Archive | July, 2011

The Urban Bourbon Trail

We were told that from our doorstep in Lexington Kentucky we could easily visit four legendary bourbon distilleries in two days. That’s swell, and all, but we figured we’d cover far more ground in under an hour by making a single stop to Lexington’s Bluegrass Tavern. With 209 bourbons on their menu, ranging in price from $4 per glass to ‘don’t ask,’ Bluegrass was the perfect place to introduce ourselves to Kentucky’s amber elixir. Read More…

Packin’ Heat

These ‘no firearm’ signs are something else that seems uniquely southern. We’ve seen them everywhere. I have to admit, it never occurred to me that I might need a gun inside Mammoth Cave.  Just in case someone thought otherwise, this helpful sign instructs Yosemite Sam to leave his six shooters behind. Now that I think about it, though, you can’t predict when an uppity cave cricket might need some shooting. You never can be too careful.

Mammoth Cave: Introduction to Caving

Mammoth Cave Introduction to Caving Tour

Size matters but, in this case at least, smaller is better. That’s the basic message given to anyone contemplating the Introduction to Caving tour offered at Mammoth Cave National Park. The tour, one of the most strenuous offered, takes a small group to crawl, twist and squirm through undeveloped parts of the cave. A restriction limiting hip and chest dimensions to less than 42 inches is supposed to prevent soft tourists like us from getting wedged in the tight spaces we’ve volunteered to go. We’ll see about that.

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Experiences > Stuff

The basic premise of the Time article Want Happiness? Don’t Buy More Stuff — Go on Vacation is the same as item Seven from my Seven Lessons from a Year on the Road post. Nothing here is new. Researchers have known for many years that experiences make us happier for longer than do things. Shannon and I know it is true from personal experience.

But Time misses some important points, I think. Read More…

Nashville, Out of Tune

“The bad news is that half the park is flooded. The good news is that your campsite is still dry. The best news is that you now have a water front view,” said the park ranger as we checked in at the Seven Points campground in Nashville, TN.

“I saw on the news that we’re expecting a lot more rain tonight,” I replied, somewhat concerned about the ‘still dry’ place we were planning to live for the next seven days – one that apparently had a view of the water that wasn’t originally part of its design.

“Yup, and the water is still rising.”

“Is that site going to be okay?”

“Don’t worry. We’ll get you out in time.”

Read More…

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