Pedaling a Piece of Kentucky and Tennessee

Practicalities
  |  Gorp.com

Contact for Maps and Information
Land between the Lakes
100 Van Morgan Drive
Golden Pond, KY 42211
(270) 924-2000
www.lbl.org

Lodging
LBL has three developed campgrounds and a policy of open camping (except in posted areas) throughout. There are motels in Grand Rivers and two very close to Dover (one just over the bridge, the other just west of where The Trace intersects US 79). See the contact information for additional information.

Food — On the Lite Side Bakery and Cafe
In Grand Rivers, Kentucky, this is one gem that must not be missed. First to come into focus as you enter the Lite Side is a large glass case of wonderfully fresh giant muffins — cranberry orange, poppyseed, blueberry, pineapple bran, chocolate, banana, apple dumpling, and, my favorite,"burst of apple." I made this determination after three separate visits during which I ate my way through most of the offerings. You might consider this gluttony; I prefer to think of it as thorough research.

But this place has a whole lot more than muffins going for it. Gastronomically speaking, it also offers excellent chicken enchiladas, picnic sandwiches (and entire picnics to go), homemade sourdough bread, wonderful waffles and pies and carrot juice. (How in heaven anyone can drink carrot juice is beyond me, but it's there if you want it.) All is served in a bright, airy, plant-festooned interior, or at outside tables huddled beneath the trees. It's a far cry from the grease-and-grits menu and cluttered interiors one grows to expect in Kentucky cafes. In all my years I've not found a more pleasant watering hole east of the Mississippi.

Nor a more healthy one. My touring buddy, Tim Krasnansky, trained to look for such things by his lovely and long-suffering wife (who holds a doctorate in nutrition), was mightily impressed to see the precise figures of calories, fat, and sodium for everything on the menu — even the muffins and desserts. But how this all came about, this concentration upon healthy and good-tasting offerings, is more impressive still. Irene, who owns and operates the Lite Side with her 'Nam Marine vet husband, Bob, was forced to learn the importance of a good diet while suffering through almost thirty operations. The drugs given her for the pain caused great weight gain, but she shed it by learning to cook no- and low-fat yummies. A sweeter lady can't be found, nor one who more quickly brings home the reminder to enjoy life and count your blessings. You hear?

For More History
Any search for information on the fascinating history of the Tennessee Valley Authority will turn up scores of titles, and all general histories of the Civil War will give you a good feel for the battles. But since you'll be on two wheels let me suggest an excellent short book (only forty pages): The Campaigns for Fort Donelson. Break the bank and drop the $2.95. It's available in the battlefield museum bookstore.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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