04 September 2017

8/21/2017 - Back to Home Base

We had decided to stay in Henderson an extra night to avoid "the biggest traffic jam in American history," with everyone bolting out of the 100% zone in order to get to work the next day. On our way back to the hotel, we again followed along the Trail of Tears National Historic road. This was the route that peoples of the Cherokee Nation were forced to walk from their tribal home east of the Mississippi River to lands in Oklahoma.

This was a spot along the road where a group of more serious eclipsers had set up to watch the event. They had huge telescopes for maximum viewing. I heard one person say though that the small telescopes were actually better for viewing, because the larger ones let in too much light.
We didn't wander down the pathway, but I looked up Mantle Rock when I got home. Dang! We missed a good one. Doubt we will get that way again, but if we do, we will definitely hike back to this majestic display of nature. Here's what we missed: https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/kentucky/placesweprotect/mantle-rock-preserve.xml. That must be the Cherokee language on the sign above Trail of Tears, but I am still curious about details.
We also saw these interesting structures and wondered about their use. Once home, I researched. Info is a little sketchy, but I think this is right. This is a conveyor system (or beltline as they say in Kentucky) used to transport coal from the Highland Company mines to the Ohio River for further transport.

This is the Peabody belt and is thought to be the longest conveyor in the US, stretching for approximately five miles. It goes over highways and across crop fields, meandering high and low at various points. I wonder how much it is used today.

We encountered no back-up until we got just outside of Henderson. Then it was stop-n-go and bumper-to-bumper. At the hotel, the receptionist said what normally takes her six minutes from home to work, took her 45 minutes today. 

We all freshened up and met in R&D's room for cocktails to celebrate the day. The gals had Tempo Vino chocolate-raspberry wine (umm good, you could really taste both flavors) and the guys had Maker's Mark bourbon. From there we motored to downtown Henderson (a few miles away) for a walk-around before dinner. Traffic going our way was smooth sailing, while the other side of the road was still bumper-to-bumper.

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