Tag Archives: Kentucky

July 3: A flowery, historical, viewful long drive

Middlesboro, Kentucky, where I spent last night, is just outside of my eighteenth (I think) national park of the trip (I’ve sorta lost count, and this is a guess from looking at my road atlas). Anyway, Cumberland Gap National Historic Park is right up my alley. It’s one of the main passes that the early settlers passed through on their way from the 13 original states to go west and explore. Daniel Boone was not the first white man to pass through Cumberland Gap, but he was one of the early people to do so.

The Gap, I was amused to find out, was named after the Duke of Cumberland. The same guy who led the forces that beat the heck out of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites at Culloden, which battlefield I visited twenty years ago last month.

A morning glory in the garden outside of the visitor center.
A morning glory in the garden outside of the visitor center.
A log cabin perched in the middle of the huge mowed lawn outside of the visitor center.
A log cabin perched in the middle of the huge mowed lawn outside of the visitor center.

The visitor center was interesting, and also had a lovely garden out front. Also a lot of lawn. I’ve seen more mown grass since I arrived in Kentucky than I think I’ve ever seen before. I’ve passed hundreds of houses, big and small, with huge rolling lawns surrounding them. It’s bizarre. Bluegrass, I guess, although I always thought that was referring to what the thoroughbreds ate.

The other high point, and I mean that literally, was a six-mile corkscrew drive up to Pinnacle Point, which tops out at about 1500 feet above the gap below. You can see three states (Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia) from up there. Today’s been pretty darned humid, so you can see the haze, or smoke, that gives the Great Smokies, a hundred miles or so to the southeast, their name, as well. It’s not real smoke. It’s what happens when you have millions of deciduous trees transpirating all at the same time.

A rhododendron -- in July! -- along the road up to Pinnacle Point.
A rhododendron — in July! — along the road up to Pinnacle Point.
This was up at Pinnacle Point.  It's a quote from Frederick Jackson Turner, the guy who decided the frontier period was over in 1890.
This was up at Pinnacle Point. It’s a quote from Frederick Jackson Turner, the guy who decided the frontier period was over in 1890.
A view from Pinnacle Point, looking down at the Gap.
A view from Pinnacle Point, looking down at the Gap.
Another view from Pinnacle Point.  That's the small town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, below.
Another view from Pinnacle Point. That’s the small town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, below.
Trumpet vine, or what I've been thinking of as the bad hair day vine, alongside the road to Pinnacle Point.  Near my mother's old house in Texas, there's a huge trumpet vine growing up a power pole.  It loses its leaves in the winter, and just looks awful.  One day my sister was driving by it, and there was a sign tacked to the pole reading, "bad hair day."  So that's what we've called it ever since.
Trumpet vine, or what I’ve been thinking of as the bad hair day vine, alongside the road to Pinnacle Point. Near my mother’s old house in Texas, there’s a huge trumpet vine growing up a power pole. It loses its leaves in the winter, and just looks awful. One day my sister was driving by it, and there was a sign tacked to the pole reading, “bad hair day.” So that’s what we’ve called it ever since.

More flowers along the road, too. And I did manage to keep Merlin from rear-ending himself on the hairpin turns [g].

The rest of the day was seeing how far I could get heading towards Fayetteville and my friends Morgan and Kaz, because it’s about 360 miles total, and I want to get there tomorrow, which is the Fourth. I made it across the far northeastern corner of Tennessee to North Carolina, where I crossed the border just north of the Smokies (which I visited and was not all that impressed with on my last Long Trip, which is why I didn’t revisit them), and down through Asheville and across the southern part of North Carolina almost all the way to Charlotte. I’m in the town of Gastonia tonight, having crossed the French Broad River, the Broad River, and the 1st Broad River on my way. The name Gastonia sounds like it ought to be in France, too.

Coming down out of the mountains to Asheville, there's a viewpoint with a veterans' memorial.  This is the view from there.
Coming down out of the mountains to Asheville, there’s a viewpoint with a veterans’ memorial. This is the view from there.
I was always under the impression that Bruce Wayne lived in Gotham City, but maybe he's got a vacation cave near Asheville?
I was always under the impression that Bruce Wayne lived in Gotham City, but maybe he’s got a vacation cave near Asheville?

Over 200 miles today, which means I only have about 150 miles to get to where I’m going tomorrow. Not too shabby. I did drive about 100 of those miles on the Interstate, though, both for time’s sake and because for most of it there really wasn’t a viable alternative [sigh]. I hate the Interstate.

I am truly in the South (a bit farther than I expected to be, but that's okay).  Crepe myrtle outside of my motel here in Gastonia.
I am truly in the South (a bit farther than I expected to be, but that’s okay). Crepe myrtle outside of my motel here in Gastonia.

Oh, and I should mention that this is the first time on this trip that I’ve intersected my last Long Trip, seventeen years ago.  I drove the Blue Ridge Parkway on that trip, which passes through Asheville, and, on my way down to Atlanta, actually drove a chunk of the same Interstate that I drove today.  I knew I’d end up doing that at some point, but I never was sure where it would be.  Now I know!  Actually I’ll be going up the East Coast the same way I went down it on that trip, but I’m going to do my best (except for Washington, DC, which I also spent time in on that trip) to go on new roads, and not the ones I’ve already been on.

July 2: Lunch at the Frosty-ette in Sand Gap, Kentucky

Among other things [g].

I got a late start this morning, in part because it took me 45 minutes to find the Lexington AAA office in order to pick up the next round of maps. Suffice to say that I did finally find it, but criminy. And, yeah, I’d looked it up online last night. Fat lot of good that did me.

So it was after eleven by the time I left Lexington. About twenty miles down I-75 at the town of Richmond, I escaped from the freeway and hit the back roads again. About five miles after that, I spotted a sign that said Richmond Battlefield County Park. But the sign below was what caught my attention.

Out front of the Richmond Battlefield Museum.  I meant to ask what the deal was, but I forgot.
Out front of the Richmond Battlefield Museum. I meant to ask what the deal was, but I forgot.

There was a museum in an old house, telling all about the Civil War battle of Richmond, Kentucky (as opposed to the much bigger battle of Richmond, Virginia), which took place in 1862, and which the Confederates won (for all the good it did them in the long run). They had a really cool map with lasers showing where the Union and Confederate forces marched in from, and where they fought and so forth. I’d never seen anything quite like that before, in all my museum-going over the years (and with all the battlefields, from Culloden to the Little Big Horn, that I’ve visited). The curator in me was rather impressed.

The laser map at the Richmond Battlefield Museum, with the lasers.  The red is Confederate, the green is Union.
The laser map at the Richmond Battlefield Museum, with the lasers. The red is Confederate, the green is Union.

But the quilt sign was a bit misleading. There were a couple of quilts on beds, but that was about it.

And so I drove on, deep into the Appalachian foothills, probably winding three miles for every mile I went forward, through lots of beautiful, bucolic scenery.

Scenery along U.S. Route 421.
Scenery along U.S. Route 421.
One of the at least fifty Baptist churches I saw along the way today.  There were also a few Pentecostal churches, and one Catholic church, but other than that...
One of the at least fifty Baptist churches I saw along the way today. There were also a few Pentecostal churches, and one Catholic church, but other than that…
Another view, this one along Kentucky Route 11
Another view, this one along Kentucky Route 11
My first kudzu of the trip.  Shudder.  I feel so sorry for the trees trapped under there...
My first kudzu of the trip. Shudder. I feel so sorry for the trees trapped under there…

In the tiny community of Sand Gap, I saw a bunch of cars parked in front of something called a Frosty-ette. It was getting slightly late for lunch, so I stopped. It wasn’t the best hamburger I’ve had on the trip (that title still belongs to the hamburger joint in Escalante, Utah), but it was pretty darned good. And the chocolate shake for dessert was lovely. I also got to chat with some locals at the one picnic table, and I think I’ve acquired a new like on my Facebook page today.

The road wound on, little state highways, until I reached U.S. 25A, which goes over the Cumberland Gap into Tennessee. I stopped just short of the gap (the southeastern equivalent of a western pass) for the night, in the town of Middlesboro, because tomorrow morning I want to explore the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. This is the route the earliest western settlers like Daniel Boone took to get over the Appalachians.

The approach kind of reminds me of going over Snoqualmie Pass. It’s a low pass (only 1600 feet) with those big broad sweeping curves I associate with I-90 over Snoqualmie. The scenery is entirely different, but it just feels the same, somehow.

Headed up to the Cumberland Gap.
Headed up to the Cumberland Gap.

I managed to get hold of both Mary (CatMtn) and Morgan today, too. I will be spending the 4th with Morgan and her husband near Fort Bragg, and then going on to Mary near Greensboro the next day. I’m really looking forward to seeing them all.

Pretty soon I won’t be heading east anymore.  I’ll be headed north to Canada, eventually.

July 1: Plenty of history, including a Shaker village and Kentucky’s state capital

This morning I drove eight miles up the road to Pleasant Hill Shaker Village. Most of the Shakers, a 19th-century religious sect who most people know of because a) they were celibate, b) they danced as part of their worship services, well, and c) for the style of furniture named after them, lived in communal villages in New England, but a few of them ventured as far south as Kentucky, where Pleasant Hill was their longest-lived community.

It’s a pretty place. Peaceful. Very bucolic. And the museum in the main house (they lived in what were basically dormitories) was fascinating, with a few surprises.

I've heard these called Rose of Sharon, and I've heard them called rose mallow. At any rate, they look like they're related to tropical hibiscus, and this particular one was next to the parking lot at Pleasant Hill.
I’ve heard these called Rose of Sharon, and I’ve heard them called rose mallow. At any rate, they look like they’re related to tropical hibiscus, and this particular one was next to the parking lot at Pleasant Hill.  ETA:  I am informed (thanks, Katrina!) that it’s Rose of Sharon, and that rose mallow is same genus, different species.  
The main house at Pleasant Hill, which was used as a dormitory, and is now the museum.
The main house at Pleasant Hill, which was used as a dormitory, and is now the museum.  The outside walls are solid limestone three feet thick, and the inside walls are two feet thick.
The downstairs hall of the main house, complete with grandfather clock. The men lived on the left, and the women on the right. Or maybe vice versa.
The downstairs hall of the main house, complete with grandfather clock. The men lived on the left, and the women on the right. Or maybe vice versa.
An antique crockpot [g].
An antique crockpot [g].
An odd thing to find here, but apparently sometime in the middle of the 19th century, some of the Shakers were digging for one reason or another and found the skull of a mammoth. This is not the one they found, because it's been lost, but there was a whole room about it.
An odd thing to find here, but apparently sometime in the middle of the 19th century, some of the Shakers were digging for one reason or another and found the skull of a mammoth. This is not the one they found, because it’s been lost, but there was a whole room about it.
Some of the gorgeous antique furniture in the museum. Shaker style has always been my favorite. I have reproduction Shaker in my living room (when it's not in storage).
Some of the gorgeous antique furniture in the museum. Shaker style has always been my favorite. I have reproduction Shaker in my living room (when it’s not in storage).
This handsome gentleman was snoozing on one of the buildings. He was so indolent (or used to affectionate tourists) that he could barely be bothered to purr when I petted him.
This handsome gentleman was snoozing on one of the buildings. He was so indolent (or used to affectionate tourists) that he could barely be bothered to purr when I petted him.

I also got to listen to and watch a demonstration of Shaker songs and dancing.  The lady who sang had a gorgeous voice.  I did try to record with my new camera, but I can’t figure out how to make a proper clip out of it or how to post it here.  If I do figure it out, I’ll post it on Facebook.

I ate a picnic lunch there, then drove on what William Least Heat Moon would have deemed the bluest of blue highways (except that on AAA maps, which are my standby, they’re black, not blue), winding sharply down through the hills to the Kentucky River and back up to the city of Frankfort, which is the capital of Kentucky.

The Kentucky River, which flows into the Ohio, then the Mississippi, and into the Gulf of Mexico, eventually.
The Kentucky River, which flows into the Ohio, then the Mississippi, and into the Gulf of Mexico, eventually.

I was on my way to another museum. I like state history museums, as you know from my visit to the one belonging to Kansas a couple of weeks ago, and I figured this one was far enough east to have a different take on things than that one did. Which was true. And here’s some photographic proof of that.

This exhibit panel in the Kentucky History Museum reminded me of Bujold's Sharing Knife books, for some odd reason [g].
This exhibit panel in the Kentucky History Museum reminded me of Bujold’s Sharing Knife books, for some odd reason [g].
A fiddle made out of a gourd. I'd never seen anything like that before.
A fiddle made out of a gourd. I’d never seen anything like that before.
This was just cool. And more Lincoln, of course.
This was just cool. And more Lincoln, of course.
Eep.
Eep.

After that, I put another thirty or so miles of Interstate on Merlin’s odometer (which is now at over 6000 miles — over 5000 since I left home — of which less than 300 have been on Interstate), because that can be the easiest way to find an inexpensive motel. I’m on the outskirts of Lexington tonight, on this first night of the Fourth of July weekend, with traffic to get here to match.

Tomorrow I’m headed for the Cumberland Gap, where Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee meet. It’s one of those places that’s always been on my mental list, because of the history that took place there, from the early days of settlement up through the Civil War.

Then it’s on to North Carolina, and Mary (CatMtn) and my best friend’s granddaughter. And we’ll see what happens after that!

June 28-30: This trip is turning into a cautionary tale

I have good reason again why I haven’t blogged for three days. First, I’m fine, or at least I haven’t hurt myself again. Second, Merlin is also fine. However…

So, I did decide to go back to Mammoth Cave on Tuesday and take another tour. This one was the historical tour, and it was much more like what I’d expected Mammoth Cave to be than the tour I’d taken the day before. We went down from the natural entrance (well, one of them, and the one that’s been in use the longest, since 1816), and walked down to a huge room called the Rotunda, seeing some of the history of the cave along the way. One of the reasons the U.S. did not lose the War of 1812 was because saltpeter mined in the cave was used to make gunpowder for the troops after Britain blockaded out ports (up till then, almost all gunpowder was imported from Europe).

A slightly blurry view of the main natural entrance to Mammoth Cave.
A slightly blurry view of the main natural entrance to Mammoth Cave.
Looking back up at the natural entrance from inside the cave.
Looking back up at the natural entrance from inside the cave.
The best photo I was able to take of the Rotunda.  Note the round formation on the ceiling.
The best photo I was able to take of the Rotunda. Note the round formation on the ceiling.
The ranger with a kerosene lantern, showing us what things would have been like for early explorers and tourists.
The ranger with a kerosene lantern, showing us what things would have been like for early explorers and tourists.

Beyond the Rotunda, we hiked about two miles in total (and went up and down over 500 stairs). Through a place called Fat Man’s Misery, where the passage narrowed down (below the waist, above the waist it was several feet wide) to about a foot, and you had to go sideways to get through. We also had to crouch down to get through several passages. It was in one of the latter that my camera fell out of my (always otherwise secure before) pocket and crashed onto a rock.

I picked it up. It looked fine. Only one tiny ding along the outside metal edge of the lens, but otherwise not a scratch. Then I tried to turn it on. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

And this is why I only have photos of about the first third of the Historical Tour of Mammoth Cave.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, the tour was wonderful. We climbed 200 metal stairs up Mammoth Dome and through all sorts of interesting formations, and learned more about the slaves (in particular, one named Stephen Bishop, who was the first to explore many of the passages tourists see now, and who was so famous people requested him as their tour guide), and about the tuberculosis sanitorium (which still boggles my mind – why anyone would think that chilly and damp and dark would be good for lung conditions is beyond me). It was fascinating and beautiful.

But when I emerged from the cave, my camera was still dead. And nothing I could do would resurrect it.

So that night I looked up to see where the nearest Best Buy was, and it was on my way to Fort Knox to visit Danielle Hart. So I made note, and the next morning I stopped there. They could do nothing for the camera, not that I was exactly expecting them to be able to. But what I didn’t realize is that a) there are different sizes of Best Buy stores, and this was a smaller one, and b) Best Buy doesn’t carry a lot of digital cameras anymore. I’d bought the one I broke online, but that wasn’t an option given that I’m on the road with no permanent address, and that I needed one right away. I tried several other places, too, but nada.

So after trying several other stores, too, with no luck, I went on to Danielle’s. She lives in a really nice half a duplex on Fort Knox, so I had to go through security to get in, which was much more lax than it is at Fort Lewis back home. AAMOF, I now officially have permission to come and go from Fort Knox for the next six months if I so choose [g].

Danielle (and her daughter) and I had a great visit. We went out for Greek food, and I got a wonderful cat fix from her two Siamese kitties, Hector and Penelope, and, incidentally, did my laundry [wry g]. And we talked pretty much nonstop. The thing about Bujold listee friends is that we automatically have so much in common and so much to talk about (besides, any house with that many books automatically feels comfortable). Danielle is also a football fan (Detroit Lions), so that was fun, too.

She put me in her cats’ bedroom/library on a really comfortable air mattress. And took me to two more stores in my still-unsuccessful hunt for a new camera. I do hope she can come out to Washington sometime so that I can return the favor (minus the camera).

This morning I drove into Louisville, Kentucky (about 45 minutes north of Fort Knox) in search of a bigger Best Buy. Two more Best Buys later, I finally wound up in one with an adequate selection of cameras, and am now the proud possessor of a refurbished Nikon a couple of steps up from what I had. It basically operates the same way, but it has an even better optical zoom (it also cost about $70 more than my old camera [sigh]. But at least now I can take photos again.

I got seriously stuck in traffic trying to get back out of Louisville (I hadn’t intended to go there at all before my camera-tastrophe) but I did finally manage to fight my way clear. I’m now in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, the oldest town west of the Appalachians, on my way east again. Harrodsburg is a pretty little town with a lot of really old (from this West Coaster’s viewpoint, anyway) pretty buildings.

Beautiful downtown Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
Beautiful downtown Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
Chicory blossoms along the sidewalk in Harrodsburg.  Chicory is all over the roadsides in Kentucky, along with a lot of Queen Anne's Lace.
Chicory blossoms along the sidewalk in Harrodsburg. Chicory is all over the roadsides in Kentucky, along with a lot of Queen Anne’s Lace.
One of the many cool old houses in Harrodsburg (I love the fanlight above the downstairs window, and the porch on this one).  I walked around town for over an hour this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
One of the many cool old houses in Harrodsburg (I love the fanlight above the downstairs window, and the porch on this one). I walked around town for over an hour this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

There’s an old Shaker village just up the road, too. I’m going to explore it tomorrow before I head east towards North Carolina over the subsequent couple of days, and two more friends to visit.

Oh, and the weather feels like nice August at home! It’s cooled and dried out considerably!

June 27: Rain, caves, and really good BBQ

Today (not counting a short shower yesterday afternoon) is the first real rain I’ve had since Mt. Rainier, my first afternoon on the road. On the bright side, it has cooled the temps down from the upper 90s to the mid 80s. On the downside, apparently you’re supposed to drink the air in this part of the world it’s so humid.

Rain is a winter phenomenon in my world. Well, a late fall, winter, and spring phenomenon. It’s not supposed to rain if the temperature is above 65dF. It’s just not.

That said, I’ll take what cooling I can get [g]. And it only lightninged and thundered a couple of times, way off in the distance, so that’s good.

This morning I drove the forty miles or so from Bowling Green to Mammoth Cave National Park. Mammoth Cave is a place I’ve wanted to get back to ever since my second honeymoon (my honeymoon with my second husband, that is). We got married, after living together for over a year, in the courthouse in Bloomington, the day before Thanksgiving, 1987. We then drove to his parents’ house in suburban Cincinnati, and spent the next two nights on the foldout couch in their family room (I did mention we’d been living together for over a year at this point – it was more a formality than anything else), where his dad had been smoking cigars all evening.

Yes, I’d told my now-ex that tobacco smoke makes me ill. I don’t think he or his family believed me until I woke up on the morning after Thanksgiving looking, as I was told, rather green. But I had my heart set on us spending the rest of the weekend at Mammoth Cave, so we drove on down. It was too late to go in the cave that day, so we planned to do it the next day.

And, you guessed it, I woke up the next morning so sick that we ended up driving straight back to Bloomington. I was out sick from work for two weeks.

So. I’ve been to Mammoth Cave NP before, but I’ve never been in the cave. I’ve been wanting to come back and rectify this ever since, and today I did.

Not just a national park.  Mammoth Cave has world importance.
Not just a national park. Mammoth Cave has world importance.

I got a ticket to something called the Domes and Dripstone tour, which was two hours long. It was interesting, but not at all what I expected until almost to the end. Most of Mammoth Cave (at over 400 miles mapped so far, it’s the largest cave system in the world) is a dormant cave, which means there’s no longer any water working on it. All of that part is mostly big piles of jumbled rocks and squeezes through spaces between them. To get down in the cave to begin with, we had to go down 280 extremely narrow, switchbacking metal stairs. By the time we got close to the bottom, I was really wishing I’d counted them. I swear it felt more like 1000. At least it didn’t hurt my rib or anything else.

By the time we got to what’s called Frozen Niagara, where there’s still water creating formations, we were almost through the tour. But that part really was amazing. And I did get some okay photos of it.

There were two stops on the tour where we sat down on benches and the ranger told us about the cave.  This was the first one, and where he did the obligatory "let's turn off the lights" thing.
There were two stops on the tour where we sat down on benches and the ranger told us about the cave. This was the first one, and where he did the obligatory “let’s turn off the lights” thing.
My best photo (still pretty lousy) of Frozen Niagara.
My best photo (still pretty lousy) of Frozen Niagara.
Flowstone draperies.
Flowstone draperies.
A much better photo of more flowstone near Frozen Niagara.
A much better photo of more flowstone near Frozen Niagara.

For me, the human history of the place really overshadows the geology. They’ve been giving tours here for 200 years. The first tour guides were slaves. Part of the cave was once a tuberculosis sanitarium. And one poor fellow by the name of Floyd Collins was exploring a nearby cave looking for a connection to Mammoth in 1925 when he was trapped by a rockfall. They couldn’t get him out, and he died two weeks later, still stuck, from exposure. It was the biggest news story in the 20s that didn’t have anything to do with Charles Lindbergh.

The visitor center here does a really good job telling the human history of the cave, and the movie that goes with it is narrated by Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs and The Deadliest Catch), which is the second time I’ve run across him narrating something like this (the other time was at the Kansas History Museum) on this trip.  It’s a bit disconcerting.

Tonight I ate my first barbecue of the trip, at a bustling little joint in the little town of Cave City. I had a brisket sandwich, which was so piled with beef that I had to eat it with a knife and fork. It was falling apart tender, smoky, and the sauce was amazing. If you ever find yourself in Cave City, Kentucky, I highly recommend Bucky Bee’s Barbecue.

The history of the cave piqued my interest enough that I’m thinking about taking another cave tour tomorrow morning. This one is called the Historical tour, and takes the route that the early tours did. I think it ought to be interesting.

Then it’s on to Louisville, and hopefully to see Danielle, another Bujold listee (or former listee). And then on across the rest of Kentucky to North Carolina.

June 26: Another inadvertent long drive, but also more Lincoln, and Kentucky

Indiana University, Bloomington
Indiana University, Bloomington

I did manage to take a few photos of some of the buildings on the IU campus this morning, and here’s the best of the bunch. After that, I headed south out of town. It’s funny, but in the two years I lived in Bloomington, I never actually took the main highway south out of town. Turns out there’s a whole other section of town over on the other side of that highway, although it looks fairly new and may not have actually been there 25 years ago [g]. They’re also building a new interstate from Evansville to Indianapolis, and they’ve almost reached Bloomington with it. Bloomington on the interstate. Very strange.

Anyway, I was headed south towards Kentucky, and the landscape became hillier and hillier the closer I got to the Ohio River. I also stopped for lunch in the small town of English, and saw this car in the parking lot, which vastly amused me.

I've never seen a car with eyelashes before.
I’ve never seen a car with eyelashes before.
A view of southern Indiana
A view of southern Indiana
Another amusement.
Another amusement.

I hadn’t realized until I was looking at the map at lunch (after standing in line next to a man who wanted to blame all of the U.S.’s troubles on illegal immigrants [sigh]) that I’d all but be passing by another Lincoln site. This one was where he grew up.

But first I passed through the town of Santa Claus, where I came around a corner and discovered an amusement park as well as a lot of Christmas decorations. Most peculiar for the time of year.

Street lamp sign in Santa Claus, Indiana.
Street lamp sign in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Lincoln’s Boyhood Home NHS was another big monumental building, but it was also a living history farm, which was kind of cool. Well, not cool. It was 97dF and humid as all heck, and I really felt sorry for the people doing the living history stuff, but it was interesting.

A bronze replica of the sills and hearth of Lincoln's boyhood home.  If it's 10 feet square I'd be surprised.
A bronze replica of the sills and hearth of Lincoln’s boyhood home. If it’s 10 feet square I’d be surprised.
The cabin at the living history museum at Lincoln's boyhood home.
The cabin at the living history museum at Lincoln’s boyhood home.

It’s not far from either Santa Claus or Lincoln’s Boyhood Home to the Ohio River, where there was another bridge that looks like what the 21st Street Bridge in Tacoma wants to be when it grows up. And I actually managed to get a photo of this one.

The bridge over the Ohio River into Kentucky.
The bridge over the Ohio River into Kentucky.

I had planned on spending the night in Owensboro, Kentucky, but somehow I wound up on something called the William H. Natcher Parkway, and there wasn’t a motel anywhere until I drove fifty more miles to Bowling Green (I need to find out why Bowling Green is called Bowling Green). On the bright side, I’m less than an hour to Mammoth Cave, so that’s something. And I did regain an hour (western Kentucky is on Central Time).

But I did not want to drive well over two hundred miles today!