Monday, April 9, 2012

Heading North and Winding (way) Down!

We decided to forgo a stop in Tennessee and headed straight west, then north to Clarksville, Indiana (which is just across the river from Louisville). Jeff had actually lived here back in the early '80's. I think he was looking forward to seeing his stomping grounds some 30 years later!
Our drive last Thursday ended up being a full 9 hours with stops to pee and gas up only. Just after departure a turkey flew across the highway and hit Jeff's window at full speed, cracking the rain guard and leaving a few feathers and blood spatters but not breaking the window. All we could do was laugh at the incredible odds of having a frickin' turkey hit us. Damn things hardly like to fly, yet we manage to smash the one that does!

The next issue came just north of Knoxville, as we climbed through the rest of the Appalachian range, we also ran smack into a torrential rainstorm complete with hail. About 75% of the road traffic pulled over (which does not really help in the safety department) but Jeff pushed on, however slowly, and soon we made it to the mountain top, out of the rain and into fog so thick the hood ornament was all but invisible. Upon our (late) arrival at the Add-more RV Park, we got set up, heated up some left-overs and poured a fairly tall scotch.

Friday I did venture out on my own for a little shopping/errand therapy (if Big Lots and TJ Maxx aren't a great therapy, I don't know what is!). Then Jeff and I returned to Clarksville for a movie in the late afternoon. I had recently read "The Hunger Games" and NEEDED to see the movie. It was not great, but just seeing a movie (first since San Louis Obispo, CA) was fun.
Saturday we drove to another little "suburb" called New Albany, mainly in search of the New Albanian Brewing Co. Which we found. Twice. Once on the outskirts of town where we indulged in a pizza (first since San Antonio) and then we proceeded to "Historic Downtown New Albany" which may be historic but boring as hell. On the bright side, there was an offspring brew pub down there so we had a second taste of some very good brew.

Easter Sunday we had actually planned on returning to the downtown brew pub for an Easter Omelet but after waking, neither one of us had an ounce of ambition or desire to go anywhere. So we spent the entire day lounging, reading and eventually, putting a couple steaks on the grill for dinner. Xena was bored with us but it felt great...

Today we proved to have a bit more ambition and made it to the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs. This was actually pretty exciting for me as I love horses (though my emotions are mixed on racing). The museum was beautiful with exhibits about the history, the winners, and the HATS! They show a movie in a room where the screen is 360 degrees round and also give you a brief tour of Churchill Downs itself and the track area. The guide was terrific and very excited to talk about the upcoming Kentucky Derby as well as the other 36 Derby Days he has attended.

The "Race for the Roses" must be an amazing thing to see. People start coming to Churchill Downs at 9 a.m., there are 13 races during the day but the big one, is #11 and sometime around 6 p.m so people are pretty well looped up on Mint Juleps by the time the twenty, 3 year-old race horses, hit the one mile track for their 2 minutes of glory! Jeff practiced his gate time...

After the museum we went to another historic Louisville place (and apparently a new obsession of mine), Cave Hill Cemetery. Cave Hill actually has a large cave and spring and was homesteaded in 1847. The cemetery today is huge and I have never seen so many custom, ornate and incredible  stones, markers, statuary, obelisk's and mausoleums ever. It was stunningly beautiful.

And....Colonel Sanders and his wife are buried there (along with a plethora of famous explorers and founding fathers).

We had a nice walk through the cemetery and then headed back to the BP. Only had one mis-direction and when turning around spotted this sign...

Kind of gives me a stomach ache just thinking about it!

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