So we made our way down to the Riverfront, hoping that we might get lucky in the parking department. Sure enough, after careful exploration, we found an open lot which was virtually empty—in fact, the whole area was almost empty. I don’t know where everyone was for Labor Day, but downtown Cincinnati was basically abandoned. We were very happy about that, however, since it made maneuvering the RV through the city quite easy. Fortunately, there was no baseball game—Riverside Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds, is right on the waterfront, as is the Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Bengals. Most of the parking was in decks, however, so we really were happy to find the open parking lot.
We parked across the street from a pedestrian bridge designated the “Purple People Bridge” (its real name is the Newport-Southbank Bridge). It was, indeed, painted purple, and is an old 2-lane automobile bridge which was repaired and turned into a pedestrian crossing in about 2001. At the end of the bridge on the Ohio side were some historical displays detailing the importance of the river and the crossings for commerce as the country developed. We walked across the bridge to Newport, Kentucky. On the Kentucky side there were restaurants and other commercial establishments; we didn’t go very far, though. The bridge was resting on the levee on the Kentucky side; the Ohio side of the bridge was much lower but rose steeply to the main streets. The next bridge over (which is still in use by cars) has measurements marked off on its supports; I am sure the river rises quite significantly at times.
Besides loving the views of the city and the river from the middle of the bridge, we also noticed that along the chain-link fence lining the pedestrian walkway were many locks—combination locks and key locks. Closer inspection revealed that they were engraved (or in some cases written on with indelible pen) with names, dates, and short messages. It seems to be a tradition for lovers to place locks with their names on the bridge, and throw the key into the river. It seemed like just another way that people had taken the bridge into their affections—it was really a charming and delightful walk, lined with planters. We watched a paddlewheel boat pass under us and enjoyed the views in both directions. Cassie enjoyed the walk too, as well as the attention from passers-by.
By the time we got back to Cincinnati from Newport, it was late afternoon. So we turned on our GPS and let it guide us out of Ohio. We officially crossed over into Kentucky and drove for another hour or so until we reached Lexington and the Kentucky Horse Park Campground. We are happy to be able to add the Kentucky sticker to our travel map at long last—only there’s one problem. We can’t find our stickers. We are both positive that they are someplace in this RV…. But we are unable to find them. So no photo yet of our updated map.
The campground is absolutely packed with dogs!! There was a dog show today over at the Horse Park, and apparently everyone is staying at the adjacent campground. We are surrounded by RVs containing dog kennels, and there are dog pens set up outside a lot of vehicles too. The people across from us seem to have about a dozen of Manchester terriers, or maybe they are Miniature Pinschers—we can’t tell the difference. But they YIP a lot!! Fortunately, with our windows closed and our air conditioner on (it’s very hot and muggy), we can’t hear them too well. But it’s fascinating to see so many dogs. Of course, ours is prettier than any of them!
Tomorrow we have a full day planned at the Kentucky Horse Park.