Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jack and Amys trip to Louisville Kentucky

Jack and Amy's Trip to Kentucky
Wednesday, September 13th
Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Chihuly Nights at the Maker's Mark Distillery

A few months ago Amy saw something about an art exhibit at the Makers Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky.  That got the wheels in motion to start planning a trip to the Louisville area. 

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

We took a half day off of work on Wednesday and left Spartanburg shortly before lunch arriving in Louisville, KY just in time for dinner.  After checking into our accommodations, a nice little upstairs apartment a few miles outside of downtown Louisville, we headed downtown for dinner and a few brews.

For dinner we went to the Bluegrass Brewing Company.  I wasn't blown away by any of the beers I sampled, but the food was very good!

 Enjoying a Flight at the Bluegrass Brewing Company

After dinner we went to the Goodwood Brewery.  Not only did Goodwood have some really good beer, but they also had a live Jazz Band playing.  A great spot to conclude our first day in Louisville.

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

The next morning after breakfast we went over to Churchill Downs to check out the Kentucky Derby Museum and do a few behind the scenes tours of the most famous horse racing venue in the world!

Amy in front of Churchill Downs

Me at Churchill Downs

Amy at Churchill Downs

 The John Deere Tractor Races at Churchill Downs

Amy enjoying a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby Museum Cafe

Me at the Kentucky Derby Museum

That afternoon we drove downtown to check out the riverfront parks and the Big Four Bridges.  One of the Big Four Bridges has been converted to a pedestrian bridge. This mile long bridge over the Ohio River offers up a pleasant stroll that takes you from Louisville, KY to Jeffersonville, IN.

 Amy at the Big Four Bridges

 Amy strolling along the Big Four Pedestrain Bridge 

The Big Four Bridges

Since it was Five O'clock somewhere and there was a brewery on the other side of the bridge, we took a little break for me to enjoy a flight at the Flat 12 Bierworks.  Amy also got a bit of shopping in the quaint little downtown area of Jeffersonville, IN.

Enjoying a Flight at the Flat 12 Bierworks

After walking back to Kentucky, we made one more Brewery Stop at the Gravely Brewing Company.  I was a little disappointed that this place does not offer flights.  But they did have a neat looking bar that reminded me of my Dad's basement!

The bar at the Gravely Brewing Company 
(reminds me of my Dad's Basement)

For dinner we went to the HopCat Restaurant.  This place has 132 different beers on tap, and we got there just in time to take advantage of some great Happy Hour Specials!

Friday, September 15th, 2017

The next morning we returned to downtown Louisville to hit a few of the touristy spots and do a little strolling around downtown!  We started out with the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum!

 Amy outside the Louisville Slugger Factory

 Amy at the Louisville Slugger Museum

Showing off my 95 mph Fastball
(actually according to this machine it was closer to 65 mph)

Taking a swing at the Louisville Slugger Batting Cage

Amy at the Louisville Slugger Lego Exhibit

Amy outside the Kentucky Science Center

Amy gets photobombed by a giant naked gold guy

Amy meets a friend on a Louisville Bench

Along the Ohio River in Downtown Louisville

They had live racing going on at Churchill Downs, and since Amy has never been to an actual horse race, we decided to check it out.  We only stayed for 3 races and I was 3 for 3 on my wagering with a net winnings of about $25.00   Amy was 1 for 3 with a net loss of about $3.00.  Not a bad afternoon at the track!

Horse Racing at Churchill Downs

Later that afternoon we checked out one of the local parks.  The Parklands of Floyds Fork was a great spot for an afternoon stroll.

 The Parklands of Floyds Fork

For Dinner we went to the Gander Grill, which turned out to be a really good choice!  

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Saturday, we would be moving to our next accommodations in Springfield, Kentucky to get a little closer to the Makers Mark Distillery in Loretto.  We would make several stops along the way.

First up was the Bernheim Arboretum which offers up over 40 miles of hiking trails.  Amy and I did a short and easy hike together and then I did a few additional trails on my own while Amy relaxed with her book.

 Amy hanging around the Bernheim Arboretum

At the Bernheim Arboretum

The Forest Canopy Trail at the Bernheim Arboretum

Amy at the Forest Canopy Overlook

Just across the road from the Arboretum is the Jim Beam Distillery where we did the distillery tour and tasting.

 At the Jim Beam Distillery

 Bourbon tasting at the Jim Beam Distillery

 This girl mixed up a really good cocktail!

Amy at the Jim Beam Distillery

We continued our drive making a stop in the town of Bardstown where we had an awesome lunch at Talbot Tavern!  After lunch Amy enjoyed browsing through the downtown shops.

Our accommodations in Springfield, KY were really nice.  Amy also does a great job of finding unique places to stay.  This one was a modern second floor apartment in the heart of downtown Springfield.

After settling in, we drove on down to the Makers Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY for the Chihuly Nights exhibit.  An unique and enjoyable way to cap off our trip to Kentucky.

Amy at the Makers Mark Distillery

One of the Chihuly Exhibits

This was pretty neat!  The Chihuly Glass Art was in the ceiling of this Barrel House

One of the Chihuly Exhibits

 One of the Chihuly Exhibits 

 Me at Chihuly Nights

 Amy at Chihuly Nights

Our complete set of photos is posted here:  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2017-09-09 Matthews Creek Adventure

Matthews Creek Exploration
from the Naturaland Trust Trail Crossing
to the base of Raven Cliff Falls
A Team Waterfall Adventure
Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area
Greenville County, SC
Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Group Photo in Matthews Creek
L to R:  Me, Kitty, Thomas, Bob, Darrin

Every year thousands of people visit the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area to do the easy hike to the Raven Cliff Falls Overlook.  This overlook offers a mediocre view of a spectacular waterfall!  Only a handful of people actually venture off trail to view this beauty from the base and explore the awesomeness that is Matthews Creek!

Darrin "The Salmon" would take the lead on this adventure.

Also joining us would be

Bob "The Old Goat"
Thomas "The Badger"
Kitty "The Rock Sprite"
and me "Bushwhack Jack"

This is the type of adventure that should only be attempted by those experienced with extreme bushwhacking, creek walking, and off trail navigation.  Just getting to the remote section of creek we would explore requires a descent of almost 2,000 feet in elevation!  All this elevation would have to be gained back as we be venturing upstream!

Also if you attempt this trek, make sure to let the Park Rangers know your plans so they can try to talk you out of it!  But more importantly so they know where to send the search party if you don't return!

I am not going to post any GPS tracks or detailed descriptions or directions.  Instead I will just share our adventure with photos!

Darrin "The Salmon" Hamlin hydrates up with his Life Straw
This is the Naturland Trust Bridge over Matthews Creek where we would leave the trail and start our Creek Walking Adventure upstream to the base of Raven Cliff Falls!

 Along Matthews Creek

Nice Slide along Matthews Creek

Salmon Slide

The Old Goat!

My fellow explorers approach Theresa Ann Falls
L to R:  The Badger, The Rock Sprite, The Old Goat, and The Salmon

Darrin by Theresa Ann Falls

Kitty and Bob by Theresa Ann Falls

The Badger climbs a rather precarious section of rock

 Along Matthews Creek

 Along Matthews Creek
Looking downstream at Kitty and the Badger

Darrin by the Matthews Creek Narrows

Nice sliding waterfall along Matthews Creek

Salmon Slide

 Along Matthews Creek

Cooling off in Matthew Creek
L to R:  Bob, Kitty, Me, Darrin  (Thomas is fighting Rhododendron somewhere behind us)

Raven Cliff Falls

Kitty at Raven Cliff Falls

The Rock Sprite gets a Badger Kiss at Raven Cliff Falls

Raven Cliff Falls

The Tourist View of Raven Cliff Falls

My complete set of photos is posted here: