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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, Kentucky: Outside of the factory, there were displays on the bat making process and baseball in general.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- River Gorge Explorer, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Take a ride on the Tennessee River and learn about the flora and fauna along the way.
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.
- Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee: Time to go down under. We walked about a half a mile through caverns inside 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!
One oddity: The Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee
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.
- AT & T Field: Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, Kentucky
Twelve days on the road
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.”