Virtual Travel – Kentucky

Today’s visit is to Kentucky, and the vast horse culture that exists there. But there is far more to Kentucky than horses.

The first map in our journey dates from 1942. Interestingly the state highway map  was contained in a booklet that gave tourist information based on the roads of the day.

Government State Kentucky 1942.jpg

 

The most famous of these roads was the Dixie Highway. Originally part of the National Auto Trail system in the very early 1900, the Dixie Highway modeled itself after the Lincoln Highway in that private promoters lead the effort to build it.

When the federal government took over the route it was assign along U.S. 25 through most of Kentucky. The route was dotted with motels and restaurants for the travelers headed from the Midwest to Florida. When the interstates came along I-75 replaced it.

(photo from Pintrest)

336 Best Louisville, KY! My home! images in 2020 | Louisville ...

 

 

 

1947 – A Mountain Road.

Much of Eastern Kentucky is in the Appalachian Mountains. This is coal country, with winding roads going up and down the mountains.

Government State Kentucky 1945.jpg

 

1960 – Another mountain overlook.

Government State Kentucky 1960

 

The mountains make numerous appearances on the cover of the map. Left to right – 1997 – 1986 – 2015.

 

Today the vast majority of the roads are still twisty two lane routes.

2016 11 13 67 Eastern Kentucky.jpg

 

Appalachia has had tough times for decades now, with most of the population long ago heading north for jobs in factories. Today few coal mines still exist, most have closed leaving relics behind.

2016 11 12 139 Eastern Kentucky.jpg

 

2016 11 12 140 Eastern Kentucky.jpg

 

2016 11 13 2 Jackson KY.jpg

 

 

 

Kentucky is horse country. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 jobs in Kentucky depend on horses. It is the number 1 producer of thoroughbreds in the nation.

This fact is celebrated on numerous map covers including this 1945 map.

Government State Kentucky 1945_renamed_21135.jpg

Horse Farms were also featured in 1968, 1988, 1989 and 2007.

 

In 2019 we had the opportunity to visit Claiborne Farms near Paris, Kentucky. The horses are beautiful, and the grounds immaculate.

2019 05 11 88 Paris KY Claiborne Farms.jpg

 

2019 05 11 90 Paris KY Claiborne Farms.jpg

 

2019 05 11 104 Paris KY Claiborne Farms.jpg

 

2019 05 11 107 Paris KY Claiborne Farms.jpg

 

2019 05 11 120 Paris KY Claiborne Farms.jpg

 

2019 05 11 123 Paris KY Claiborne Farms.jpg

 

2019 05 11 129 Paris KY Claiborne Farms.jpg

 

 

Bridges

This 1949 map features Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. This bridge was completed in 1932, and decommissioned in 2016. A new 4 lane bride has replaced it.

Government State Kentucky 1949.jpg

 

With the Ohio River bordering the entire northern side of Kentucky there are a number of impressive bridges linking the state to it’s neighbors.

The new cable stayed bridge at Owensboro was featured in 2003.

Government State Kentucky 2003

 

 

Louisville – Second Street Bridge, also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge.

2013 10 27 55 Louisville.jpg

 

2013 10 27 70 Louisville.jpg

 

2013 10 27 86 Louisville.jpg

 

 

Covington (to Cincinnati) – Roebling Bridge.

2015 05 03 Cincinnati 32

 

2015 01 10  Cincinnati 148.jpg

 

2015 01 10  Cincinnati 150.jpg

 

Maysville. Simon Kenton Bridge – Completed in 1931.

2019 05 10 10 Maysville, Kentucky.jpg

 

2019 05 10 19 Maysville, Kentucky.jpg

 

 

 

1955 – Kentucky Colonel.

More than just chicken, a Kentucky Colonel is an actual title of honor that the governor of the state can issue to individuals.

Prior to the 1930s very few people were made Kentucky Colonels, but the governor of the time greatly accelerated the number including one Harland Sanders – hence the name of the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Government State Kentucky 1955.jpg

 

To this day if you find yourself in Corbin, Kentucky you can stop by the original Sanders Cafe for some fried chicken. (photo from tripadvisor.com)

Birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Corbin, Kentucky ...

 

 

For the mid 1960s Kentucky still showed their southern side with a lawn jockey and a plantation house being featured.

 

 

 

1966 – Daniel Boone. Boone was born in Pennsylvania and spent a great deal of time in Virginia before arriving in Kentucky. It was here his actions became lore.

Government State Kentucky 1966.jpg

 

 

 

The 1970s featured the Kentucky Parkways. The state was ahead of their times in building additional freeways to augment the interstates that were in the state. They did this in the form of toll roads.

Despite the names the Parkways do not prohibit truck traffic.

2016 11 13 9 Natural Bridge State Park KY.jpg

 

 

Horse Race Trumpeter – 1973, 1974 & 1975

In the days before electronic amplification they had to have a way to notify the jockeys it was time to come to the starting gate, hence the trumpeter. The song they play is called ‘First Call’, a military march.

Santa Anita Trumpeter

2012 03 11 43 Santa Anita Park.jpg

 

Churchill Downs Trumpeter

2013 10 27 189 Churchill Downs Louisville.jpg

 

 

1979 – Man o War

Government State Kentucky 1979.jpg

 

When people make a list of the greatest race horses of all time there are really only two, Secretariat and Man o War. Secretariat is Man o War’s grandson.

How good was Secretariat. He still holds records 40 years later. The photo below from the legendary Belmont that he won by 31 lengths!

A Tremendous Machine: Secretariat in the Belmont | America's Best ...

 

Man o War was just as impressive. In 1920 he was co-athlete of the year with Babe Ruth

Article Image

 

Man o War has a statue at the Kentucky Horse Park

Man O' War Racehorse Statue in Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington ...

 

Seretariat’s statue is at Keeneland.

Secretariat Statue @The Racing Hall of Fame | Horses, Beautiful ...

 

Both are representative of the best of Kentucky Horse Racing. Along with the great thoroughbreds are great tracks.

The two best are Churchill Downs in Louisville and Keeneland in Lexington.

2013 10 27 90 Churchill Downs Louisville.jpg

 

2013 10 27 100 Churchill Downs Louisville.jpg

 

2013 10 27 113 Churchill Downs Louisville.jpg

 

2013 10 27 203 Churchill Downs Louisville.jpg

 

2013 10 27 205 Churchill Downs Louisville.jpg

 

 

Keeneland

2019 05 12 22 Lexington KY Keeneland Racetrack.jpg

 

2019 05 12 26 Lexington KY Keeneland Racetrack.jpg

 

2019 05 12 30 Lexington KY Keeneland Racetrack.jpg

 

2019 05 12 39 Lexington KY Keeneland Racetrack.jpg

 

2019 05 12 53 Lexington KY Keeneland Racetrack.jpg

 

2019 05 12 55 Lexington KY Keeneland Racetrack.jpg

 

 

 

1982, 1983 and 1983 – State Parks. While they look very similar there are slight variations to the covers.

 

2013 and 2017 returned to the parks.

 

Kentucky has a number of nice state parks with lodges. This is Cumberland Falls Park Lodge.

2019 05 12 225 Cumberland Falls KY.jpg

 

 

1992 – Kentucky Bicentennial

Government State Kentucky 1992.jpg

 

 

1998 – Cumberland Gap & Tunnel

Government State Kentucky 1998.jpg

The Cumberland Gap is a pass in the Appalachian Mountains, at the point where Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee come together.

It was the first primary route over the mountains for the early settlers. For millenia bison had used the pass to make their way back and forth for feeding. The folklore of Daniel Boone was enhanced by his effort to blaze a trail through the mountains.

2016 11 12 98 Cumberland Gap KY TN VA.jpg

 

 

Today a twin tube tunnel makes the pass much easier to traverse. Each tunnel is 4600′ long.

2016 11 12 109 Cumberland Gap KY TN VA.jpg

 

 

The Cumberland Gap National Park has some very scenic overlooks.

2016 11 12 116 Cumberland Gap KY TN VA.jpg

 

2016 11 12 118 Cumberland Gap KY TN VA.jpg

 

 

 

2000 – Scenic Byways

 

There are 10 Scenic Byways in Kentucky.  These byways take you to the less traveled parts of the state for some unique sights like…

Nada Tunnel. That small hole in the bottom of the hill is indeed a tunnel for auto traffic.

2016 11 13 44 Nada Tunnel KY.jpg

 

2016 11 13 45 Nada Tunnel KY.jpg

 

2016 11 13 47 Nada Tunnel KY.jpg

 

 

 

2004 – Paris Pike. This stretch of highway was a very dangerous 2 lane road. When the decision was made to expand to 4 lanes the Department of Transportation worked with many to come up with an aesthetically pleasing but functional road.

Government State Kentucky 2004.jpg

 

The road leads from Lexington to Paris. The town of Paris is the center of the thoroughbred farms. It is a very picturesque town, complete with a mini Eiffel Tower.

2019 05 11 4 Paris KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 5 Paris KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 15 Paris KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 34 Paris KY.jpg

 

 

2019 05 11 43 Paris KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 74 Paris KY.jpg

 

 

2019 05 11 84 Paris KY.jpg

 

 

 

 

2005 – State Capitol

Government State Kentucky 2005.jpg

 

The State Capitol is in the small town of Frankfort. The current Capitol was completed in 1909.

2019 05 12 95 Frankfort KY.jpg

 

The grounds are very well groomed and include a floral clock.

2019 05 12 107 Frankfort KY.jpg

 

2019 05 12 104 Frankfort KY.jpg

 

The former capitol is down in the middle of town.

2019 05 12 74 Frankfort KY.jpg

 

Just outside of town are some bourbon distilleries that were built more than 100 years ago, shuttered, and recently re-opened. It makes for a very cool environment.

2019 05 12 152 Frankfort KY Bourbon Distillaries.jpg

 

2019 05 12 146 Frankfort KY Bourbon Distillaries.jpg

 

2019 05 12 160 Frankfort KY Bourbon Distillaries.jpg

 

2019 05 12 166 Frankfort KY Bourbon Distillaries.jpg

 

 

2019 05 12 174 Frankfort KY Bourbon Distillaries.jpg

 

Nearby is the city of Lexington, home of the University of Kentucky.

2019 05 11 300 Lexington KY.jpg

 

The city is home to a vast array of murals, some of the best we have seen.

2019 05 11 156 Lexington KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 161 Lexington KY.jpg

 

 

2019 05 11 241 Lexington KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 247 Lexington KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 267 Lexington KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 278 Lexington KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 369 Lexington KY.jpg

 

2019 05 11 381 Lexington KY.jpg

 

 

 

2006 – Cumberland Falls

Government State Kentucky 2006.jpg

 

2019 05 12 196 Parkers Lake KY Natural Arch.jpg

 

 

2019 05 12 232 Cumberland Falls KY.jpg

 

2019 05 12 240 Cumberland Falls KY.jpg

 

2019 05 12 244 Cumberland Falls KY.jpg

 

 

 

2008 – Lincoln in Kentucky

Government State Kentucky 2008.jpg

 

 

 

2009 & 2010 – Equestrian Games

 

 

2011 – Corvette Museum

Government State Kentucky 2011.jpg

 

The Corvette Museum is in Bowling Green.

2015 09 27 8 Bowling Green KY.jpg

 

2015 09 27 12 Bowling Green KY.jpg

 

 

2015 09 27 43 Bowling Green KY.jpg

 

2015 09 27 51 Bowling Green KY.jpg

 

2015 09 27 87 Bowling Green KY

 

 

 

2014 – Old Friends Retirement Home. While some race horses live a pampered life being set out to stud, many do not. In 2003 Boston Globe movie critic Michael Blowen lead an effort to open this farm for retired race horses.

Government State Kentucky 2014.jpg

 

 

 

2016 – Mammoth Caves

Government State Kentucky 2016.jpg

 

The longest cave system in the country, Mammoth Cave has more than 400 miles of surveyed passageways. Photo from tourist website as I am terrible with cave photography.

Mammoth Cave: An Underground Attraction That Sparked a War in ...

 

 

2018 – Culinary Trail. The most famous culinary trail in Kentucky is the Bourbon Trail.

Government State Kentucky 2018.jpg

 

While we didn’t do the entire trail we did tour the Jim Beam Distillery.

2013 10 26 1 Jim Beam Tour Clermont KY.jpg

 

2013 10 26 19 Jim Beam Tour Clermont KY.jpg

 

2013 10 26 41 Jim Beam Tour Clermont KY.jpg

 

This storage facility burnt in a fire in 2019.

2013 10 26 57 Jim Beam Tour Clermont KY.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lexington, Kentucky – May 2019 – A Damp Quiet Morning at Keeneland

Keeneland Race Course is located just to the west of Lexington. It is known as one of the most beautiful facilities in the country.


Much like Claiborne Farms everything is done in an understated, but in a posh way.


The stables area are well kept, albeit somewhat quiet on this cool, damp morning.


There was some activity as the horses wait for no man.


At Keeneland the horses always have the right of way.


There is a practice track in addition to the main track.


Returning from the stable area we passed by the library.


A view of the main drive through the facility.


Most of the primary buildings are built from stone.


While this gate was closed, others were open. The styling keeps with the simple elegance.


I am not certain if a Rolex clock keeps better time, but it fits the environment.


The jockeys quarters near the main track.


The entrance to the paddock is closely guarded on race days.


Even the paddock has a nice stone wall surrounding it.


A collection of small statues display the silk colors for some of the major farms.


The main grandstands. This isn’t your county fairgrounds.



Inside the grandstands they had a horse shoe display – Nikes for Thoroughbreds.


A track side view of the main grandstands.


The morning fog gave a surreal feeling to the track.


The finish line – the ‘dirt’ track is in the foreground, the turf track is just behind it.


Attending major sporting events are always a great time, but sometimes the best photography is when nobody is there.





Lexington, Kentucky – May 2019 – Scenes of the City

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.






Lexington, Kentucky – May 2019 – Mural City

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:

http://www.lexarts.org/participate/public-art/lmp/ using the hashtag #sharethelex

or
http://www.prhbtn.com/murals/

We spent a few hours on a mural scavenger hunt and found most of them. This posting is quite long with around 40 photos in it.






































Bowling Green, Kentucky – National Parks Road Trip – Day 24 – Corvettes on the way back to Ohio

It is a six-hour drive from Nashville to Columbus, but I had a couple of stops planned. First up is the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This is the museum where eight classic corvettes fell through the floor because a 60-foot-long, 45-foot-wide, 30-foot-deep sinkhole opened up in February 2014. The museum recovered and rebuilt the museum to display six of the eight cars.

2015 09 27 8 Bowling Green KY.jpg

One Corvette was restored and five are shown in their state of wreckage. Another Corvette is being restored. The sinkhole area is now a tall cylindrical building as a tribute tower for all who have contributed to the creation and promotion of the Corvette and exhibiting the fallen corvettes at the spot of the sinkhole. The museum also presented a history of the corvette of its development, design, and engineering.

2015 09 27 46 Bowling Green KY.jpg

 

We were caught in a construction zone after Bowling Green on Interstate 65. This detour prevented us from seeing the Stonehenge of Kentucky in Munfordville, so we continued on to Lexington.

We reached Keeneland, a horse track, that was to host the Breeder’s Cup Race  in 2015, a month or so after our visit. The grounds are perfectly manicured and this facility has grass and dirt racetracks. The stands were open so we explored all, taking the elevator to the top floor of the grandstand to see the full view of the surroundings.  We drove around the grounds that encompassed acres of land and found the stables and then the library that has the largest collection of horse information in the country. We also saw statues of jockeys represented by their colors for the horse owners in the Breeder’s Cup.

2015 09 27 119 Lexington KY.jpg

 

Our plans were to take us to the Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky but we were ready to go home and continued driving until we made it to Columbus. We spent 24 days together on the road without a minute break from each other; most people would call this a true test of marriage and we aced it while having one of the best vacations of our lives.

2015 09 27 134 Cincinnati OH.jpg