Travel By the Numbers

Pimla and her hubby took a road trip in early August.  Here are the statistics.

Seven states visited:  Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Apparently we could see all seven from the top of Lookout Mountain in Georgia.
Apparently we could see seven states (if not the exact same seven) from the top of Lookout Mountain in Georgia.
Can you spot the boundary lines?
Can you spot the boundary lines?

1821.3 miles traveled.

Eight cities visited:  Greenville, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville, Frankfort, Lawrenceburg, and Georgetown, Kentucky; and Blacksburg, Virginia.

FOUR TOURS TAKEN

  • Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, Kentucky:  Here we saw how the blanks of wood are made into baseball bats.  No photographs are allowing in the factory but the automated milling machines were fascinating to watch.  They could mill a blank of wood into a bat in seconds.
Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. Here's where they make all those baseball bats!
Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. Here’s where they make all those baseball bats!
  • American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, Kentucky:  Transforming printed material into braille is more involved than I thought.  The printed material can be scanned using a software program and transcribed into braille but the program has limitations.  A transcriber must manually add in charts, graphs, and illustrations.  Then a braille copy is printed.  The next step is proofreading.  Here a totally blind person reads aloud the braille copy while a sighted person follows along on the print copy.  Any errors in the braille printing are noted and corrected before the final printing.
The World Book Encyclopedia in braille.
The World Book Encyclopedia in braille.
IMG_1980
That’s some encyclopedia!
  • Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky: We took the “backstage tour” and got to roam all around where the higher priced seats are.  Actually admission on a regular race day is quite reasonable and you have access to many fine seating and dining venues. But on Kentucky Derby Day…those rules don’t apply.
A horse training on the track.
A horse training on the track.
View of the track and infield from the upper seating.
View of the track and infield from the upper seating.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Plant, Georgetown, Kentucky:  No photographs were permitted on this tour.  I don’t think  could have had the presence of mind to take pictures anyway.  This factory is so large, our tour was taken by motorized tram.  We rode around and saw everything from the area where the giant rolls of steel are unloaded to stamping the body frame.  On to welding and several assembly lines.  This place was a beehive of activity.  Parts and supplies are delivered to each assembly line at the point of need by employees or computer guided trams.  Some parts, like the doors, arrive by conveyor just when it’s time to attach them.  It’s like a giant ballet of motion.  They produce 2000 Camrys each day.  This plant employs 7000 people in the manufacturing process, plus another 3000 work as contractors in ancillary services such as food service, health care, landscaping and maintenance.  It’s easy to see what a big impact a manufacturing plant such as this has on the surrounding community and what happens to that community when a manufacturer shuts down.  Very inspiring tour.

THREE MUSEUMS VISITED

  • Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville, Kentucky:  This museum is located adjacent to Churchill Downs but is a separate entity.  It details the history of horse racing and highlights the winners.
Oh those hats!
Oh those hats!
Colorful racing silks.
Colorful racing silks.
  • Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, Kentucky:  Outside of the factory, there were displays on the bat making process and baseball in general.
The life-sized baseball players were very lifelike.
The life-sized baseball players were very lifelike.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, Tennessee:  So much to say about this museum!  From the roots of folk and gospel music to the country music of today, this museum has it covered.  On display were many artifacts from country artists.
Decked out cars...
Decked out cars…
IMG_1902
…fancy performance attire…
...and walls of gold and platinum records.
…and walls of gold and platinum records.
  • Printing House for the Blind Museum, Louisville, Kentucky:  This museum traces the history and development of aids for the blind from the first raised printing to braille and beyond.  It also includes memorabilia of famous blind people.
Stevie Wonder's piano
Stevie Wonder’s piano

FOUR FORMS OF ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION:

  • Electric Tram, Toyota Plant, Georgetown, Kentucky
  • Sightseeing Trolley:  we rode all around the downtown area of Nashville.  Saw some interesting parks and passed by Music Row where the music publishing houses are located.
  • Incline Railway, Chattanooga, Tennessee:  This train goes a mile up the side of Lookout Mountain.  The grade near the top of the mountain is 72%.  The view is amazing.
The car is built on a slant so when it goes up the hill, passengers are sitting level.
The car is built on a slant so when it goes up the hill, passengers are sitting level.
Two cars are linked by a cable and act as counter weights. When one goes down, the other goes up. This is the halfway point where the cars pass.
Two cars are linked by a cable and act as counter weights. When one goes down, the other goes up. This is the halfway point where the cars pass.
The view from the top. Our journey started way down at the bottom of the hill.
The view from the top. Our journey started way down at the bottom of the hill.
  • River Gorge Explorer, Chattanooga, Tennessee:  Take a ride on the Tennessee River and learn about the flora and fauna along the way.
Our conveyance was a jet boat that traveled 50 miles an hour on the water.
Our conveyance was a jet boat that traveled 50 miles an hour on the water.
When the boat came to a sudden stop for other watercraft, a huge plume of water sprayed up past the windows.
When the boat came to a sudden stop for other watercraft, a huge plume of water sprayed up past the windows.
Lovely scenery along the river.
Lovely scenery along the river.

Two time zones:  Mostly Eastern time zone but surprise, surprise, Nashville is in the CENTRAL time zone!

TWO NATURAL WONDERS

  • Rock City, Lookout Mountain, Georgia: Winding pathways, gardens, and scenic vistas all atop a mountain.
The pathways in the gardens wind through the natural rock formations.
The pathways in the gardens wind through the natural rock formations.
Abundant flora and fauna.
Abundant flora and fauna.
Spectacular views from the cliffs.
Spectacular views from the cliffs.
  • Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee:  Time to go down under.  We walked about a half a mile through caverns inside Lookout Mountain.
We saw lots of rock formations. Many were labeled. I wonder if I would have recognized them without the labels.
We saw lots of rock formations. Many were labeled. I wonder if I would have recognized them without the labels.
At last, we reached the falls. A dramatic 100 foot waterfall inside the caverns.
At last, we reached the falls. A dramatic 100 foot waterfall inside the caverns.  At his point we were about 1000 feet under the top of Lookout Mountain.

One performance:  Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tennessee:  What an outstanding performance!  The artists were very entertaining and the music was wonderful!  If you’re ever in or near Nashville, your owe it to yourself to see the Opry at least once in your life!

Ryman Auditorium - the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Performances are held here in the winter months.
Ryman Auditorium – the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Performances are held here in the winter months.
The Ryman was the birthplace of bluegrass music.
The Ryman was the birthplace of bluegrass music.
The new venue for the Grand Old Opry.
The new venue for the Grand Old Opry.
Seating in the auditorium is padded benches like church pews.
Seating in the auditorium is padded benches like church pews.
The radio announcer.
The radio announcer.  It’s easy to forget that the Opry is still a radio show after all these years.
The Gatlin Brothers were just one of the many performers on the night of our visit.
The Gatlin Brothers were just one of the many performers on the night of our visit.

One oddity:  The Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee

A full sized replica of the one in Greece. It was built in 1876 for the Centennial Celebration.
A full sized replica of the one in Greece. It was built in 1876 for the Centennial Celebration.

One distillery:  Wild Turkey Distillery, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky:  There are lots of bourbon distilleries in Kentucky.  In fact, there’s a whole trail you can follow to visit them all and even a passport you can get stamped at each one.

We were allowed to take pictures everywhere except the bottling facility.
We were allowed to take pictures everywhere except the bottling facility.
The big tanks where the mash is fermented.
The big tanks where the mash is fermented.
The original buildings where the barrels of bourbon age.
The original buildings where the barrels of bourbon age.
There are seven floors holding hundreds of barrels.
There are seven floors holding hundreds of barrels.
Barrels, barrels, everywhere!
Barrels, barrels, everywhere!

TWO BALLPARKS

  • AT & T Field:  Chattanooga, Tennessee
AT&T Field. Home of the Chattanooga Lookouts
AT&T Field. Home of the Chattanooga Lookouts
The Lookouts Mascot and a local men's choir that sang the National Anthem. Best anthem performance I've ever heard!
The Lookouts Mascot and a local men’s choir that sang the National Anthem. Best anthem performance I’ve ever heard!
  • Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, Kentucky
Home of the Louisville Bats
Home of the Louisville Bats
The Louisville Bat mascot helps players warm up.
The Louisville Bat mascot helps players warm up.

Twelve days on the road

Five hotels

Two visits with friends and family in Atlanta, Georgia and Blacksburg, Virginia

One “unwelcome” Welcome Center:  Milepost 8, I-64 East, in Huntington, West Virginia.  All I wanted was a West Virginia highway map.  And why is the welcome center closed at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning?  Especially when the sign on the door says “will return at 8.”  Maybe it was 8 p.m.?

One toll road:  I-77 South in West Virginia

Three toll booths on I-77 with real live people to take my money!

Three state capitals:  Nashville, Tennessee (on top of a hill with lots of steps up to it.),  Frankfort, Kentucky (stately and charming),  Charleston, West Virginia (fancy gold dome on top).  As  my hubby said, “Fancy domed buildings where nothing gets done.”

We saw a lot, did a lot, traveled a lot.  But as Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

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