I think that I could write about all of my adventures during my assignment in Kentucky for several blogs, so I will try and just cover the highlights. It was an excellent location for many places that are fairly close to visit. When I say fairly close, I mean within 5-6 hours of driving. I have done longer trips, but for the most part it is best for me to stay at the range. As previously stated, I was halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati. I did make several trips to Louisville and of course one of my favorite places was to go to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. One of the first things you see is a huge bat leaning against the buildings just waiting for some giant to come swing for a homer. I instantaneously was reverted back to my 6-year old self being excited about baseball. Once inside, there is a video and they take you on a tour of the factory where you can see them working on the bats that will be used that season. If you at all are a fan of baseball, you will understand how cool it is to look at a box full of bats labeled “Dustin Pedroia.” At the end of the tour, you are presented with a small bat as a token of your trip. It is very much a mini version of the Hall of Fame with so much to see. I was so very excited to hold a bat that David Ortiz had used in a World Series game!
Because I love history, I also wanted to see some of what Louisville had to offer, so I took a ride on the Belle of Louisville. She is a steamboat that is original to that era and she is 100 years old as a National Historic Landmark. I took a dinner cruise down the Ohio River and there was a lot of history that was new to me about Louisville. I am very glad to say that I have been on a historic paddle boat.
The Civil War era has always held quite a fascination for me and I admit, one of the major draws to Chattanooga. I spent 3 nights there and enjoyed all of it. I started with going to the Chickamauga Battlefield in Georgia. I was happy to explore all that was there and learn that the campaign for Chattanooga was pretty extensive. Chickamauga reminds me a bit of Gettysburg in that there are a lot of monuments placed where soldiers fought and died. It’s peaceful and I enjoyed that I could listen on my cell phone to a tour and do so at my own pace. I was especially taken with Wilder Tower that stands 85 feet tall. It is a stone tower that was built in memory of Colonel Wilder and his mounted infantry that held off Union forces until he had backup.
Back in Chattanooga, I took the Incline Railway to the top of Lookout Mountain. It is the steepest railway in the world and is a mile to the top. Nothing scary about this ride unless you have height issues because there is plenty of visibility from the glass that makes up most of the car. Once at the top, I made my way to Point Park where the Battle above the Clouds was fought. The view of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River is beautiful and I was just in wonder standing in a place that was so historically significant. Before I went there, I had no idea that the battles for Chattanooga had been such a deciding factor in the war. There is a small museum near Point Park that has an excellent film and exhibit. I walked the mile or so back to the Incline Railway to go back down.