Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mammoth Cave Nat'l Pk, Cave City, KY

As mentioned in my previous post we are following our friends, Rob and Jane, up to Kentucky to their ultimate destination of Campbellsville. As you can see from the picture below fall is definitely here!

After spending a few days in Campbellsville we take Rob and Jane's two kids, Robbie and Jordyn, on a trip with us to Singing Hills Campground in Cave City, Kentucky.

Below Jordyn is helping Jeff with the set up of our camper for our three night stay.

The next day we head over to Mammoth Cave National Park which is about 3 miles away.

The kids want to do the Junior Ranger program so they are busy in the picture below filling out their books so they can get their badges. Jeff is supervising of course !

We took the Frozen Niagara Tour and as you can see there were a few stairs to climb to see the formations.

Below are a few pictures of some of the formation we saw at this part of the tour.

This particular cave system is, so far, the longest in the world. So far they have surveyed over 397 miles in the cave. Geologists believe there may be over 600 miles more to explore !

There are over 130 different lifeforms that live in these caves.

See ya down the road !

Fall Creek Falls State Park, Pikeville, TN

We have friends who are going to work for in Kentucky so we are traveling with them now through Tennessee to get there.

On our way we stop at this beautiful state park. I was at this park probably 35 years ago and remembered it to be a great park.

This is a paradise of more than 20,000 acres which are sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau.
The Fall Creek Fall waterfall, which is in the picture below, stands at 256 feet and is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States. There are other waterfalls in the park also.

Jeff and our friends took the hike down to the bottom of the falls as you can see in the picture below.

We took a brief and short hike to Buzzard's Roost and Jeff took this shot below while crossing a tiny rock bridge to the other side.

We later took a short hike to Piney Falls and had to cross this long suspension bridge. I don't do well with heights and of course you know everyone shook the bridge as hard as they could !

After our hikes we sat down for a cozy picture at an overlook and as you can see it was a beautiful fall day.

See ya down the road !

Friday, November 12, 2010

Louisiana - The Plantations

We travel to the outskirts of New Orleans, along the Mississippi River where all the plantation owners had their homes. Today we visit two of these homes.

The first one is called Oak Alley Plantation. This is a Greek Revival mansion with 28 evenly spaced 300 year old live oaks. This mansion was built by a wealthy Creole sugar planter for his young wife. The home was built in 1839.

This is a view from the road.

This is a view when standing on the front porch of the mansion.

This is the front of the mansion.

This is the back of the mansion where the horse drawn carriages would pull up and unload their passengers.

The next plantation is called Laura: A Creole Plantation. This 1804 structure is one of the oldest and largest complexes on River Road.

The picture below is of the front of the home.

The picture below is of the back of the home.

The picture below is of the daughter of the original owners who ultimately ran the plantation by herself as she never married.

This picture is part of the garden. Note that the plant in the center of the picture is inside of a surgar bowl which was used to boil down the plants. What a huge bowl !

The picture below is of the dining room. It was very large, yet really very simple for their life.

Below are some peppers I saw growing out in the garden. Aren't they colorful ?

The picture below is where the slaves/servants lived. It is actually a duplex - two families lived here. One on each side of this very small building.

See ya down the road !

New Orleans, Louisiana

We continue our travels south on I-55 and stop to stay at Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, Louisiana. We want to go into New Orleans so we take the free ferry across the Mississippi into town.

Our means of transporation when in town was to take the bus, and to take the trolley. We bought an all day ticket which got us on the bus and the trolley all day.

Our first stop was at the St. Louis cathedral which is the oldest catholic church in continual use in the United States. This was established as a parish in 1720.

I absolutely love the architecture of the New Orleans buildings and homes. The wrought iron work is beautiful. Most of the French Quarter area looked very well considering Hurricane Katrina visited them about 5 years ago.

While in town this day there was a wedding procession coming down the street.

There are many street performers in the French Quater. Some were tap dancing, some doing mime and then there was this 'silver' guy who was just sort of standing there !

This is some of the nightlife on Bourbon Street. There are lots of 'characters' out at night.

We, of course, had to go to Cafe Du Monde for the beignets and coffee. This business was established in 1862.

Speaking of 'characters' here are two that I recognize who just can't wait to get their little taste buds going on some BIG beers !

Here is the whole group - from left to right - Jeff, Jane, little Robbie, Jody, Jordyn & Rob.
We did all we could do in and around the French Quater and it was an awesome time!

See ya down the road !