KFC, Kentucky Finally unCovered

I’ve been passing thru Kentucky when I went to my trips. I visited Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee and also in Georgia but I never really stayed and explore Kentucky. So, this time, I traveled to the state. I called my trip, KFC, Kentucky Finally unCovered.

Kentucky is located in the east south-central region of the United States. Kentucky is one of the four U.S states constituted as a commonwealth, the others being Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The capital of the state is Frankfort but the largest city is Louisville. So, I ended up having a quick trip in Louisville since I am coming from Marengo, Indiana. In Louisville, I had stopover in Louisville Water Tower but to my surprise, they were close for a renovation. But even though they were closed, I took some photos.

Louisville Water Tower

Louisville Water Tower is located in downtown Louisville near the riverfront. It is also known as Louisville Water Company Pumping Station. It is a U.S National Historic Landmark. It is a famous location for weddings and formal gatherings. It has two towers. The towers were wide and beautiful. The buildings were under construction but the towers were a sight to behold.

The Two Towers

The Cast Iron Tower

The New Tower

The Tower with the statues

The Tower with the building

I only stayed for 5 minutes, took pictures while in my car and then left. After the tower, I just followed the River Road and parked at the Waterfront Park and walked to the Lincoln Memorial Park.

Waterfront Park View

Jug Band Pioneer

Kids’ Playground

View of Louisville skyscrapers from Waterfront Park

Clark Memorial Bridge

Waterfront Park is a city destination for walking paths, water features, kids’ playground, vast lawns and public art. It has big green space for hiking path with the scenic view of the bridges especially the Clark Memorial Bridge. The river breeze was cold and refreshing making it more relaxing while Kentuckian doing their morning walks or jogs. It took me about 5 mins to get to Lincoln Memorial Park and got awesome views of John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge

Street Signs

JFK Bridges

Lincoln Memorial Park is located in Waterfront Park. It has a statue of Abraham Lincoln depicted as he would have looked before he became the president of the United States. The sculpture is bareheaded seating on a rock with an open book in one hand and the other in an outstretched welcoming gesture.

Abraham Lincoln sculpture in Lincoln Memorial Park

John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridges view from Lincoln Memorial Park

Right next after the Lincoln Memorial Park, I went to the biggest and longest cave system in the world. The Mammoth Cave was established as a national park on July 1, 1941. It became a World Heritage Site and an international Biosphere Reserve.Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. It is a wonder of the world not because it is the world’s longest cave system, but it protects diverse and fragile cave life. The national park is also recognized for its preservation of evidence of prehistoric cave exploration, mineral mining, and prehistoric domestication of plants.

Mammoth Cave of Kentucky

Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world at 412miles.

Passageways

Northern Cavefish (Amblyopsis spelea) grows to more than five inches long. It can live up to 60 years and go two years without eating if necessary. Adapting to complete darkness, it is a specialized cave dwellers being an eyeless cavefish.

Cave Crawfish is an eyeless crawfish that grows to more than four inches long. It has no pigmentation in its outer shell. Its claws make it a formidable predator of small invertebrates in cave pools and streams.

Just a heads up, guests should book a reservation a day prior to their visit because tour tickets are selling out quickly like hot pies. I reserved a historical cave tour, my first choice was the domes and dripstones tour but it was sold out already. Thus, I didn’t have a clue on what to expect on the cave tour I picked. Good thing I did some reading before doing the historical cave tour at the Mammoth Cave museum. Then, that made me equipped on what’s ahead of me.

When we were in the mouth of the cave, the air temperature just suddenly dropped to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

And so the journey begins…. it became darker and darker.

The cave trek has two paths to pass through, the Fat Man’s Misery and the Tall Man’s Misery. First is the Fat Man’s Misery, the path becomes narrow that we have to walk sideways to get thru the obstacles. Then there is the Tall Man’s Misery which is the photo above. Here, we have to duck for us not to hit our head.

It was fun and everyone was gasping of air and cursing while traversing the paths. It is not suitable for the faint of heart and the claustrophobics.

After we passed thru the Fat and Tall Man’s Misery, we were going deeper and we’re huddled on a historical location where soldiers carved their names on the ceiling.

When we hit the lowest level of the cave allowed for tourists to visit, it was our time to head back to the ground.

Following spiraling staircases to the above ground while taking photos.

The formations were magnificent.

Then, we got back to the assembly point before exiting the cave.

Then, I finally saw the exit..

My cave tour has ended. It was amazing and I still want to do it again. Mind you, the trail was for 2 hours but when I was in the cave, it never felt like I was in there that long. I was like a cave explorer. I was thinking of getting something for souvenir thus, I made a quick stopover at Big Mo since they were selling all kind of rocks that you can find inside the cave. But, I found this.

Big Mo

Sea Monster, Mosasaur

World’s Largest Fossilized Mosasaur Skull

Therefore, I can say KFC. I finally uncovered Kentucky. I toured Kentucky from riverfronts to old and new towers, to caves and underground world, to historical landmarks and heritage sites. It was worth the trip just to get out of the routine. My next trip will be a couple of months but I won’t be traveling alone anymore. Thank you for visiting and reading my blog, fellow bloggers and readers. Safe travels to everyone!

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Spelunking the Marengo Cave

Most of my co-workers went on a vacation while I was stuck in the workplace. I need to escape thus, I have decided to go on a road trip for a couple of days. It was a good timing since it was the fourth of July Holiday week. I have 4 days off so, I have ample time to drive to other states and be back home with having enough rest for work the next week. It is summer here in the U.S and the heat is scorching. I mentioned escaping meaning I got to get away of the sun’s unforgivable heat, making me think of going underground. Then, I have made up my mind and thought of exploring caves. I have already explored the cave in Laurel Caverns in Pennsylvania, so, this time it is the opposite side. I researched the web and saw a cave in Indiana. Without having second thoughts, I plotted my trip as spelunking the Marengo Cave.

Marengo Cave is located in Marengo, Indiana. It is a privately owned cave and was designated as a National Natural Landmark back in 1984. The cave was discovered by two children, Orris and Blanche Hiestand. They kept it a secret but after two days, they told Samuel Stewart. Mr. Stewart opened the cave for tourists the same day he was told by the kids. There were many stories on how it was discovered but according to Maddy, our tour guide, it was the 2 kids who found the cave first. Here are the photos I took while being a cave spelunkers.

Start of the Crystal Cave Tour where the plaque can be seen representing Orris and Blanche discovering the cave

Behind the big stone where the plaque was placed was a different world waiting for spelunkers to discover

First Stop is the Mirror Lake. The crystal clear water is giving a mirror effect.

Rock Formation that looks like ginormous chandelier. These are stalactites.

And then, there is stalagmite.

When these two meet together, they become a column just like this in the photo.

There is also formation that they named to a famous volcano. They called this, Mt. Vesuvius erupting.

Maddy the tour guide and our fellow spelunkers

More magnificent view

More columns

Imagine your favorite food….bacon strip

Finally, the Crystal Palace

Amazing view

The Pipe. They make different sounds.

The cave attraction was purely amazing. It has good lighting that anyone can get decent pictures inside the cave. It was like another world underneath. Marengo Cave, US National Landmark, is Indiana’s most popular natural attraction. It was worth the trip and I achieved my goal spelunking the Marengo Cave. The crystal palace tour costs USD18 per head for adults. The tour was about 40mins and was an easy access to all ages. For more information, visit their site here or call them at this phone number 1 888-702-2837.

Bennington Battle Monument in Vermont

I got to Vermont next right after my trip to New Hampshire. I arrived in Vermont around 2200H, checked in a hotel and called it a day. The next morning, I was having difficulty where to head. It was hard to look for a tourist attraction in Vermont since most tourist spots were either the mountains or a skiing location. I only have a day to see the state and following trails to go to the mountains is not feasible in my current schedule. Thus, I ended up looking for an attraction near me. I was in Pownal, VT at that time. I saw this historical site which was located in the next town so, I visited the Bennington Battle Monument in Vermont.

Bennington Battle Monument

Bennington Battle Monument is a 306-foot high stone obelisk located at 15 Monument Circle in the town of Bennington. The monument stands to commemorate the battle of Bennington during the American Revolutionary War. The battle that happened back 1777 between the soldiers of the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts against the British army took place and named it the Bennington Battlefield, now, considered a U.S National Historic Landmark.It is owned by the state of Vermont and is supported by the Friends of the Monument which is non-profit volunteer group. A small fee is charged to enter the Monument and to ride the elevator to the viewing platform. For adult, it was just for USD5. The entrance tickets were available at the Gift Shop right across the monument.

Battle Monument against the sun’s glare

The obelisk view right at the Gift Shop

Welcoming Moose at the foot of the obelisk with photos of Vermont’s tourist and historical spots.

The elevator to get to the viewing platform

While waiting for the lift, guests can look at the old artifacts and memorabilia

The re-enactment of the Bennington Battle through small and collectible statues

Upon getting to the observation deck, tourists will be in awe with the sights. From this level reached by the elevator, people can see the valleys and rolling hills of Vermont, New York and Massachusetts.

On top at the viewing deck, Vermont side

More green trees and hills

Love the view

Bennington Battle Monument is the tallest structure in the state of Vermont. It serves the purpose of reaching out to the people so that everyone will commemorate the past and learn the history. We are lucky that the Friends of Bennington and the state got to preserve the obelisk. The staff were knowledgeable about what happened and they were able to impart the series of events.

Quick Stopover in New Hampshire

I was in Maine and the next New England state to visit was New Hampshire. Since it was already late when I left Maine, it was about 1500H and it took about almost an hour to get to New Hampshire. I only did a quick stopover in New Hampshire. I intentionally planned to visit Flume Gorge due to the fact that it was advertised beautifully in the web. But due to time constraints, I ended up visiting Manchester, New Hampshire instead.

Flume Gorge in Lincoln, New Hamphsire cr: NewEngland.com

I arrived in Manchester around 1600H and searched the internet for any sights that is open late. I found this park and just decided to take a peek. I was in Crystal Lake Park.

Crystal Lake Park in Manchester, New Hampshire

Crystal Lake Park is a recreation site with a natural pond for swimming, boating, fishing and picnicking with a playground. It is near Bodwell Road and Corning Road in south of Manchester. The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery with observed fishes such as smallmouth and largemouth basses, black crappie, brown bullhead, and chained pickerel.

Crystal Lake

Fishing in the Lake

Playground

Park Hall

Houses near the lake

I stayed in the Lake Park about 45 minutes and when I left, I was not contented of my brief stay in the state so, I ended up going to the mall. The mall was just about 10 minutes from the park. I got to the Mall of New Hampshire at 1925H.

The Mall of New Hampshire

The Mall of New Hampshire is a shopping mall located in the Lower South Willow neighborhood of Manchester. It has major anchoring stores like Macy’s, JCPenney, Old Navy, Sears and Best Buy. The mall has over 120 stores with large food court and is the third largest mall in the state. It was spacious and I got my souvenir made since I can’t go to the nearest souvenir shop.

Directions to Macy’s, JCPenney and Sears

Shoppers resting

My whole trip in New Hampshire was brief but I was still able to do some quick sightseeing even though I didn’t get to see the tourist attractions of the state. One of these days, I’ll be back and I will make sure to visit Flume Gorge and other beautiful spots of New Hampshire.

The Maine Attraction

Before I even left for the New England states trip, I already set the course of my journey to the state of Maine. Maine has a lot of tourist attractions and is also known for its really delicious and mouth watering lobsters. Thus, it made me decide without second thought of going to that state. I called my trip the Maine attraction.

Maine is in the New England region. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. The state is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior; and picturesque waterways, as well as its seafood cuisine especially clams and lobsters. The capital is Augusta but the most populous city is Portland. Either way, I made up my mind to go to somewhere near the coastline and has really good lobsters. The main reason why I went to Cape Elizabeth.

Cape Elizabeth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine. The town is the location of the Beach to Beacon 10K road race that starts at Crescent Beach State Park (the beach) to Portland Head Light (the beacon). Thus, I followed the route and visited the state park first. It was around 1200H when I got to Crescent Beach State Park.

Crescent Beach State Park

Crescent Beach State Park is a state-operated, public recreation area on the Atlantic Ocean. It has a mile-long, crescent shaped beach for swimming and sunbathing, fishing, kayaking, and even trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. It was freezing cold that day since it was still May so, I skipped the swimming and just wandered the state park.

Trails for Hiking

Rock Balancing in the beach

It was relaxing just sitting on the beach. It was indeed a good way to spend the day if only I didn’t have other sights to see. I left the state park after an hour and have decided to grab something to eat. One of the main reasons why I wanted to visit Maine is its lobsters. The state is known for its really good and delicious lobsters. I asked the concierge in the hotel on where to eat in town and she said to try the Docks Seafood Fish Market and Restaurant.

Docks Seafood Fish Market and Restaurant
15 Evans St, South Portland, ME 04106

Docks Seafood Fish Market and Restaurant is a casual kitchen and fish market offering fried and steamed seafood platters with sandwiches and chowders. It is located South Portland and is family owned. Diners can enjoy great local fare in a relaxed and comfortable ambience. Their menu was the freshest local seafood what Maine has to offer. They always carry haddock, dry scallops, tuna, swordfish, wild salmon, lobsters, clams, shrimps, calamari, crab meat, and mushrooms. Of course, I ordered the lobsters.

Shrimps and Calamari

Live Lobsters

Delicious and perfectly cooked lobster

It was so good that I want to bring some back in Ohio but I don’t want them to get spoiled while I’m on the road since I have two other New England states to visit. Maybe next time I get to come back in Maine, I’ll make sure to bring more lobsters. For more information, just visit their site here. Anyway, after that sumptuous late lunch, I headed to my next Maine attraction. It was Fort Williams Park.

Fort Williams Park

Fort Williams Park is a huge 90-acre park encompassing numerous historical sites with Portland Headlight as the most famous and the largely demolished Fort Williams which was operational during World War I and II. These historical sights include:

1. Battery Hobart

‘Battery Hobart was built in 1898 and named after Lt. Henry A. Hobart, one of the first Maine graduates of the U.S Military academy, who was killed in action during the War of 1812. The battery mounted one British-built six-inch gun whose function was to help protect the mine field laid in the main channel in time of war from hostile minesweepers. Battery Hobart was manned during the Spanish-American War but was made redundant by the completion in 1905 of Battery Keyes which mounted more modern American-built guns. Therefore, when the U.S Army determined that America’s pacific defenses required strengthening, Battery Hobart’s gun was removed in the summer of 1913 and sent to the Hawaiian islands where it was used to  protect the Army and Navy facilities at Pearl Harbor during World War I. The battery’s magazine continued to be utilized for the storage of ordnance supplies at Fort Williams until 1929.’

What is left of Battery Hobart

2. Goddard Mansion

‘Goddard Mansion was completed in 1858 for John Goddard (1811-1870) to an Italianate villa design prepared by Portland architect Charles Alexander who planned other prominent buildings in the area. It was built of native stone and was one of the first grand houses to be built along Cape Elizabeth shore. Goddard had been successful in the lumber business and then in 1853, he purchased the Cape Cottage which was a popular summer hotel built in 1835. The mansion was built on a portion of the hotel property. Goddard was active in a number of local businesses and was appointed colonel of the 1st Maine Regiment of Cavalry during Civil War but he saw no action. The mansion was acquired in 1898 by the U.S Army and was used for housing married enlisted men and their families stationed at Fort Williams. The basement was converted into the fort’s Non-Commissioned Officer’s Club.’

The outside look of Goddard Mansion

3. Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light is a lighthouse inside the Fort Williams Park. It was built and completed on 1791 by directive of George Washington. The headlight stands 80 feet above ground and 101 feet above water. The grounds and the keeper’s house are owned by the town of Cape Elizabeth while the beacon and fog signal are owned and maintained by the U.S Coast Guard as a current aid to navigation. Portland Head Light was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 1973.

The Beacon

Other side of Portland Head Light

4. The View

And of course, the view of the state park and the seas were amazing. The rock formation and the water compliment each other making the state park a must visit location.

Blue seas and the rocks

As a conclusion to my trip to the Maine attraction, it was indeed one of the highlights on my New England states trip. It was memorable and everything I put on my checklist came into reality. I was able to see the Atlantic Ocean and seas. I got to visit amazing and beautiful state parks. I got lessons about history and historical places. And especially, I got to eat and taste the most delicious lobsters I ever devoured in my life. My entire trip in Maine was worth every penny!

Check my vlog during my Maine attraction trip:

The First Public Botanical Garden in America

Massachusetts is the next destination in the New England region if you came from Rhode Island. Massachusetts is the most populous state in the region and is named after the Massachusett tribe which once inhabited the east side of the area. The capital of the state and most populous city in New England is Boston. Boston is famous to tourists and is a must visit if you are in the United States. It covers 48 square miles city proper. Since Boston is the capital of the state, what better to see the city is the heart of Boston which happens to be the First Botanical Garden in America, the Boston Public Garden.

Boston Public Garden

Boston Public Garden is a large park in the city center. The garden is listed on U.S National Register of Historic Places and U.S National Historic Landmark. It has 24-acre and has open space, a pond, and a large series of formal plantings that are maintained by the city and other organization.

These plants vary from season to season. It was a good timing that I visited during spring since flowers were bloom and trees were having leaves. The prettiest garden flowers I’ve ever seen in the nation. It has different colors of tulips and also other flowers, as well as, blooming trees.

Trees near the Lagoon Bridge where you can put a hammock

Another tree in bloom

The pond is the home of great many ducks, as well as of one or more swans. A popular tourist attraction is the Swan Boats. For a small fee, tourists can sit on a boat and pedal around the pond with a tour guide. Being no more than 3 feet deep, the pond easily freezes during the colder months. The reason why the Boston City Council passed an order to maintain the pond for skating during the winter and it is an official skating rink.

The Pond

Lagoon Bridge and the Pond

The Public Garden has several statues and structures all throughout the area. But the one that stood the most was the Equestrian statue of  George Washington. It is located at the Arlington Street gate entrance. The statue itself stands at 16 feet tall and made of bronze, and stands on a granite pedestal for a total height of 38 feet.

Equestrian Statue of George Washington

The Gate

Right across the botanical garden was a very big open space, the Boston Common. It is a central public park and is the oldest city park in the United States. The Boston Common or referred to as the Common was designated as a Boston landmark by the proper authority.

Boston Common

My stay in Boston, Massachusetts was brief but it sure was a beautiful experience. The public garden is well maintained by the locals and the management. It was the center of the city with people from afar and near just making it a rendezvous point for meet-ups, fun and strolling in the park. It was absolutely colorful and lively to look at.