Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shelbysville, KY

I didn't realize it had been so long since I last blogged. And I still don't have a great connection, so no pictures. But I will tell you where I've been. Let's see.....

Leaving Oklahoma (my dad was better and came home a few days after I left), I picked up my RV in Sedalia and traveled down to Dover, KY, at a campground at Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area. It was hot and I was glad I had electricity. Saw a lot of civil war history and the iron mining done in the area before they damed the Tennessee River and the Cumberland River. I also attended my first Mud Bog Race. I can't explain, except that people tried driving their modified trucks and jeeps through deep mud.

Following LBL I went to Bowling Green, KY. Visited Mammoth Cave National Park, Lost River Cave, a Shaker Village and the Corvette Factory. I had visited the Corvette Factory back in 2002, but it was fun to tour it again. I didn't remember touring the Corvette Museum, so that was a treat.

The Lost River Cave is a small river which runs underneath the streets of Bowling Green. Back during the Civil War John Hunt Morgan and his raiders used it for a camp. Before and after prohibition it was used as a social club/night club until the city government made it illegal to sell alcohol below ground level. Was that direct or not! Now they have put a small dam about a 1/4 mile into the cave and give tours by boat. You have to duck in the boat at one spot because the ceiling of the cave is so low and you think you are going to tip over, but you don't and then you open up into a large cave area. Interesting. Nothing like the other cave trips I've taken this spring, but still interesting.

And then Mammoth Cave. What can I say, but it is big. Not the prettiest cave by any means, but it was large and I'm glad to say I did it.

Now the Shaker Village was only about 5 buildings left, but did have a good history of their community. It's no wonder their religion didn't last longer, men and women were not allowed to marry or live together or have children. They took in orphans, but only a few stayed once they turned 18. What they did do was to become experts in providing seeds for farmers, making great furniture and being experts in natural/herbal remidies. I heard that Eli-Lily, the pharmaceutical company credits the Shakers for their knowledge which has influenced todays pharmaceutical industry.

After Bowling Green, it was on to Louisville (that's pronounced Lou'ville and draw out the Lou..). We stayed south of town where we could head west to Ft. Knox and Fort Duffield and West Point on the Ohio River, or SE to Bardstown and Bourbon country. Or north to Louisville and the Falls of the Ohio River. Louisville is where Meriweather Lewis started gathering his companions for the famous Lewis and Clark expedition. We also took a ride on the oldest running steamboat, the Belle of Louisville.

Around Bardstown were several bourbon distilleries, which of course we just had to visit and tour. We also had lunch at the Old Talbot Inn, a tavern and inn which is over 200 years old.

Elizabethtown and area claims fame to Abraham Lincoln for his birthplace nearby and his boyhood home. We had a wonderful walking tour of Elizabethtown with a cast of locals, and I mean locals from about 150 years ago. About 8 people were part of this walking tour, dressed up in period dress from the 1850s, just before the war. I would really recommend this tour, which is only on Thursday nights during the summer, if you ever get to the area.

I got to see fireworks both on the Ohio River in Louisville at the 4th of July River Festival, and then again the next night from the campground. The town of Shepherdsville shot their town fireworks show from about a block away from where we were staying and we had ringside seats.

While in Bowling Green I started to replace my tires on the RV and I am currently in Shelbyville, KY, waiting to get this completed tomorrow. Then it is on to Ohio to see Aaron, Holly, Adrion and Gavin. While I have been waiting for my tires I finished visiting the local distilleries in the area and toured Frankfurt, KY, Lexington, KY, and the Kentucky Horse Farm.

After having visited 8 Bourbon distilleries, Heaven Hill, Scazerek, Makers Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses and Woodford Reserve, I should know the history of bourbon inside and out. I'm not really a bourbon drinker, but the history of bourbon fascinated me. It truly is the only American made spirit. I got to see it being distilled, warehoused and bottled. We got to do some taste testing on some 18 year old bourbon which sells for around $50-75 a bottle. Congress even acted a law defining the requirements for a distiller to put 'bourbon' on the label. In short, it has to be at least 51 percent corn, must be distilled, warehoused and bottled in America, can have nothing added except natural ingredients, and must be barreled in a new, white oak charred barrel. If you want to know more, check it out online by googling the history of bourbon.

And today I spent at the Kentucky Horse Farm in Lexington. It is about 3000 acres and I believe is the largest horse farm in the world. They will be home to the World Equestrian Event in September 2010, the first time it has been held outside of Europe. We walked miles around the farm and got to watch several shows for the visitors and watched some of the beginning of the National Vaulting Championships which will end this Sunday.

Although no pictures this time, I will try to get some of the more interesting pictures posted in the next few days.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

You did quite a good job catching up. When you get to the pictures, I want to see Churchill Downs and the Louisville Slugger museum. I even linked to you on my blog for pictures of them.

Have a good trip and we'll see you soon.