Kentucky: The Bluegrass State

Ah, Kentucky: The Backroads Bluegrass State!

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Our first official stop on our road trip across the United States of America was in the beautiful state of Kentucky.  We were privileged to stay in a home located on a private ranch in the Kentucky countryside.  The first thing I noticed about Kentucky is that is really didn’t look a whole lot different from my own home state, but I soon found there were some vital differences.

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For one, the roads in Kentucky are akin to driveways back home.  I wish I was joking.  There are highways, but you have to go a bit out of your way to travel on them, which now I highly recommend doing just that!  We used our gps to navigate to various locations in Kentucky and found many roads simply have no shoulder.  That, in itself, wouldn’t have been much more than a passing thought except that the roads were only big enough to support 1 1/2 cars.  Yes, if another car came down the road you had to practically pull off to the side to let them by.  This posed no problem to the native drivers of Kentucky because as we meticulously slowed down to move over, they just drove on at regular speed veering onto the grass and swerving.  It was if I was back in a foreign country again and for those who have traveled, you know what I mean!

If only this was the worst of the driving.

In fact, the more we tried to take the direct route to our destinations the smaller the roads got until we were diminished to the point of road so small our van was almost too big for it.  The tree branches were enveloping us and the road turned to dirt as it carelessly spun around corners and dipped into ravines.  Ok, so there were no ravines, but it felt like there could be at any moment!  Visibility around corners was so bad that if something had come our way we would have certainly crashed unless the locals have cars equipped with flying gear or some sort of early warning system.  I wouldn’t be surprised.

We were all quite on edge to say the least.  And at one point we had to fight for our lives hold on tight as a huge delivery truck fought for passage with us across a small and crumbling stone bridge.  Our tire was literally on the verge of slipping into a small creek as it bravely straddled the line between concrete and a gaping hole.

With that said, I am sure now you are ready to flock to Kentucky!

But, this is only part of the story.  We learned our lesson after that first day and went out of our way to take the highways.  To be honest, we didn’t lose any time because the backroads are so harrowing you have to crawl at 10mph.

Now, let us take a look at why I actually LOVE Kentucky and why it was and is one of my most favorite places.

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After that day of death defying driving we landed ourselves at the Creation Museum.  Say what you like, but this place was amazing!  I would recommend any family go whether it be for a faith infusing look at what and why you believe or for exploring an alternate view for our reason for being.

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It was beautifully laid out, exciting, informative, and cutting edge in technology!  They served amazing food, gave awesome tours, have a beautiful botanical garden, and zoo.

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You get two days to explore the museum for the price of one 30 dollar ticket per adult, and 15 per child, except this year (2014) kids go free with paying adults!  We took in a 3D special effects movie, were amazed as we viewed the planetarium show, and had a great time at the huge bookstore.

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There is also a stunning display of dinosaurs handcrafted by Buddy Davis and an equally stunning insectatorium where a man donated his whole collection of insects to the museum!

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Another highlight was seeing the recently donated Allosaurous named Ebeneezer!

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After two amazing days of visiting the museum, I got to reconnect with a childhood friend that I hadn’t see in 14 years.  She saw me posting about my adventures in Kentucky on facebook and messaged to inform me she was only 15 minutes away!  It was a great surprise to get to go chat with her and see her again after so many years.

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We returned to our beautiful and oh-so-temporary country home on the ranch to celebrate my oldest sons 11th birthday with cake and presents we brought on the trip with us.  His big gift was a geocaching gps!

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Through all the excitement, I find that the thing I love the most about Kentucky is its simple beauty and its serene atmosphere in which I found myself living while on the ranch in those three days.

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We saw does and bucks right in our backyard and followed trails and paths to discover the wildlife flourishing all around us.

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We watched the sunset on the Kentucky horizon as I have never seen it before and when night fell it was lit with thousands of fireflies dancing about.

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It was pure magic.  We walked and talked, explored, and shared the adventures, but most memorable is that for three short days I truly lived in Kentucky and now I find since leaving, that Kentucky lives in me.

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I often find myself thinking about this most unusual state with its contrasts of scary small roads, but wide open peaceful countryside that makes you forget you were ever worried about anything.

In my mind I want to go back again.

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In my heart, I never left.

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Finally, the day has come!

I have finally gotten around to sorting and organizing my photos from my two week summer trip around the United States and I am so excited in the coming days to start sharing with you the beautiful places that touched my heart and soul as well as some travel tips!  For now, I will leave you with this little teaser…

 

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The beautiful Colorado River.