Day 2: April 28, 2007
Loop the Loop
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Dixie Highway??? Wigwam Village #2 sits in a V formed by US-31E and the former Dixie Highway. The Dixie is at its rear so we started the drive with a very short section of US-31E to reach the point of the V. We turned west at KY-218 but soon turned left to follow a very nice one mile long old Dixie Highway alignment. I didn't get a picture today but here is a picture from March. When Pat explored this area a few weeks back, he theorized that this old section had once connected to what is now KY-335 and swung westward on the way to Rowlettes. The picture from today shows what looks like an abandoned road bed in the north-east corner of KY-218 and KY-335 that might have smoothly linked the "known" old Dixie Highway segment with KY-335. Ghost road or wacky theory? You be the judge.

Onyx Cave Entrance KY-335 was new to me. It leads right by an old entrance to what was once called Mammoth Onyx Cave but is now called Kentucky Down Under. Before we left, a Down Under employee came down to see what we were up to and ended up answering questions and updating us on several of the area's cave. I've seen Kentucky Down Under signs plenty of times and assumed it was just a clever name for an underground attraction. It is that but there is also an Australian connect. The wife of the cave's owner is from Australia and the attraction includes kangaroos, wallabies, and other animals.

Note the nose of Pat's recently (and very nicely) restored 1965 Corvair between the stone structures.

Bonnieville, KY Roadie Kip Welborn couldn't make this trip but gave us several good pointers and made one request. On his own trip on US-31W, he had noticed this old motel sign but failed to get a photo. He hoped the group could correct that. Kip, I've got your picture.

Elizabethtown, KY Elizabethtown, KY We stopped in Elizabethtown to walk the square and check out the cannonball. The first picture shows the fleet of vehicles in today's caravan. Part of the reason I took it was to show the cool "hangers" that Pat & Jennifer made for the cruise but they sure don't photograph well behind those windshields. Here's a closer shot.

In 1862 Elizabethtown was subjected to a twenty minute bombardment that left a cannonball lodged in the wall of a downtown building. The building burned in 1887 and was rebuilt several years later. Thanks to Annie Nourse, the ball was saved (itself an interesting story) and placed, as near as possible to its old location, in the wall of the new building. So what Jennifer is looking at in the photo (I have no idea what Don, Pat, or Mary Sue are looking at.) is a reconstruction but the reconstruction itself is over a hundred years old. I didn't get my own picture today so here is one from March.

Schmidt Museum, Elizabethtown, KY Schmidt Museum, Elizabethtown, KY Schmidt Museum, Elizabethtown, KY Schmidt Museum, Elizabethtown, KY Schmidt Museum, Elizabethtown, KY Schmidt Museum, Elizabethtown, KY From the square, it was a short drive to Schmidt's Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia. Bill Schmidt, who passed away just a couple of weeks ago, was a Coca-Cola bottler who put together a most impressive collection of all things Coke. Since several group members qualified for and received the senior discount, it's easy to understand why the "I remember that"s started fairly early in the displays that grouped items chronologically.

Heaven Hill Heritage Center, Bardstown, KY Heaven Hill Heritage Center, Bardstown, KY Heaven Hill Heritage Center, Bardstown, KY Heaven Hill Heritage Center, Bardstown, KY The museum is more or less on US-62 so we were quickly into a scenic drive to Bardstown. Somewhere about midway a dog almost magically appeared at roadside with the clear intent of dashing in front of the nearest vehicle. That would be mine. The Road Dog beside me (Don, a.k.a, RoadDog, was in the passenger seat) gave a warning, I hit the brakes, and the road dog outside followed through with its intent to dash. There was sound of contact but it wasn't very loud and was not the heavy thud I think both Don and I were expecting. In the mirror, I saw the dog run off the other side of the road. The folks behind me later said they had seen the dog roll before scampering off. A very lucky dog indeed.

Lunch was at Talbott's Tavern on the square in Bardstown. Knowing that we would all be seated together, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity for a group photo. A friendly waitress would almost certainly be willing to snap it so that no group member was missing. I thought of this great idea well before lunch and again after we were back at the shelter at the Wigwams.

Lunch was quite tasty and Don & Bob both expressed satisfaction with their first Hot Browns. We walked another town square then headed to the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center. After a big fire about ten years ago, the actual distilling moved to Louisville but aging and bottling remain in Bardstown. Our guide certainly knew her stuff although I'm guessing that's true of all the guides. In the first picture, Bob & Don, are at the far end of the group with Kent barely visible between then. Mary Sue & Jennifer are at the picture's left edge. Historically significant barrels are stored in a special location and include the most recent addition - Heaven Hill's five millionth. The third picture is our guide (Who walked flawlessly backwards between the buildings!) with the Heritage Center behind her. The last picture is the closest thing I have to a group shot. That's Jennifer & Pat, Mary Sue & Kent, Don, and me. That's also Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio. Tennessee was also well represented on the cruise, but not the tasting, by Bob & Susan Reynolds.

On US-31E in Kentucky On US-31E in Kentucky I only made one wrong turn getting out of Bardstown so it wasn't too long before we were heading south on the Jackson Highway (a.k.a. US-31E). We stopped briefly at Lincoln's childhood home where Pat, Kent, Bob & Don demonstrated Random Roadie Movement. We sort of stopped at the locked gate of the just closed (4:45 ET) Lincoln Birthplace then moved on. It was getting late in a very full day and I think most were almost relieved that we didn't have to decide whether to spend time at the memorial.

Site of Wigwam Village #1 Our last stop of the day was at the site of Wigwam Village #1. Frank Redford built it in 1933 and proved his concept although its active life was quite short. Wigwam Village #2, where we're staying, was built in 1937 and was the first of the villages to be truly successful. It is, of course, the oldest of the three still standing. There's not much to see here other than the depression that was once circled by six cement tepees.

We ended the day with twice-baked hotdogs, a blazing campfire, and a whole lotta road talk.

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