Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Has it really been only two days?

(Our southwest trip started May 1. All of my posts were written as the trip went along but were not posted live until we returned. If you want to read all the posts related to the trip, click on "southwest" in the label section below).

We’ve been on the road for only two days but it seems like we have been gone forever.

My guess it has to do with the weather for one, and being totally exhausted for two.

We knew we’d have to watch the weather. We were headed southwest out of Louisville, into an area that had been deluged with rain and some awful tornadoes. Yesterday we woke up to heavy rain but by the time we ate breakfast, it has eased off. Fortunately, after that, we only hit clouds and light rain. We were really worried as we could see, off to the west, a bank of heavy dark clouds and we were concerned about when that weather would hit us.

And it hit us Monday afternoon, just before we were ready to start our cave tour at Mammoth Cave National Park. Fortunately we had our Gortex jackets and both of us were wearing hiking shoes with wool socks. Our pants got soaked. Our shoes got soaked. But my wool socks managed to keep my feel warm (which wool does even when wet). So we weren’t terribly uncomfortable but after the tour we were glad to get into our room and take hot showers.

As for being tired, we both had slept poorly the night before in Cincinnati. Drove into Kentucky, deciding to bypass Louisville and the slugger factory. Instead we drove into Bardstown, Kentucky and visited the Historic Tom Moore Distillery which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment as they, like many distilleries, stop fermenting in the summer time (which, of course, we didn’t know).

We knew we wanted to be at Mammoth Caves National Park by 4:30 for a tour but we had time and decided to visit another distillery, Maker’s Mark Distillery. And we are glad we did. This distillery is in full operation and it was an excellent tour. We really enjoyed it. But now we had only about 1.5 hours to make it about 80 miles on country road to the park.

So I put the pedal to the metal and we make it with 20 minutes to spare. Super. Enough time to get the tickets, go the bathroom and ready ourselves for the tour. Only to find out that the park is on Central time and we had an HOUR and 20 minutes! What a joke on us. We could have moseyed through the countryside and taken our time. Oh well…gave me time to shop at the park stores (didn’t buy anything) and check in at our hotel which was right next door to the visitor’s center.

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