Scottsboro, Alabama – Did you ever lose your luggage on an airplane and never get it back. It likely ended up here, as they buy all of the unclaimed luggage from the airlines and sell it in essentially a thrift store.
Bartlesville, Oklahoma – Phillips 66 Petroleum Company Headquarters
Vinita, Oklahoma – Will Rogers Rodeo
Eastern Oklahoma – Pensacola Dam. A mile long and releasing a lot of water because of the recent rains.
Joplin, Missouri – America’s 2nd largest truck stop.
Southern Missouri – Presumed dead armadillo
Somewhere else in Southern Missouri – Coke Machine Graveyard
Scenes around Cairo, Illinois – At the confluence of the Ohio River and Mississippi River – with flooding.
Evansville, Indiana – Restored Greyhound Bus Station, now a hipster hamburger place. Manhattan prices in small town Indiana.
The interior looked nothing like a bus station.
Evansville, Indiana – County Courthouse
Scenes around Louisville, Kentucky
And after 3 weeks of running around the country – back in Ohio (in Cincinnati). Only 2 hours to home.
The Cumberland Plateau is situated just west of the Appalachian Mountains, running from Kentucky through Tennessee and into Alabama.
The area has a number of highlights including this natural bridge in southern Kentucky.
The Cumberland Falls is the most famed natural feature of southern Kentucky. They claim to have the 2nd most volume of water for a waterfalls in the eastern United States (a far second to Niagara Falls).
From below the rush of the water is impressive.
Just south of Byrdstown, Tennessee is the Obey River Recreation Area.
Cummins Falls is a 75′ high waterfall on the Blackburn Fork River in Jackson County, Tennessee. This waterfall has two options for viewing – one is the overlook seen here. The second is to go down to the river and wade for 1/2 mile in the river to get to the waterfalls. Because of high water conditions (and not being prepared for wading waist high in water), we opted for the overlook view only.
Burgess Falls is on the aptly named Falling Water River in east central Tennessee. This remains of an old bridge crosses the river just above the series of waterfalls.
There are some cascades before you arrive at this falls, nearly 80′ high.
But the main Burgess Falls is this impressive 136′ drop into the ravine.
Not far from Burgess Falls is Falls Creek Falls. It is the highest free fall waterfall east of the Mississippi, dropping an impressive 256′.
A closer view of the top.
A robust hike into the ravine gives a totally different perspective.
Within the same park is this nice cliff and small falls.
Also in Tennessee is the Rock Island State Park. It has a number of features including this falls along the Caney Fork.
This falls once powered this historic cotton mill.
The Caney Fork continues down. Depending on the release of water from the dam it can look like those, or be totally submersed in water.
The highlight of the Rock Island State Park are the Great Falls. Here it appears the entire hillside is the waterfalls, with water seemingly coming from everywhere along the hillside.
This closeup of the smaller cascade portion show the beauty of the falls.
Finally we had a bonus waterfalls early in the morning in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The Rutledge Falls is on a church’s property but they welcome visitors to come check them out.
Even though Kentucky is middle of the pack in terms of states by population , their capital city Frankfort is the 4th smallest of all. There are less than 30,000 people in the city.
For the most part it feels like any other small town. They have a small downtown business district.
Interestingly there is a freight rail line going down the middle of main street.
The town is quite old – it was established in 1786.
There are a few restaurants and coffee shops in town.
In the center of town is the Old Kentucky State Capitol. It was completed in 1830 and used until 1910 as the Capitol.
William Goebel was elected governor in 1900, and served for 4 days before being assassinated. He was known for being a deal maker, and a deal breaker.
He had gained so many enemies that he walked with bodyguards, but to no avail – On January 30, 1900 shots fired from the state capitol building – leading to chaos in the Kentucky state government. He died 4 days later.
As you drive around town you see an interesting mix of old and new, with nearly all the new being the government buildings.
The lampposts have banners celebrating famous Kentuckians – while Johnny Depp was born in Kentucky he was raised elsewhere
We are in Kentucky so we need to celebrate horse racing.
Much like many of the state government buildings, the county courthouse is modern as well.
The original state arsenal however, is not. It dates from 1850 and now serves as a military museum.
Across the river and up a hill is the ‘new’ state capitol grounds. Included here is the Governor’s Mansion – which in it’s Beaux Arts style bears a strong resemblance to the White House.
The new capitol building was completed in 1910.
The grounds look back down upon the town.
An additional annex building is located behind the capitol.
One of the most famous attractions is the floral clock that spells out Kentucky – although without a rise to view it from above it is tricky to see.
Frankfort seems an unusual place to have the state capitol, but politics often leads to unusual deals.
Two things are important in Lexington – horse racing and bourbon!
Even some of the public art – including giant sculptures of books often depicts horse racing.
A number of artistic horse sculptures are scattered around town.
A downtown sculpture area is called Thoroughbred Park – depicting the finish line in great detail.
The best ‘ghost sign’ in town is for Horse Racing Oats.
But there is more to Lexington that just horses and bourbon – there is the University of Kentucky, and their stunning library.
For a city this far off the east coast there are a number of early 1800 or older buildings and homes.
A former courthouse is now the main visitor center – as well as other civic offices.
The area has been growing, and there is evidence of new investments downtown with government buildings and plazas.
The main library is newer as well, and features this 5 story pendulum clock – reputed to be the largest in the world.
We visited Transylvnia University and an art fair that was occurring there. The college was the first institution of higher learning west of the Allegheny Mountains. It is named for the Transylvania Colony – a proposed 14th colony that never really came to be – but the university name stuck.
Our final stop was the arboretum shared by the University of Kentucky and the city of Lexington. On this spring day there were a number of groups using the setting for their backdrops – homecoming groups, weddings, engages, and others…
Our final stop was a memorial to 49 people who lost their lives in a commuter airline crash in 2006. They are represented by 49 birds in flight.
For a mid sized city Lexington has a lot to offer – a good place to spend a day or two.
The city of Lexington, Kentucky like many cities has some murals around town. Unlike anywhere we have ever seen, they seem to have them everywhere – and most are very well done.
In addition they aren’t all the traditional history based murals – rather many have artistic statements. Below is an extensive view of many of the murals – if you are interested in more details behind them I recommend checking out the two links below: