PICTURE OF THE DAY || DAY 30 || September 26, 2016

Horse Country. Lexington, Kentucky.

Day 30 || September 26 2016

Route || Lewisburg, West Virginia, to Lexington, Kentucky (via Chesapeake, Ohio; Cordell, Kentucky; & Sandy Hook, Kentucky)
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 404 (650)
Posted From || Lexington, Kentucky
Today’s Highlight || Sunset over horse country in Bluegrass, Kentucky


State Nickname – The Bluegrass State. State Mottos – United we stand, divided we fall; Deo gratiam habeamus (Let us be grateful to God). Admitted To The Union – June 1792 (15th state). Population – 4.4 million (22nd most populous state). Area – 40,409 sq miles (37th largest state). Capital – Frankfort. National Parks – 1 (Mammoth Cave). National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 6/0. Famous For – Horse farms & the Derby; bluegrass (the region, the grass & the music); bourbon; being photogenic; KFC; Abraham Lincoln (born in Hodgenville); Fort Knox; baseball bats; Muhammad Ali (born in Louisville); caves. State Highlight – The rolling picture-perfect limestone hills of Bluegrass Country. Kentucky Titbits – Kentucky boasts the world’s longest cave system; it also has more navigable miles of water than any other state not called Alaska; the state produces 95% of the world’s supply of bourbon whiskey, and the number of barrels of bourbon being aged in Kentucky (more than 5.7 million) far exceeds the state’s population; Harland Sanders, a Kentucky colonel, launched Kentucky Fried Chicken at his service station in North Corbin, Kentucky, in 1930. Supposedly even back then it was finger-lickin’ good!
PICTURE OF THE DAY || DAY 31 || September 27, 2016

Ranger Tour deep in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky.

Day 31 || September 27 2016

Route || Lexington to Beaver Dam, Kentucky (via Lincoln Homestead State Park & Mammoth Cave National Park)
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 241 (388)
Posted From || Beaver Dam, Kentucky
Today’s Highlight || Mammoth Cave National Park

10 Mammoth Cave Logo

Mammoth Cave National Park

Size: 52,830 acres/214 km². Founded: 1941. Annual Visitors: 2 million.

In a state known for its elevated landscape in the form of the Appalachian and Cumberland mountains, it is an inverse topography — the world’s longest known cave system — that is Kentucky’s lone national park. This underground wonder, whose dimensions suit its name, is mapped at 400 miles — a length that increases with ongoing exploration.

Here, midway between Louisville and Nashville, this limestone labyrinth with a colorful and contentious (land-ownership) past fascinates visitors.

No changes of seasons, no sound of storm or thunder penetrate here; winter and summer, day and night, peace or war, it is all one; a world beyond the reach of change, because beyond the reach of life.

– John Burroughs, naturalist, “In Mammoth Cave” (1887)

The deep history goes back 10 million years in time and 379 feet into the earth, where ancient human remains and artifacts are legally protected. The modern story includes African American history, such as the legacy of Stephen Bishop, who ventured into unexplored areas and became a guide. He is buried at the park’s Old Guides’ Cemetery.

In popular culture, Mammoth has inspired a short story, an early computer game, poetry and rock-music lyrics.

Today, park rangers continue to guide cave visitors through tours of varying length, style and level of physical demand — from easy to extremely strenuous. Tours include Gothic Avenue, which has historically significant passageways where 19th-century signatures are preserved.

Interior temperatures average about 54 degrees. Bring a jacket or sweater and wear shoes suitable for walking. Above ground activities include hiking and fishing.

From The Washington Post – The Essential guide to all 59 U.S. national parks.


Mammoth Cave National Park, located in the state of Kentucky, has the world’s largest network of natural caves and underground passageways, which are characteristic examples of limestone formations. The park and its underground network of more than 560 surveyed km of passageways are home to a varied flora and fauna, including a number of endangered species.

– UNESCO commenting on Mammoth Cave National Park

PICTURE OF THE DAY || DAY 32 || September 28, 2016

Bill Monroe’s Old Homeplace in the hills of Rosine, Kentucky.

Day 32 || September 28 2016

Route || Beaver Dam, Kentucky, to Bloomington, Indiana (via Rosine & Owensboro, Kentucky)
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 190 (306)
Posted From || Bloomington, Indiana
Today’s Highlight || The Old Homeplace, Rosine, Kentucky


State Nickname – The Hoosier State. State Motto – The Crossroads of America. Admitted To The Union – December 1816 (19th state). Population – 6.6 million (16th most populous state). Area – 36,400 sq miles (38th largest state). Capital – Indianapolis. National Parks – 0. National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 2/1. Famous For – The Indy 500; farmers, farmland & corn; the NCAA; . State Highlight – The architecture of Columbus. Indiana Titbits – The state’s name means “Land of the Indians”, or simply “Indian Land”; Indianans are called ‘Hoosiers’ but no one really knows why; the state has two time zones; Hoosiers like their hoops – Indiana has produced more NBA players per capita than any other state; attracting some 250,000 people every, the Indy 500 is said to be the largest single day sporting event in the world.
PICTURE OF THE DAY || DAY 33 || September 29, 2016

Completing the 26-state, 9,510-mile loop in Chicago, Illinois.

Day 33 || September 29 2016

Route || Bloomington, Indiana, to Chicago, Illinois (via Indianapolis, Indiana)
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 282 (454)
Posted From || Chicago, Illinois
Today’s Highlight || Completing the loop in Chicago.


State Nicknames – Land of Lincoln; The Prairie State. State Motto – State Sovereignty, National Union. Admitted To The Union – December 1818 (21st state). Population – 12.9 million (5th most populous state). Area – 58,000 sq miles (25th largest state). Capital – Springfield. National Parks – 0. National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 5/2. Famous For – Skyscrapers (first sprung in Chicago in 1885); flat farmland; Route 66 (it starts in Chicago); having an Abraham Lincoln obsession. State Highlights – Chicago. Illinois Titbits – Illinois’s largest city, Chicago, is the third largest city in the US; it’s a coal state – over 200 billion tons of coal are estimated to lie under the surface, having a total heating value greater than the estimated oil deposits in the Arabian Peninsula; the world’s first nuclear reactor was built on the University of Chicago campus; three US presidents have claimed Illinois as their political base – Abraham Lincoln (born in Kentucky), Ulysses S. Grant (born in Ohio), & Barack Obama (born in Hawaii).
PICTURE OF THE DAY || DAYS 34-36 || September 30 - October 2, 2016

Cloud Gate, a.k.a. The Bean, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois.

PICTURE OF THE DAY || DAYS 34-36 || September 30 - October 2, 2016

Cloud Gate, a.k.a. The Bean, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois.

Days 34-36 || September 30 – October 2 2016

Route || Downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 17 (27)
Posted From || Chicago, Illinois
Days 34-36 Highlight || Chicago skyscrapers.

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