Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting out and about in Kentucky

This morning I woke up to raindrops on my roof.  Gus is crossing his legs and refusing to go out for his morning constitutional.  I don't blame him.  I'm no fan of the rain either.  But up until this morning my weekend off has been gorgeous and quite warm for this time of year.  Thursday afternoon I drove up to Richmond, KY to grab some caches.  Whenever I can I like to combine caching with interesting side trips and this short run was no exception.  I found a cache near an old graveyard in Paint Lick, KY which contains the grave of Tom Kennedy who locals say was the real life role model for Uncle Tom of Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Locals claim that lightning strikes the grave often and there is even a chain border around the grave of him and his wife with lightning rods incorporated.  I don't know if any of that is true but the grave stone did have a lot of damage while his wife's stone next to him was perfectly untouched.  Go figure.

Friday afternoon I picked up my fellow Amazon camper Lana and we went for a ride to explore some countryside before meeting a friend from work for dinner.  We stopped at Abe Lincoln's boyhood home because she had never been there and I needed some info to complete the earthcache there.  It's a beautiful setting and is in fact the land Lincoln's family lived on when he was a small boy.  One hundred years ago someone decided they needed to enshrine Lincoln's boyhood cabin so an impressive structure was built out there in the woods with the old log and mud cabin sitting in the center of it.  I find that kind of strange but Kentucky is proud of this native son so it is fitting I suppose.  By the way, if you're reading this and want to log the virtual I can tell you that the number of rosette windows matches the number president he was and the steps out front equal his age at death.  You do the rest of the math.
Speaking of native sons, I watched an interesting program on the public station last night about Jefferson Davis who is a son of the bluegrass state.  In the state capital you will find his statue beside that of Lincoln's.  Go figure.

From there Lana and I drove up 31E to Elizabethtown to see the Schmidt Coke Museum.  Sadly it is closed down but there's still a lot of stuff inside the front lobby that you can see through the glass windows and of course the cache is there on the outside of the building below the giant hand that sticks out holding an even larger Coke bottle.  There was also an early 60s model Coke delivery truck.  Took a couple of pix there, showed Lana the cache, then went a little bit up the road toward Ft. Knox.   Lana was curious about my geocaching hobby so I was glad to show her some different caches.  So far I had shown her a regular cache and an earthcache.  This time I had picked out a puzzle cache and it was impressive.

This cache was in the town of Radcliff which is almost to Ft. Knox and is home to a new veterans cemetery and memorials.  It sits off the side of 31E and as much as possible the designers have tried to keep the setting natural.  Near the office/information center is a large cross made from debris of the 9/11 attacks and fittingly it is a memorial to the military personnel who died in the 9/11 attacks.  There is a large columbarium that backs up to a hillside in the southwest corner of the park (?) with an open air pavillion which contains a large stained glass star set into the top center.  On a sunny day the light through it is amazing.  In the center of this memorial park is a paved walking trail that takes you past memorials and benches that memorialize some branch or group of the armed services.  It is one of the prettiest memorial parks I've ever seen.  The puzzle cache requires you to visit 3 places in the park to gather information and after computing your final coordinates you have to walk the path to find a way into the wooded area in the center where the cache is discreetly hidden.  We spent an hour there and it was worth it.  Even Lana was impressed with the puzzle and the park. 

Finally we headed back south on 31E to meet Amy for dinner at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Glendale, KY.  The food was great homestyle southern fare which Lana, from Maine, was amazed by.  Several times during our meal the place rattle as trains flew by on the tracks outside the window.  I saved room for dessert and ordered butterscotch pie.  Yummy!  The meringue was at least 3 inches high!  I ate part of it there and brought the rest home to finish later,  It was too good to rush.  That was a great note to finish the day on.  About 90 minutes later we were back at the campground and with my belly full I was ready for bed.

Yesterday I got up early and met up with my caching buddy Filbertv to go up into northern Kentucky and find some caches.  We started off in Radcliff where I just had to take him through that puzzle cache so he could find it and sign off.  He was just as impressed.  Then we took a short hop up the road passing by Ft. Knox and stopping in the town of Muldraugh to do a cache at a building that was the setting for a scene in the movie Goldfinger. Then on up toward Louisville and off to grab caches and see the sights .  By the end of the day we had amassed 32 caches and driven through 18 counties (Kentucky has 120).  We saw some beautifully manicured horse farms outside of Lexington/Frankfort, stopped near the Jim Beam Distillery, ate lunch in a good local restaurant that had been a Dairy Queen before a bad fire destroyed the building.  We got back to the rv around 8:30 and some friends from Amazon came by to visit for a while.  By the time they left I finished logging my finds I was really pooped.  Even Gus was tired out.  We got him out and let him run whenever we hunted a cache in the woods or a park so he ran a lot.  And I always wonder, where does he get all that water?  He must leave a little squirt on every tree we pass and we pass a lot.

So it's Sunday which is back to work day, laundry day, and grocery shopping day.  Don't you just love my glamorous life?  I sure do.

More next time!

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