2017 Trip East to see the Colors travel blog

Tom in the Green River

Lunch with the deer

Inside Mammoth Cave

Bridges on over the Ohio River from River PArk - Louisville

Churchill Downs

The GOLD Depository at Fort Knox courtesy of Tom getting as close...

The journey from Henderson, KY to Louisville, KY was short - about 2.5 hours – green fields all the way. Rio the Cat should have been appreciative for the short ride but once we got here I decided to vacuum and that is a total terror for him. Nights have been cool here and day temp in the low 80s. We were her for six nights. Rio the cat was happy and we were very comfortable. Longer stops are better for us.

We are actually staying at Camp Carlson, which is the recreation area for Fort Knox. Tom was hoping to be able to audit the depository but it did not work out for him. He got a photo and that was it. They only have about 300 billion so they aren't "backing" anything. As it turns out Senator McConnell (R-MO) and other officials were at the depository earlier in the week and they got to hold some of the gold. We did visit the Patton Museum that focuses on the elements of leadership. I think some civilian leaders need to be required to visit this museum before they can run for national office- just sayin’.

Louisville is about 30 miles away. We took a day trip into town and saw some grand old homes from the outside. There are a lot in the historic district and very few seem to be single family residences. Most are apartmentized. The “singles” have beautiful front gardens and porch furniture. Tom recognized the apartments by the multiple electric meters outside. We went to Churchill Downs (right in the middle of a neighborhood) but there was construction so we did not do a tour. Our driving around took us by University of Louisville with its huge stadium – courtesy of Papa John’s Pizza.

Usually we pack a lunch for our day trips but we skipped that and decided to eat at Against the Grain, which is a smokehouse and microbrewery in the downtown area. The brisket I had was so tender and moist. Some of you know I don’t usually order smoked or BBQ when eating out because I always think Tom’s is better. This place provided some real competition to Tom’s fare.

Louisville has a beautiful River Park – very large – along the Ohio River. “Porch” swings are placed all along the way so you can just sit and watch the river flow by. There was very little river traffic. There is a long running/walking/biking trail that also crosses the river to connect to the Indiana side and their trails. At 3:00 in the afternoon there were a lot of people making use of the park. They have space for concerts, group picnics and playgrounds for the kids.

Louisville has 4 bridges – one is for the railroad. There are not many other bridges between Owensboro and Louisville so you have to plan carefully. They refer to this area as Kentcukiana because there is often an Indiana town right across the river from a Kentucky town so the states are somewhat melted together.

We made the trip to Mammoth Caves National Park –about 1-1/2 hours away. Our research told us that the caves are very different from Carlsbad Caverns. Mammoth Cave is a 405 mile system and generally dry to 300 ft below ground. There are no stalactites or stalagmites. There are some very low (Tall Man’s Misery) and narrow (Fat Man’s Misery) passages. We took a 2 mile – 2 hour tour. A temperature of 54 degrees made it quite comfortable. The 400+ stairs were the challenge – going down was not so bad but the return was over ½ of those stairs in a block of 150 and 75. It was a great workout. .If you decide to visit Mammoth check the website several days before your arrival to review the tours and make reservations. We did not have reservations so we had to take a later tour than we planned – no problem cuz we are retired. I tried to take photos but they don’t allow flash so no selfies. At one point in the tour they lit the “room” with just a lantern and then they put that out. It was DARK.

The Green River (of Kentucky) runs through the park and canoeing is allowed. There are several local business that rent canoes or provide tours. We wa5ched some canoers come in from their trip and it was idyllic. There is a lot of hiking in the park and several bike trails. We had lunch (and took a rest) in a picnic area that had a doe and 2 fawns - begging. We did not feed them but another couple did – we were sort of glad they did. There is a small hotel with gift shop and restaurant. We did check out the campgrounds and they are quite nice.

Since we are 65 and have the senior interagency federal pass the tour was only $7 each rather than $14. You can’t beat that with a stick. Construction and misread directions provided us the opportunity to travel some country roads. It was a good thing we weren’t pulling the trailer because there would have been a lot of damaged mailboxes. The whole countryside is just beautiful and full of places to live quietly.

One day we did chores and paperwork. We also read and took naps. Yes, that was the day after Mammoth. There was so much more to see in Kentucky but we will just have to make another trip to the Northeast and pass this way again.

We did a bit more sightseeing today and since we leave tomorrow for Charleston, WV we filled up the gas tank. The first station we passed had a price of $2.18 but we made another stop before filling up. When we went back for gas the price was $2.44 including the station we passed first. They warned that gas prices would go up and they did. However, the first year we did this travelling gas was $3.50-4.00/gal so it is not the worst.

Our prayers and thoughts are with the folks of Texas and we keep up with friends who have friends and family there. As we travel and listen to local news we find that there are so many bad situations in our country and they all need our prayers and positive energy.

Tomorrow we leave for Elkview, WV (near Charleston). I don’t know what the internet situation will be so I may have to wait until we get to Pennsylvania to make an entry.

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