August, 1986 - Big Bone Lick
Charlotte and I went to Big Bone Lick State Park near Florence, Kentucky. The site was once a salt lick, and fossils of Pleistocene mammals such as mammoths and mastodons have been found. The park sits near the Ohio River, the southern most boundary of glaciation during the Ice Age. Coming back 42, we viewed the Ohio from Butler State Park in Carrollton. It was the third time I had been there.
Charlotte and I went to My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown. We saw the Stephen Foster Story.
January, 1986 - Texas
Chester and I made a Grand Tour of Texas during the state's Sesquicentennial. We unloaded the truck near Graceland in Memphis. It was a cold night, and Graceland was lit up. The Space Shuttle Challenger was the major news story. Following the Red River Valley, we first heard of the explosion in Burkburnette. I was sitting in the truck and as soon as it came on the radio, I knew something was wrong. It was on to Fort Worth, down I-35 to Waco, Austin & San Antonio. We took I-10 over to Houston, where there was sympathy for the Shuttle crew.
Summer, 1985 - On truck with Chester.
We circled Chicago and crossed Michigan to Detroit. A second trip took us through Harrisburg and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, into lower state New York. I was going through a divorce in what I referred to as the "summer of hell." I was gallivanting around the country when I should have been taking care of my son. I had lost control. It would be a while before I regained it and when I did, things would be different.