There are certainly not many times in life, if ever, that you are looking forward to taking yourself to jail. But in this case, that is exactly what a happy group of 5 did on a beautiful Sunday in August. After many, many, many, weekends of rain, Rod, Kathy, Chuck, Chris, and Jeff gathered for a long and beautiful motorcycle ride to a small Brandenburg, KY, jailhouse.
The group met Middletown, KY, and headed west and into Indiana knowing it might be the last time they had the freedom to ride the open roads. They took advantage of Indiana 62 as it winded up and out of New Albany toward Leavenworth (the city in this case, not another jail). The weather was perfect and the roads were clean and dry.
Sixty-two as it turned off of IN 111 provided a nice “warm up” for the upcoming roads. It twisted and turned sharply as it reached the uppermost heights of the hill. Along the way the few Dragon quality S-curves brought smiles and excitement.
The ride to from New Albany to Leavenworth is almost like riding two separate roads.
Sixty-two from New Albany to Corydon is a rural and gentler ride. The scenery is beautiful with long and open vistas, small farms, and field after field of crops.
The ride from Corydon to Leavenworth is much more exhilarating.
Sixty-two winds through the valleys, up and down some hills, and most of the time the Blue River is off to the left. The trees overhang the road much of the way, providing a canopy of shade and a feeling of being out in the woods.
The five stopped at the Overlook Restaurant ( http://www.theoverlook.com ), mostly for a break and something to drink.
As usual, the were a number of other motorcyclists enjoying the endless view of the Ohio as it makes the giant horseshow bend a few hundred yards down below in the valley.
After the break the five continued on 62 for the much anticipated ride down 66 to Rocky Point and Cannelton. While 62 provided a lot of pleasure, 66 ramped it up quite a bit as it twisted and turned down the hills ultimately into and along the Ohio River valley.
Sixty-six is like three separate roads.
The first section meanders through the country side much like the first half of 62. The curves and hills are gentle, the views long and beautiful. The second section is a fair amount more intense, with more than its share of ninety degree turns, and in one case a downhill 270 degree turn. Fortunately, we all knew it was there. Much of the second leg includes passing through the Hoosier National Forest which provides ample shade and lots of beauty. The third stretch follows the Ohio River, crosses countless feeder creeks, and cuts through limitless acres of various growing crops.
Reaching Cannelton, the five crossed the bridge, back into Kentucky, knowing they were all too rapidly approaching the jailhouse.
The group took highway 60 and 144 most of the way to Brandenbrug. One-forty-four is yet another road less travelled, with a couple small towns, up and downs, and a combination of long open views and more and more corn fields.
As the group neared Brandenburg you could tell the anticipation was high for the arrival at the jail house.
Making the final turn up into the parking lot, with a number of police cars in the lot, the group parked the bikes, dismounted and started walking up the steps. The conversation was limited, with comments along the lines of “I wonder what it will be like inside” and “I hope they serve decent food”.
Upon entering the jailhouse, the group quickly toured the cells, took a few moments to examine the hanging shoot, and then proceeded into a room full of others who took the opportunity visit the jail house.
Now, you might think that the atmosphere would be subdued, but the dining hall was full of laughter and lively conversation. After all, the turn of the century jail house had been converted into one of the best pizza restaurants in Kentucky.
The aroma was stimulating and we ordered 2 medium pizzas. We chatted while the pizzas were baking. The conversation was stimulating, much of it surrounding the various visitors when the building was an operating jail and discussing whether anyone had really been dropped from the hanging noose and trap door on the second floor.
The six got out of jail by paying a bribe in an amount equal to the pizza, drinks, and some extra cash for the server, and bolted out the door while they could to Fort Knox and points further east.
The ride home was short yet equally excellent – with 44 providing ample twists and turns as it took us from Dixie Highway to Mt. Washington.
The group bid farewells after a long a great day, thankful to not be permanently housed in the old jail.
In the event you want a great ride and take yourself and your friends to jail, here’s the route – 175 miles for the part shown on the map:
And here’s one of the five, captured for a short time until he paid his bill.
And just in case you want to learn more, here is some information on Jailhouse Pizza:
Jeff lives in Louisville.
August 15, 2013