In April 2017, we were itching to get back on the road to visit our old stomping grounds in Kentucky and go visit interesting places in the Midwest after spending the month of March in San Antonio. Once the Midwest’s mercury rose into the 60’s and 70’s, we pulled up our leveling jacks and boogied up the road northbound.
Our first stop was the Army Corps of Engineers Willow Beach Campground
. Located near the David D.Terry Lock and Dam of the Arkansas River in Willow Beach, Arkansas, Willow Beach Campground has 23 electric and water campsites right on the water. While there are no sewer hookups, there is a convenient dump station right near the gated entrance of the campground. We reserved our spot for a few days to enjoy the beautiful river scenery.
This campground was absolutely amazing! We scored a fantastic campsite with an incredible view and quiet atmosphere. We enjoyed watching the small fishing bass boats going past, waterfoul, campfires and glasses of wine while watching the sun set over the Arkansas River, which I kid you not, literally steps outside our door. It was just what the doctor ordered after a somewhat stressful drive from San Antonio. Once we got set up, it was nice not having to run our AC. It made for some great open-window sleeping weather.
The next day, leaving Liberty sleeping in her site , we day-tripped over to Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park ( blog soon!). We learned about the inhabitants and geology of the area.
After a few days of this great camping op, it was time to get back on the road and head for the Bluegrass State where our journey began three years ago almost to the day.
Our Kentucky stop had soulful purpose; taking care of some business, visiting old friends and former neighbors. We parked on a very quiet private farm lot. Every morning, we were treated to a Marlin Perkins ‘Wild Kingdom’ show. Our new friend ‘Tom Turkey’ graced us with his presence, fanning and parading himself to us and a couple disinterested hens right outside our door. Krissie and Kandi surely enjoyed watching them out our back window.
A couple days after arriving, Dan rented a car to drive to his mom’s home in Pennsylvania while I stayed behind to take care of our nomad cats and enjoy some of the Kentucky Derby festivities with friends. Since it was ‘Derby Week’, I attended some Derby Parties to watch the ‘fastest two minutes in sports’. As always, it was awesome to throw a few back of Kentucky’s best (bourbon) and eat some Derby Pie with some of my best Kentucky belles and buddies.
Once Dan returned, we had some fellow RV nomads, Camille and Bryce of MoreThanAWheelin
and Timily (Tim and Emily) of Ownlessdomore
stop in for a few days (at separate times). Though their visits were short, we still got to enjoy a little time with them.
Our first day trip destination was Frankfort; home to Colonel Albert Blanton (Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery) and Johnny Depp.
Since the weather was simply outstanding with clear skies and bright sunshine, we decided it was perfect to walk a portion of old Main Street and to the old State House.
Before leaving for Lexington, we enjoyed a charming lunch at B’s Bakery
. After lunch, we drove a short distance to Woodford Reserve Distillery.
If you’ve never been to Woodford Reserve Distillery, we highly recommend putting this one high on your bucket list because its location and the drive getting there is absolutely remarkable. It’s picture perfect road leading to the distillery was lined with tall, fully-leafed oaks and pristine black-tar fenced horse farms. Everything was so green and springtime new. It was hard to miss seeing the fillies and colts out with the mares in the bluegrass pastures testing their wobbly legs. It’s one of the things that draws us to love Kentucky.
Once we got to Woodford Reserve, we didn’t go on the paid tour (we’ve been on several bourbon distillery tours before) however, we did walk the grounds, see the product, learn about their distillery history and visit their gift shop…and yes, I did get a damn t-shirt!
In the next days after, we were invited to our old neighborhood friends’ home for cocktails and dinners which we always took them up on to share some good stories, grog and grub.
We got a couple days where we got in some riding our XT225’s. Since there are no single track woodsy trails in that area, we settled for some back roads around Taylorsville Lake. We took lots of photos of old barns, abandoned tractors and fields of flowers.
We took a field trip up to Oldham County to spend the day with Tobacco Barn Craftsman
, we learned how Matt turned old tobacco laths into beautiful pieces of wall art. You can read our blog about our visit in the link above. After watching him create this piece, he gifted us his #1 of his “United States Series”. We were moved by his generosity and pride of his artistic creations.
Our last must-do before leaving Taylorsville was to take Krissie and Kandi to see Dr. Shelley at Elk Creek Animal Hospital
for their annual well-baby checks and immunizations. Krissie wasn’t so nice to him this time and Kandi…well, Kandi was just her sweet self. Neither are keen about being forced into their cat carriers but we gotta do what we gotta do.
Our month-long visit in bourbon country flew by fast. Before we knew, it was time to pull up Liberty’s jacks again and point our compass north to Goshen, Indiana for the Heartland Owner’s Club North American Rally.
Kentucky will always have a place in our hearts that we can call our ‘home away from our home on wheels’ because where we started our journey. We always look forward to our annual visit to see our Kentucky friends, play the ponies, enjoy some of Kentucky’s finest bourbon and to tame our unbridled spirits.