After writing about the areas of flooding I visited last week, I felt inspired to visit the Lake Monroe dam area to see the situation there. So, I planned a bicycle ride to the dam, and took a “scenic route” home. I wanted to see the dam and the damage to Valley Mission Road. Here’s a map of my ride.
I took a direct route to Fairfax State Recreation Area, then to the dam. Every time I ride in that area, I think it seems hillier than I remember. There aren’t any big hills until you are near the lake, but the hills are rather constant all the way there.
Here is Baker’s Junction, the creepy “Haunted Train Museum”
Soon I was at Fairfax SRA, on Lake Monroe. I was greeted by ducks.
If you’re not familiar with the place, this might not look too weird. But, there’s a large parking lot at the bottom of the hill. It’s just underwater in these shots.
This basketball hoop might give a little more perspective.
Or this shelter …
or these partially-submerged trees …
Here’s another illustration of how high the water was. There’s a cul-de-sac that’s completely submerged right now, past where the road dips into the water.
Notice the street sign just barely sticking up.
I headed back, stopping to top off water bottles.
I headed toward the dam. On my way there I saw more high water, coming right up to the side of the road. There were people fishing from the side of the road. I wish I had gotten a photo of them.
Soon, I reached the dam. The water made a crazy sound as it was sucked down to be expelled by the floodgates. The water rushing out made quite a racket, too. I made a few videos to capture the scene, and I edited them together here. What you can’t tell from the sound in the video is that there was also a low-pitched rumbling sound that you could both hear and feel. Pretty wild.
I took some still photos, too. There were several other people there to check out the scene.
Next I wanted to see Valley Mission Road. I had heard the road was washed out.
I’d say those reports were accurate.
Some people had spotted a catfish down in the water below here and were trying to figure out a way to get it out.
The rock pictured below was placed on the road to try to stop it from washing away. It’s hard to say how effective that was; I guess we’ll find out when the rocks come off.
I probably could have continued past this point, but I would have had to climb a big hill and it might just be more flooding on the other side. I decided to turn back.
On my way back, I spotted some dead fish along the side of the road. It was a bit surreal.
I headed out. Soon I crossed State Road 37. I wasn’t sure exactly how the roads interconnected and actually ended up on an on-ramp or feeder road briefly. There was NO traffic at all.
I stopped in Harrodsburg to refuel.
Then headed back, a rather indirect route. My return trip was quite hilly.
Some ominous clouds rolled in, but no more than a few drops ever fell.
I passed a quarry or two on my way home.
This was a great ride — it was nice to have a mission of sorts (seeing and documenting the flooding and the dam), but the riding was a lot of fun, too — 36 hilly miles.