How apt that thunderstorms were forecast this morning as we made our way to Williamstown, Kentucky to visit Ark Encounter, a life-size Noah’s Ark. Locals tell us it’s the most rain they’ve had in ages and we kept rain gear on all day.
Only open for 2 months we were impressed how organized the whole property is from the acres of parking to the efficient people mover buses that leave every few moments. I heard a little boy say “wow” when the Ark came into view.
For the loggers in our lives the Ark was made with 3.1 million board feet of timber and is the biggest timber frame structure in the world. At 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high it’s HUGE !!
A staff member told us it cost $100 million to build and can hold up to 10,000 guests at a time.
The attraction has many detractors because of the fundamentalist creationist belief but for Chris and I it was an amazing experience. It’s a story in a book that I respect and whether historically accurate or not it’s a story shared by many cultures.
There are displays explaining how Noah & his family may have fed and cared for the animals. And I had song stuck in my head all day I learned at bible summer camp “the animals, they came, they came in by twosies, twosies, elephants and kangaroosies, roosies, children of the Lord.” And while we’re walking along we noticed the soundtrack with animal noises and music befitting any Cecil B. Demille biblical movie.
We spent a few hours walking through all three levels and probably if we’d been wearing runners instead of our bike boots would have stayed longer. Emzara’s Restaurant (named for Noah’s wife) was also a marvel with seating for 1500 people. With most students back at school we were told the past few days had been a bit slower than the up to 4000 guests a day earlier in the summer.
Leaving the Ark we headed into Williamstown to find somewhere to sit down with our iPads and figure out where to spend the night. Driving down the Main Street I saw “wifi” out of the corner of my eye and we turned in at Elmer’s General Store. Part general store/old fashioned ice-cream parlour/cafe/music lesson & instrument repair shop and live music venue it is a gem !!!!
Over a hot cup of coffee we chatted with Megan, one of the store owners, who is a professional performer and when we lamented we hadn’t yet heard any Kentucky bluegrass she and Elmer got up on stage and started playing for us. Goosebumps galore as they played a few of their own originals as well as Dolly Parton’s song “Jolene” and from Grease “You’re the One That I Want.” We walked away with a signed copy of Megan’s CD and awe that a simple cup of coffee morphed into a bluegrass concert.
We are overnighting in Harrison, Ohio and we keep asking each other “which state are we in again?” Tomorrow we’ll be crossing into Illinois.
Love & hugs from the road…