I left Mammoth Caves and rode the beautiful wooded parkway that led out to the south toward Bowling Green, KY. The scenery of the day was magnificent, consisting of rolling farmland and woods.
Along the way, I came across a number of indications that I was in tobacco growing country. It was an interesting addition to the already rich history that had been formed in my head of the area. I first passed a giant warehouse that didn’t seem to be in use currently, but displayed a giant clue as to what it might have been used for previously.
Other properties I passed along the way were drying fresh tobacco in their barns. The smell of the unfermented tobacco was not familiar, or unpleasant. I would later pass a multi-level drying house that must have had a footprint of two or three acres. Hispanic workers coming driving out of the storage house after their day of work told me that there were others just like it in the area. I wondered about their safety, as working with wet tobacco can cause nicotine and other chemical exposure through contact with the skin.
My plan for the day was to ride through the city of Bowling Green, and on south to the farm that I had arranged to stay at through the WWOOF website. The daylight was quickly disappearing as I made my way through the countryside and towards the city. I still had 30 miles to go and less than two hours of daylight, so I made the decision to see if there were any Warmshowers hosts in the area that had availability. If anything, I thought, it would be an opportunity to meet more interesting people. Boy, was I right…