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Archive for the ‘Bluegrass’ Category

Another early start again this morning since we knew we were heading into afternoon thunderstorms.  We planned to find a place to hunker down by 3pm. One more glorious day of sunshine, warmth and awesome cloud formations.  It’s going to be sad when we have to start adding the cold weather gear closer to home.

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After an hour on the road it was time to stop for breakfast.  We found the perfect stop called Brothers Restaurant.  No they don’t have a bug problem, the bug guy just knows the best place to eat !!  This is the kind of restaurant we love.  All the locals eat here and it was super busy.  Chris had a Belgian waffle with whipped cream & strawberry compote.  I went with eggs, rye toast & fresh fruit.  Good thing because a few stops later we discovered orange creamsicle milkshakes and I had a warm salted caramel & chocolate chip cookie with mine.

Further down the highway I saw a sign that said “80 miles to WOW.”  We both agreed — the world’s largest truck stop is pretty amazing.  They’ve got the biggest gas station for cars & trucks, restaurants galore and a trucking museum.  It was worth driving through the parking lot to have a look.

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My dear husband knows how much I love museums and turned into Branch, Iowa so we could visit the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum.  What a fascinating look at his life, time as president and his life of service.  There was a special gangster exhibit.  Don’t Chris and I look tough !! During Hoover’s administration the FBI focused on prosecuting gangsters like Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd & Dillinger.  What an honour to walk through displays of books, letters, clothing, personal items and gifts from heads of state that all belonged to the President and First Lady “Lou.”

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Early in the afternoon we debated whether or not to put on raingear.  The sky got progressively darker and when he saw the accommodation signs for Waterloo, Iowa – Chris decided that was enough for one day.  Moments after we brought our bags into the room, the first lightning strikes followed were closely by thunder crashes. The storm was intense but didn’t last long and the sun came back out.  We’re happy at Howard Johnson and sit here absolutely stuffed from an amazing meal from Hwy 63 Diner across the parking lot.  Too full for dessert we ordered to go. No way was I passing up homemade bread pudding.

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Tomorrow we’re aiming for South Dakota — the day after we’ll spend a couple of days of riding in the Black Hills and Badlands near Sturgis.

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Love & hugs from the road…

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 !!!!

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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.

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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.

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Love & hugs from the road…

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