One with the woods. Surrounded by greenery.
Do a self study on the color itself, and you’ll see a whole host of psychological benefits ranging from an uptick in mood to feelings of adventure.
I’m not a doctor, but I play an Outdoorsman on TV. Little reason why so many are trading the cubicle for the canoe or woodland stroll so often. It’s good for us.
“Good for us” was the reason Kentucky’s first ever Trail Town of Dawson Springs got on the map in the first place. Folks there are trying to replicate the Appalachian Trail town feel of Damascus, Virginia in our own backyard. A town fit for trail relaxation and atmospheric depressuring. While there last week to take in the gaze of old buildings and older woodland, I stopped for a moment to watch the Tradewater River. It flows just south of town near the Governor Steve Beshear birthplace signage. The river was named that way for the location of fur trading between Indians and Whites in the early 1800s. Little else happened around the area until the railroad came through in the 1870s.As with railroads, development began to occur around the depot. A man named Washington Hamby was building a house and an eating establishment for travelers when he struck a well full of mineral water. The first of two found within the town around 1893. Dawson’s depot had “Springs” attached to it (though not really a spring at all, none the wiser), and the rest was boomtown history. Some forty hotels in the new resort town heralded as the premier of the south for folks to enjoy the…water. Crown jewel of it all was The New Century Hotel with 150 rooms completed in 1898. Medical conventions held in the city to promote the quality of the mineral water for ailments worthy of conventions. A town so cool the Pittsburg Pirates and Honus Wagner had spring training there. But then, as with most of the turn of the century towns that blossomed with railroad lore, the automobile came, passenger trains stopped coming, colleges became status quo routine, and generations drove away from birthplaces.
And modern medicine replaced bottled water. Sort of.
These days, Dawson Springs still has the Tradewater flowing out of town like always. Still runs through a woods and beside a trail that leads by a lake and a state park called Pennyrile like the forest and like the flower. And in the long shadow of old traders before wells and hotels, one can still take in the natural sights and sounds of western Kentucky from a canoe ride or hike through miles of woodland. Then hang out and take in history, trail town resort style.
After all, that’s what the doctor ordered.
We posed for a said Mobile Upload, then I noticed he wore a themed shirt to town. Toddlers in the 4T size are notorious for themed shirts that match the day’s activity, or hope thereof. His theme was not his beloved trains on this trip, but rather dinosaurs.
“He must needs go through Cave City.”
The gateway to Kentucky’s fabled national park has seen better decades, no doubt. Amongst the overwhelming mountainous scenery that trumps any on Kentucky’s portion of Interstate 65, historic attractions, storefronts, and property sit overgrown and vacant, waiting and begging for a developer’s dream to deliver itself. If you’re reading and have millions to help this city, please do.Maybe it was all taken over by the dinosaurs fronting the interstate exit. The thankful bright spot downhill from the Guntown Mountain signage. Every car from Chicago to Mobile has a one point rubbernecked at the oversized T-Rex that blesses Barren County.
Dinosaur World. A three year old’s Mecca.Pilgrimage in progress, we spent the next hour and a half looking, pointing, running, and posing for pictures at each new attraction. Walking the rope line to one of a hundred or so life-size dinosaur replicas. Digging for fossils in the sand. Shopping for keepsakes in the gift store. Taking home yet another memory as family. Earning Uncle Points.
Only three of these such “worlds” exist in the world, and Cave City is the headquarters for it all. Consider it a hiking trip to the Mesozoic Era. Your 3 year old will love it. And the three year old at heart will love it, too.
For more on Dinosaur World, click Here.
For more on the vision of Cave City, click Here.
-Special thanks to Nicole Randall while in Cave City.
Every true Kentuckian carries with them that narcissistic blugrassian belief that the entire universe revolves around blessaid Kentucky.
You better believe it absolutely does the first Saturday in May.
But what of the other 364/120? You bet it does. Where else but Kentucky can one launch off in 1750 at the Cumberland Gap leading to a Wilderness Road construction paved with pioneer hearts onward to early Fort Boonesborough and Fort Harrod, then prosperous Lexington spawned from early Transylvania colony with eventual turnpike to Limestone Landing to catch up with the steamboats down the Ohio to Louisville pitched camp at the Falls?
Rivertowns along the Ohio, Green, Barren, Cumberland, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi bursting asunder with progress too quick to reckon. Railroads expanding the reach like spokes on the wagon wheels that carried settlers west in the first dawn of a new Kentucky era.
Tobacco, horses, coal, whiskey. A worldwide economic leader still uncontested in categories 220 years later.
Sports prowess. Naismith invented basketball. Rupp and Diddle perfected it in Kentucky.
Cars invented northward near Detroit. Perfected in Bowling Green.
Soft drinks fashioned first further south. Sweetened, albeit Late, in Winchester.
Eastern seaboard no doubt has the early American history of the 1600s, but Kentucky has that second wind of fresh history like that extra dream one gets after pressing the snooze button. Call it the Bluegrass Bonus.
We got Lincoln.
And the biggest Cave.
It does kick. It kicks the dirt up on Black Mountain, it kicks the coal dust up in Harlan, it kicks the spurs in Lexington, it kicks the tires in Bowling Green, it kicks to country music in Pikeville, it kicks under skyline in Louisville, and it kicks back at days end under a quilt in Paducah.
Kentucky Bred? Why Leave?
Somewhere Else? Get Over Here.
I love Kentucky. And I’ll keep kicking till I hit the bucket with a final swing.
Growing up near the flyway didn’t hurt. Each year thousands of fowl make their way south with a slight rest stop at the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge. Bald eagles are no exception. But that wasn’t always the case. A pesticide called DDT got into the food chain in the 1950s and poisoned the fish that the eagles fed on. A genetic change occurred, not really poisoning the adult bird but softening her eggshells. She would lay them per usual, and set on top of them, only to have them bust open, scrambling any chance of future bald eagles being born (that last use of vernacular went “over easy” huh?).
Poor eagles. Luckily, science stepped in, found out what was happening to create the declining population, and eventually stopped production of the pesticide. Some 30 years passed before the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list. Now Kentucky is thick with them. Each year, the Kentucky State Parks and Department of Fish and Wildlife collaborate to give eagle tours on the two lakes that put the L’s in LBL. In 2010, I sat sail aboard a yacht called the CQ Princess on Kentucky Lake and caught sight of 58 eagles on a cold January day that had the bays frozen solid, forcing every bald bird to the main channel and clustered in groups. Some nesting, some flying, all majestic. Only a flock of American flags flapping in the wind could have mustered the same feeling of patriotism. There’s something about seeing an bald eagle that makes you realize it’s a rare moment to be cherished.
I’ve had a few glimpses since. Last month I was near the Barren River north of Bowling Green when a large black bird flew past me, white tail feathers quickly giving its identity away. Now ‘Vette City has an eagle, too. My first hike of 2013 took place New Year’s Day in Greensburg. After a walk in the woods, I drove through the historic district of the town that lines US 68 and then turned around to head back home. Greensburg is close to Green River Lake and the tailwaters that continue the state’s longest river eventually make their way past the city. I looked back towards the tree line that sat on the banks and spotted a white dot in the branches. Score an eagle on New Year’s Day.
But the closest I have yet to come to a symbol of freedom in the wild? Twenty feet. Close. Way close. Talk about it in a newspaper column close. As fate would have it, a day when I didn’t have a camera on me. I was at Reelfoot Lake, near the old Airpark Inn and had a guest along for the ride. At the time, I was dating a young blonde TV journalist, and as one could imagine, I was so captured by the beauty at the moment that I failed to capture the beauty of the moment. Hindsight wishes I had just taken the close-up eagle picture instead. It‘s as if I could have reached out and touched freedom. Perhaps the bird stayed there and didn’t care I was looking at it because he knew no picture would be snapped on this occasion. Maybe next time.
If you get the chance, schedule a boat tour this month or next to see the eagles on our nearby lakes or at Ballard WMA. Information is online at www.parks.ky.gov. Or just keep looking for the white dot in the air, or in the woods.
-Originally published in the Hickman Courier January 10, 2013.
Lord Bless the Purchase, adopted stepchild of Kentucky. It wasn’t fully part of the Commonwealth when it became a state in 1792. A quarter century would pass before Andrew Jackson and company helped negotiate a buy from the Chickasaw Indians that gave the frontier bluegrass state more ground southwest towards the Mississippi. Another quarter century later, Fulton County was formed, birthed from Hickman County, and Hickman (the town) was christened county seat. At that time the big river ran, sans harbor, right at its doorsteps and by the mid 1800s the loud whistle and churn of steamboat traffic could be heard, river wake lapping ashore in Hickman from the paddlewheels of the big boats. Thank you, Robert Fulton.
Tis’ the river that prospered early Hickman and Iron Banks, and the river that still brings some dollars and tourism to the Jackson Purchase today. Much has happed since the prime of the two towns, and much to blame for the decline from the glory days. Floods, fires, and such. It’s said you never pass through the same river twice. I guess the same could be said for the towns that dot Kentucky’s portion of the Great River Road. Here’s an American Scenic Byway that runs from Minnesota to the Gulf, headwaters of the Mississippi on down. Wickliffe picks it up here on the Mississippi Valley Highway of US 51, but I would tour the route on Black Friday starting with KY 94 at the Tennessee line.
I’ve been down this road a time or two.
“Welcome to Kentucky.” But no river, at least in view. Ah, but evidence of it, the flat bottomland unmatched for richness in the entire state laid out before me. Surely once host to the river as it changed course now and then over eons. One could argue the road actually runs on the great “river bed” because at one point it probably would have been so. Kentucky’s first outpost a couple miles north of the refuge is Sassafras Ridge. Only a couple of vacant buildings and the old Western School remind one of an earlier time in bottomland life. Cotton once king.I would turn right towards the river and ride atop the old government levee towards Hickman. This embankment broke and flooded much of the area in April, 1912. Little Hickman was featured for a week on the front page of the New York Times along with Cairo and other local towns. Lost the news cycle a week later when the Titanic sank. But Hickman would rise from the floodwaters, build a wall, and prosper till the 1940s when the Mengal Box Company burned to the ground. What’s left 75 years later are only photographs and memories of a once wealthy river town. A beautiful courthouse, an empty iconic hotel, and a literal handful of wilting downtown structures that once stood for several blocks. One can only go forward from here, and that’s the motto of Fulton County these days. I hope they will. Onward, the road would take me to Cayce which marks the birthplace of famous engineer and railroad hero Casey Jones, subject of numerous folk songs and movies about his death on the tracks in 1900. The town Cayce had a few old mercantile buildings of its own next to a trackless railroad bed till the early 1990s when they too would eventually collapse and disappear. All that really remains now is another old school building. I’d continue on to Oakton, then Iron Banks. Perhaps the most scenic stop of all on Kentucky’s portion of the Great River Road is found at Columbus-Belmont State Park. The view of the river atop the bluff here is one of the best overlooks in the entire state. Called the “Gibraltar of the West” during the Civil War when it served as a Confederate fort, Columbus was at several times in history considered an alternative to Washington for the nation’s capitol. Today the only government connection here is the post office, slated for closure soon.
Wickliffe would be the next stop on the route, but first through little Berkley. A county road here off the path leads to a Fish and Wildlife boat ramp where one can sample the river from a lower angle. Once back on the road, I stopped shy of Wickliffe at the giant Cross at the Confluence on the site of old Fort Jefferson. The early settlement history of this spot dates back to the fort George Rogers Clark built in 1789, and would later host Lewis and the other Clark on their journey westward in 1803. The Ohio River can be seen in junction with the Mississippi here. Seemingly all of Kentucky draining into the big river at this point, with exception to the Obion and Bayou de Chien further southwest. In season, one can stop at Wickliffe Mounds State Park and see evidence of a once bustling Native American Culture here, long before either of the Clarks arrived.
All done tour wise (bridge and back) I would return to Fulton via the alternate route of US 51, but not without a stop for catfish at Luke’s Restaurant in Arlington. A fixture for well over 50 years as a truck stop and diner, it still serves the weary traveler today. Having been filled with my loaves and fishes, I thanked my God and went home. My true home, on the Great River Road. Take a trip in your back yard this Christmas. This familiar landscape is your family, too. And simply asks for the gift of another glance.
-Originally published in the Hickman Courier, December 6, 2012.
Kentucky County, Virginia.
In 1776, we were still joined hard to the original Commonwealth but at least split off from Fincastle County. Four years later again fractured into three newer counties, Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln (the other Lincoln). These later petitioned to secede and formed the foundation for the State of Kentucky, admitted as the fifteenth in 1792. From then until 1912, some 120 counties were carved out of those first three, usually from locals disagreeing with the existing county government and in order to have a close courthouse to settle disputes. Only Texas and Georgia have more than Kentucky. Luckily, an amendment to the new state constitution in 1891 made it tougher for an additional county to be formed, else we would have a thousand of them by now.
However lain, one county or one-twenty, Kentucky still unfurls itself over a lot of bluegrass. From Stopover eastward in the mountains of Pike County westward to the Madrid Bend cut off from the rest of Fulton County. Curled up top and back by rivers, a whopper jawed border south of LBL supposedly due to drunk surveyors centuries ago. But who really knows? That’s our Kentucky (There’s only one…).
That’s a lot of horses, bourbon, coal, Corvettes, Camrys, lakes, rivers, mountains, woodland, farmland, and fried chicken. And more horses. Blue collars, white collars, coal stained collars, and bib overalls (no collars). Rural heartland and hustle-bustle Louisville. Basketball, football, NASCAR, baseball bats, and the Derby. Over 120 festivals from pecans to Hatfield and McCoy. And the thought of actually seeing every county still seems mystical even in this age of 40mpg. Anyone who has done it is suddenly surrounded by a goldenrod glow and a choir cooing “ahhs.”
Parkways don’t cross all of Kentucky, and just the typical handful of interstates belt the big dots on the map per usual nationwide. So a good majority of the Commonwealth rests unassuming in uncommonly known locales. My hometown is one. Hickman slinks beneath a bluff against the small portion of the state the Mississippi River routes beside. Its once prominent downtown plagued more than Egypt in the Book of Exodus. One fire so bad in the 1870s it made the New York Times. A few floods, more fires and a whoopsie from engineers in ‘86 took a 100 year old historic district to near complete demolition. Only a handful of steamboat era buildings remain. From that quiet corner came the quest for 120.
It took three decades. And I never really looked into it for the first 2.9. The Jackson Purchase came by default. Louisville and Lexington of course conquered in my youth. A Governor’s Scholars study in Danville. A Boy’s State in Morehead. A VICA conference in Paintsville. A college education and eventual encampment in Bowing Green. But honestly, who sets out to see all 120? And why would one want to? I only knew of two people that had.
Most Kentuckians I know don’t venture too far from their regional hub, that is to say, “City where the Wal-Mart is.” Other than that, they’ll travel to Nashville or Gatlinberg or Gulf Shores before trekking across their own homeland. Tall tales abound of one lane slippery mountain pass roads and toll bridges guarded by hillbillies and trolls (and to all of Lexington eastward, is there really a western Kentucky, or is it a figment?). I remained westward of Somerset for the most part until 2010. That’s when Pineville and the Cumberland Gap were visited, then highway 119 all the way to Kingdom Come and Black Mountain at Cumberland. A year passed. Then 2011 brought a stop in Hazard and highway 15 through Jackon to the Gorge, eastward then to Greenbo and Carter Caves near Grayson. More time passed. 2012 featured US 23 from Pikeville up the gut to Ashland, and a US 60 road trip on Father’s Day from Owensboro to Paducah. I started tallying counties. Only 86. Really? That much travel, and still 34 unbridled jurisdictions to go? Where’s Fincastle when you need it? Summer 2012 became the official quest. I would try to visit them all before year’s end.
First came Monroe County in August. Then Mclean and Hancock (with lunch midway at Moonlight, of course). A nine hour jaunt one Sunday to Taylorsville Lake northward to General Butler and back in a big loop that took me near Cincinnati at one point. In one weekend I saw both the headwaters of the Kentucky River at Beattyville and its mouth at Carrolton. Another Saturday I was looking at what was left post-tornado at West Liberty on my way to Inez in Martin County. Tally: 12 still left. My God.
November 2nd I turned 32. On the 3rd, I set out to finish the job. An early morning drive in the rain to Lexington and the horse corridor of US 27 to Paris. Kentucky’s money clip (you gotta see that stone fence). Then to Cynthiana north to Falmouth and Kincaid Lake, where deer were the only patrons. A lunch and adoration in downtown Maysville, rain pelting me while I looked at the Ohio from Limestone Landing. Followed by a night at Blue Licks Revolutionary War battlefield in the long cast shadow of Daniel Boone.
The next morning, I drove my car across the Johnson Creek covered bridge in Robertson County before heading eastward to Flemingsburg and then Vanceburg, where Meriwether Lewis stood and stared at the river there on his way to rendezvous with Clark for a similar epic. I bet he thought Kentucky was big, too. I still had to return on the AA Highway to Newport for a meal on the levee looking across to the skyline of Cincinnati. Kenton County received a meager exploration via 275 (I’ll be back) and I linked up with Interstate 71 for the final destination. Owen County. Who would have thought?
Perhaps fitting that the quest would start in a small town like Hickman, population 2,400, and finish in a smaller town like Owenton, population 1,300. I pulled off of 71 somewhat emotional as 127 dropped me further to the goal. Till fate threw a curve ball. A set of rail cars stalled on the tracks at Glencoe, stopping me short 2 feet from the county line. Traffic was snarled al la Louisville, but no chopper in sight to alert motorists. Reroute.
Finally reaching Owen County, there was no fanfare south of Sparta. No parade, no confetti, no tickertape. Just a picture of the county sign and realization of accomplishment while onlookers wondered what in the world I was doing.
It was the end of a 30 year journey, yet the beginning of true love. Leaving Owenton, 127 would take me into Frankfort. Some 220 years of a Commonwealth bound by historic signatures on paper. Thoughts of a land utilized to the core (literally). Thoughts of towns that both rose and died. Thoughts of families, generations worth, reared, toiled, and buried on its soil. Thoughts of wars fought and passions sought. Dreams that were both released, and sometimes captured.
As I drove home to Bowling Green the sun set quietly in my Kentucky. I had seen all that it was, and it was good. My Home.
Obvious that we had at least been successful in the woods that particular morning. Squirrel hunting had been an August pastime for as long as I can remember. Longer than I was able to even carry a gun into the woods. I can recall one such humid morning in the mid 80s when I was five or six. Dad and I had pulled up in my Grandaddy’s yard in Hickman and proceeded with the preparations. Honey Buns, check. Mountain Dews, check. Skeeter Dope, check. The spray down of the dope is a memory of the senses. The hiss of the spray and smell of the repellant as it fell sticky on the face. The weird taste as some of it went in my mouth. The buzz of a mosquito wanting to indulge but repelled by the very substance I was now covered in. A heck of a tradeoff.
Matching camo outfits complete down to the boots, we headed off into the thick green late summer’s growth of the woods. Dew sticking to our pants legs along side cacaburs and enough pollen to turn the green fabric yellow. Spider webs every three feet or so, the disgruntled spider now crawling around on one of us, much to my dismay. We would head back, half silently, to trees Dad had hunted for years, still producing the same oak and hickory and pecan treats they had for decades of squirrels. I say half silently because I always managed to step on every stick God had lain in the woods. Apparently there was a trick to this sort of walk, one that was opposite of how I had learned just four years earlier. Back then, it was “heel first, toe last.” But hunters walk was “toe first, heel last.” Right. No matter what part of the foot I used, a loud “crack” would send wiggly tails hopping branches high above us into the holes of the trees and a look from the hunter in front of me.
Eventually, we’d settle in underneath a big tree where a few squirrels were having a field day with the bounty. You could hear them cutting on the nuts and see them jump branch to branch. After they would get the good out of the it, they would hurl the shell down to the ground, knocking leaves and braches and just making a bunch of noise on the way down, a loud “thump” as it hit the ground (or one of us!). Somehow I wondered why the animals would run at my little twig breaking, but not at World War III going on here.After a minute or two of watching this nonsense, it was time for Dad to slip around to the base of the tree for a shot. I followed in tow. Gun up. Aim. “Boom.” Smoke and a larger fall as the squirrel fell from the limb above. A thud as it hit the ground. I got excited and screamed for joy at this wonderful event! I think it shocked everybody. The little squirrel’s beady eyes got as big as marbles and he ran off into a hole in the ground next to us! At least I hadn’t scared him to death, I guess. Dad jerked his head at me. “Why’d you do that?” I was still thinking about the eyes of that thing. Dad was undeterred, and went off after this sandwich worth of meat, sticking his arm elbow deep in the hole. After about ten seconds, the efforts were fruitless (meatless) as no squirrel was found. No more screaming in the forest, check.
We probably got our limit that day, and have gotten our limit since, Dad still making the yearly trip into the woods and me going with him when I get the chance. But nothing replaces those early moments in the woods, the memories, and God help, the taste of squirrels.
-Originally published in The Hickman Courier, August 9, 2012.
Come check out Adventure Tourism at the 2012 Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, Kentucky. We are located in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. There is plenty to see and do at the fair this year. You can find us with Kentucky State Parks. See you there!
Casually consuming coffee and posting pictures to Facebook. That’s why I hike. To achieve that since of “been there, done that (what’s next!).” I sip my coffee from a WKU mug, usually in flannel pajamas and a two day beard. This is why I hike. So I can reflect from my breakfast table in Bowling Green. Tis’ good to have such a great outdoors city to return from the wild. But what if I had the chance to enjoy my coffee elsewhere in Kentucky? Where would those places be? I’ve pondered a possible top five as another cup is poured.
#5 Louisville. Biggest city, and I’m not really a big city guy. But man, that skyline is the best in the bluegrass! And biggest city equals biggest park system. Jefferson Forest has a 10 mile trail alone. Plus close drive to Otter Creek, Tioga Falls, Bernheim Forest, Tom Sawyer State Park, and Taylorsville Lake. It certainly doesn’t lack the opportunity for a nightlife once back from the trail, either. I’d love to drink coffee from a downtown studio apartment, plus, this is Kentucky’s answer to Denver (without the Rockies, of course).
#4 Ashland. A wild card here. There’s a skyline in Ashland, too, although it’s just one building. You’ve got to give them credit for ambition. You are at the far eastern edge of opportunity here. West Virginia at your doorstep. Greenbo Lake, Grayson Lake, Yatesville Lake, and Carter Caves all within minutes. Plus, US 23 and a slough of mountain driving if you have a hankering. I like the gritty working class feel of this area as well. Biggest city in that part of the state. Similar wild card would be Middlesboro.
#3 Murray. For years, touted as a prime place to retire. I worked in this city for a while as a DJ on Froggy 103. Gotta love the quaint town square district and typical college town feel. But the real outdoors draw are the two big honking lakes 20 minutes away. Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and all the Land In Between! Combine that with four nearby state parks, and I’d call Murray the jewel of the Jackson Purchase.
#2 Bowling Green. Mammoth Cave National Park in the backyard. Plus an underground boat tour and a bunch of other caves. Easy drive to Barren River Lake and Nolin Lake State Parks. Plus nearby Shanty Hollow Lake. There’s a waterfront park being built downtown on the Barren River that will soon feature bike trails and a (future) whitewater course. Zip Lines, canoe trips and horseback opportunity abound. Combine that with a ton of restaurants and a brand new performing arts hall, and you’ve got yourself a cool place to call home. Plus, they build the Corvette here, just sayin…
#1 Somerset. Oh baby. Pick your afternoon adventure here. You can see Lake Cumberland from US 27! Burnside Island, Lake Cumberland, and Dale Hollow Lake State Park all nearby. Cumberland Falls, Natural Arch, Big South Fork, and the Daniel Boone National Forest all within a quarter tank of gas. Lots of good eating here too, though a little dry if you get my draft, er, drift. It is Kentucky, after all. But if I could best my own city, it would probably be here.
Honorable Mentions: Lexington is kind of close to the Red River Gorge, and I’ll give the Palisades a shout. Pineville and Hazard are just cool. And for some reason, tiny Liberty in Casey County reminds me of towns out west. I need to sell everything but that coffee mug and try them all.
Still sippin’ and dreamin’ till next trip…
How fitting that the track is called Churchill. Under a couple of twin steeples gathers both Hollywood and an infield crowd, millionaires and the hopefuls. All forming a mass of show and tell, hats and pinstripe suits. Bourbon and, well, everything else. All for the horses. For the tradition. For Kentucky.
What an honor to be born and bred from the Bluegrass during this short season every year. A sporting event that predates Indianapolis, and cars themselves. An event that began just shy of Mr. Lincoln’s days in the White House. Perhaps that’s why it beckons a fond remembrance of Stephen Foster‘s Greatest Hit. The Derby takes us back to our heritage. A time when horsepower meant one, if you were that lucky. A remembrance of Dr. Walker and Daniel Boone, who by horseback scaled the Gap and got us here in the first place. A heritage of flatboats discouraged by a series of falls on the Ohio river, forced to settle along the shoreline now become skyline. The weekend, like the track itself, brings us full circle as Kentuckians.
If you are at the Kentucky Derby this weekend, either in person or in spirit, toast a two-fingers for this fellow Colonel. Saturday, May 5th, we come together as only one Kentucky.
THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF TRAVEL
Capital Plaza Tower 22nd Floor, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort, KY 40601