|Sarah, Becca and John in the river front park, waiting for the show.|
The drive from Nashville to Louisville was very pleasant. It was a warm clear day and the redbud trees were beautiful against the pale spring green of the trees. As usual we stayed off the highway and enjoyed the pleasant rolling landscape as we traveled north.
We stayed at a pleasant campground in Elizabethtown that was a short drive from John and Becca's apartment. They came to see the new trailer and stayed for dinner. We discovered that the celebration leading up to the Kentucky Derby, Thunder Over Nashville, was happening the weekend that we were there. Thunder Over Nashville is huge party on the riverfront in the downtown area. Beginning 11AM, the city provides musical entertainment and an airshow during the day. Then the largest and most elaborate fireworks display happens soon after dark. Finally for those with more stamina and a desire to party can continue at the many clubs and bars on 4th St.
Watching the eight barges bearing the pyrotechnics being towed into position we knew we were in for a major fireworks demonstration. We were not disappointed. Four barges went to the west and the other four remained close in front of us. The display was loud, bright, colorful and continuous. Each of us were amazed at the intensity of the show. We were on the south side of the river and the wind was from the northwest. The result was that we were showered with soot from the burnt gunpowder. At one point the fallout actually irritated our eyes. It was a small price to pay for such an amazing fireworks display.
|More than a half million turn out for Thunder Over Louisville|
Mammoth Caves is just an hour south of Elizabethtown so we decided to spend the next day visiting the national park. We signed up for the Snowball tour that took us more than 200 feet below ground in an ancient underground riverbed. Unlike Carlsbad Caverns, this cave lacks the dramatic colors of stalagmites and stalactites. But we were impressed with the gypsum formations, the smoke writing left by early explorers of the cave. Mostly, we were impressed with the immensity of this system of over 400 miles of continuous caverns.
|Gypsum "Snowballs" on the ceiling of the cave|
|Smoke writing left in the 1860s|