Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Return to Louisville

Sarah, Becca and John in the river front park, waiting for the show.
 Our son John and his wife Becca live in Radcliff, Kentucky just south of Louisville. John is stationed at Fort Knox, but he will be deployed to Afghanistan in a few weeks. We could not pass by without spending some time with the young couple.

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.

Happy Couple

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
We shared one more dinner with Becca and John. It was nice seeing how settled into their new apartment they are. Becca has done a nice job making their small space feel comfortable. We said our goodbyes fairly early because John has to report for duty very early each morning. And, we have an appointment for some minor warranty to work to be done on the Mary Joan in Jackson Center, Ohio where Airstreams are manufactured.

Stay tuned.

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