Archive for September, 2009

Lexington Kentucky

I  had a few hours to kill and decided to visit the childhood home of the former first lady, Mary Todd Lincoln.  The home is just steps away from Rupp Arena, the home of the University of Kentucky basketball Wildcats.  The future president himself made visits to the home after marrying Mary.  The tour guide showed where Abraham would sit and read books – in a stairwell.  Such comfort.  Apparently it was the one place in the home that had adequate lighting. The house was sold by the family in 1849 and was eventually opened as a museum in 1977.

After the museum I drove north out of Lexington to Adena Park, which is owned by the University of Kentucky where there are supposedly some American Indian earthworks.  The gate was locked and I could only manage a picture from between the chain links of the surrounding fence.

I looked into it later and apparently one can enter by obtaining a permit from the University for a fee.  Maybe some other time.

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Would AAA be able to find me here?

I was driving through a rural road in the Nantahala National Forest in Jackson County, North Carolina.  I made a wrong turn (or two) and here is what I was presented with.

I wonder if the usage of branches and sticks is a technique taught in engineering school.  Needless to say I backed up and turned around and about a half hour later finally got to where I was trying to go in the first place.

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Crowders Mountain State Park

After visiting Kings Mountain Battlefield I had lunch in Kings Mountain, North Carolina and then drove to Crowders Mountain for a hike.  The park is in North Carolina very close to the South Carolina border.  This hike was one of the more challenging hikes I’ve done in a while.  There are 2 peaks in the park.  Crowders Mountain peaks out at 1625 feet and Kings Pinnacle at 1690 feet.  While this is not a high elevation it is about 800 feet above the surrounding area.  So I can be (somewhat) forgiven for being out of breath when I got to the top of Crowders Mountain. Hiking up to Kings Pinnacle was a little easier.  The climb is a little more gradual than Crowders Mountain and I think my second wind was kicking in.

Kings Mountain National Military Park

Located in South Carolina just south of  the North Carolina border and about 30 miles west of Charlotte a Revolutionary War battle between the Patriots and the Loyalists was fought on October 7, 1780.  In other words, it was Americans vs. Americans.


The Loyalists were commanded by British Major Patrick Ferguson who recriuited the band of Carolinian Loyalists.  He was actually the only British officer involved.  He died in the battle which was won by the Patriots.

This battle reminds me that the Revolutionary war was not just the colonists vs. the British.  There were those who liked the status quo and would’ve preferred to remain a subject of Great Britain.

The park features a visitors center, several stone monuments including one commemorating a speech given by President Herbert Hoover on the 150th anniversary of the battle.

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Colonel Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum

This is where it all began.  Along the once heavily traveled Dixie Highway (US-25) Colonel Sanders created his famous recipe at this location.  The recipe was a hit and he went out on the road and sold his batter to other restaurants.

There is a small museum inside the restaurant.  Or should I say there is a restaurant inside the museum?  It is actually a fully operating KFC restaurant.   I understand that this is not the original KFC however.  I guess the first restaurant officially branded as Kentucky Fried Chicken is in Utah.  It’s good to see this preserved.  Wendy’s closed their original location in Columbus, Ohio a few years ago.  Not many people know that Dave Thomas operated a number of KFC restaurants and worked closely with Sanders prior to starting Wendy’s.  Thomas talks about his relationship with Sanders (not always smooth) in his book Dave’s Way, which I feel is one of the best business books ever written.

I had a meal of original fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.  I would’ve liked it so much better if I could’ve had it with a real fork and plate like Colonel Sanders would’ve served it on.  Sporks have to be one of the worst inventions of all time.