So I got a great treat as a workamper this week. The Caveland Marketing Association puts on county tours to bring awareness to businesses of all the tourism opportunities available in the area. They are really doing a great job of keeping local businesses “top of mind” so they can direct visitors. The best part was I got to see a lot of things that we would have missed otherwise and it was FREE!
Julie Turner and I started the day off by….missing the bus from the Cave City convention center. oops! A kind soul put us in his car and drove us to meet the group at the first stop. R&S Salvage Grocery and Amish Bakery We arrived just as they were loading up to get to the next stop. No worries, from just the smell of the bakery alone I know Mark and I will be back tomorrow!
Second stop was Battle for the Bridge and Fort Craig This is one of the few remaining untouched civil war battlefields. The Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve protects 219 acres of the Munfordville Battlefield, site of three Civil War battles, including the Sept. 14-17, 1862 Battle and Siege of Munfordville, perhaps the most strategically important battle in the Commonwealth’s Civil War history. A 2.25 mile interpretive trail surrounds the battlefield. It was a beautiful morning to brush up on my history.
We then headed for the Munfordville Welcome Center and Historical Museum. The ladies working there were very friendly and excited to share a few stories of their home town. They even had a ancestry library. While I knew I didn’t have any family from either side from Kentucky, I thought it would be fun to look anyway. Alas, nope, nada. It was great to be able to look through the old records in person. It is a whole different feeling than the online searches.
They also shared one of the areas most beloved art and functional craft. The White Oak Basket. They reminded me of the Sweetgrass Baskets in Charleston. While I am in awe of the skill it takes to produce such amazing art, I still think I like the Sweetgrass baskets better. (yes I am biased)
A short walk down the street we arrived at Old Munford Inn a log inn built on a pioneer trail in 1810 by Thomas Munford, brother of founder of Munfordville. Among the many distinguished guests was Gen. Andrew Jackson in 1829 enroute to his inauguration as seventh president of the USA.
Just a short drive (actually could have walked faster 🙂 ) to Thelma Stovall Park.
Thelma Loyace Hawkins Stovall (April 1, 1919 – February 4, 1994) was a pioneering female Southern politician who won several statewide elective offices in Kentucky, capping her career as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky (1975–1979) under the administration of her fellow Democrat, Governor Julian Carroll.
We walked down to the Green River and I noted that apparently this crossing was used by the buffalo years ago as well.
So far a really cool day….until I look at my agenda and see the next stop. Kentucky Stonehendge. Surely, this is a typo? Apparently there is a local with a passion for Stonehendge. So what do you do with such passion? You build a replica in your front yard of course and invite people to come visit! While it is not to scale, it certainly is worth the trip. Pretty darn awesome.
Next stop was Dennison’s Roadside Farmers Market. Wow, what a great family business. Originally tobacco farmers they had to change their production to fruit and veggies after 1990’s legislation put them out of business. Adapt or die. Wonderful story how their business has grown and continues. Now I have somewhere to buy my fresh produce for the next few months!
We have been on the road since 8am and I’m starting to get hungry! Glad to know lunch was the next venue. Turtlelinis was just what we needed! Great little pizza and pasta buffet that could accommodate our group, get us fed, and on our way quickly. During lunch our hosts: Coni, Sandra, Linda, and Peggy gave all the scoop on how hard they are working to be sure their part of Kentucky can continue to be a draw for tourism. They are some really passionate folks.
With lunch finished (and all those carbs) it was important to get moving! The Horse Cave Walking Tour was just the ticket. It is a self guided tour and is pretty slick.
The end of the tour puts you right at the HUGE mouth of Hidden Rive Cave. How do you see it from up above before going in? Zip lining of course!
That’s Julie and our new friend Tonya Redford…. Since we were running short on time, touring the full cave will have to wait. But here are some pics I was able to get inside the mouth of the cave.
The day has been awesome but we have one more stop. Kentucky Down Under the only place I’ve ever been that allows you to go in the pen, pet, and feed Kangaroos and Emu’s. Kids will love this place!
Thought we were finished?….nope one more cave, Mammoth Onyx Cave. It is amazing to me how different all the caves have been. Just the entrances alone make them unique.
Well that’s it….a great day with some awesome folks. Saw a lot, learned a lot. Did I mention I get to do Barren County in another week or so?
So. Incredibly. Blessed.