Friday, April 25, 2008

Quaint and Charming

The next night was spent in a Forest Service campground called Piney Campground located on the Tennessee end of Land Between the Lakes, a very interesting geological and historically area. My first time experience with a small sundries store at a government campground. Kentucky Lake is experiencing an abundance of water and some of the camp sites were not available then. Both the Tennessee (Kentucky Lake) and Cumberland (Lake Barkley) Rivers empty into the Ohio River. There are several other campgrounds around the area, including a horse camp. I encountered a number of horse camps in western Kentucky and Tennessee.

I left Bowling Green around my usual time of 10 a.m. and headed west out of the KOA campground only to encounter a barricaded and blocked road. It seems there was a race going on and the road by the Campground was part of the course - so here I am surrounded by racers only I was going against the grain! I finally got pulled over at an entrance to a housing subdivision (or divisionS is more like it) and was told to find the road I needed by somehow getting thru the subdivisions. Oh yah, sure. It took me over 20 minutes to get out of the subdivision(s) onto the road I needed, only to have the part I needed blocked again. Once again, I had to go thru ANOTHER housing subdivision to get to the other side and get to US-68. Whew!

US-68 is a nice four-lane parkway like road and through pretty countryside dotted with farms and small towns. I didn’t see big farm equipment, like I am use to seeing in this part of the country. In fact, I didn’t really see much of any farm equipment. As I drove closer to Elton and towards Hopkinsville, I believe I saw why. I had noticed horse droppings on the side of the road, then I came across a horse and buggy yellow sign, then I came upon a horse and buggy with a family in it. I do not know what ethnic group they are in that area, but it reminded me of the transportation used by the Mennonites near Yoder KS. Probably an Anabaptist group. Then I saw a really innovative way to get around - to neighbors or to the local community. Saw this on two occasions. Pulling behind one of those small blue Ford tractors, with an open cab with a roof overhead, was a former pickup bed trailer. The trailer had three sides and a roof. Each side had a window. In the pickup bed trailer, sat the spouse and children on stools or a bench. They used the side of the road just as the folks with the horse and buggy and had that big “slow moving vehicle” sign attached to the back. I also saw throughout Kentucky and other states, many barn quilts. These are traditional quilt patterns that are being painted on wood squares, at least 8-foot by 8-foot, which are then mounted high on the fronts of barns or other farm outbuildings. Many communities, I have learned, have tours in their area on their barn quilts. I have chosen for my little trailer to use "Four Winds". I'll, someday, get a picture of what I end up with.

As I approached Fairview, I saw this very tall obelisk rising out and way, way above the trees and hillsides. As it turns out, it is 351 feet tall, the tallest unreinforced concrete obelisk in the world as no steel was used to reinforce the concrete. It is the 5th tallest monument in the U.S. It was started in 1917 and completed in 1924. The walls are 8.5 feet thick at the base and tapering to 2.5 feet thick at the top observation. There is an elevator, which I did not take. The Monument was built in recognition of the only President of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis. He was born in Fairview in a log cabin (not there anymore) and they celebrate his birthday every year.

I went around Hopkinsville and headed for Land Between the Lakes (or LBL) entering on the Kentucky side. I stopped at the Visitor Center (there are 3 of them - at the north end, in the middle at Golden Pond, and at the south end to learn more about the land and its history. I have added a Wikipedia explanation, in a shorter version than at the Visitor Center. Again, an interesting history. I drove down The Trace, as the road is called in the LBL to Piney Campground.

No comments:

Post a Comment