I'm in Lexingotn, Kentucky, writing this at a Panera. I've driven down to Winchester, Kentucky, to see the friend in whose Columbus, Ohio, apartment I'm living for the summer. I will most likely be helping him move back, whenever he does.
Winchester is quite a nice small city. It surrounded by the rolling hills of thi spart of Kentucky, a topography I enjoy, one inseparable from the Ohio River valley. Around Winchester are lenty of stone fences, usually built by Irish immigrant stone masons in teh 19th century. This is horse country, as many license plates will remind you, if you somehow manage not to stray off the interstate, about the only place where you won't see horses here. Beer cheese, which I've never had, was first whipped up here, and various restaurants promote it. I also see a number of "Coal Keeps the Lights On" license plates, since Kentucky is coal country, especially to the east.
The Kentucky River flows nearby and is currently quite swollen, large chunks of debris floating from recent heavy and fatal rains. There are surely ample canoe and kayak options, but I don't have the money to plump for those right now. I have been on a variety of trails, including one up to the old foundation of an earthen Civil War fort, Fort Boonesboro. Later this evening I might stroll the cemetery, which dates from 1814, I think, to seek some neat old headstones.
There is a local soft drink, Ale-8, that has been in production for decades. Stopping in the local tourism office and Chamber of Commerce, where I was treated extremely well, I learned that there are a number of Japanese firms nearby, which is not a surprise, given the large Toyota plant up the interstate in Georgetown. But the people in the office were interested in my Japanese past.
Winchester also apparently hosts the headquarters of its local utility, the name currently escaping me. I had wondered whether AEP, my current co-op employer, might operate here, but unfortunately they do not.
I will head back to Ohio tomorrow with some of my friend's stuff, but it will be something of a disappointment to leave here. It seems a nice small town, with thriivng Lexington simultaneously near and far enough.