Saturday, August 22, 2015

London KY

Monday (Aug 17):

We packed up everything in the Duchess and make the move down I-75 to London Kentucky. We had called Monday morning and make a reservation for the week at the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park.
The trip was about 90 miles and it took us about two (2) hours to make the journey. Once we got to the campground at the State Park the office gave us a choice of several sites. We took the one that was the most level (D-2), backed the Duchess into the site and got set up for the week. As we finished getting everything connected outside it started raining.

Our site in Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park
View of campground from our site
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Aug 18-20);

Nothing much to report for these days. It rained off and on for each of these three days and we were stuck inside for most of the time. We did get out and walk around the campground when it was not raining. We also went into London KY and did our grocery shopping, picked up some light bulbs & water filters for The Duchess and visited a couple of other shops to see if we could find Connie a particular type of shoe (no luck with this).

On Thursday we took a drive over to Corbin KY which is about 13 miles south of London. London and Laurel county are "dry" and we wanted to purchase some box wine to have on hand. We found a store in Corbin that had decent prices on wine and purchased a Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel which we have not tried before. 

Corbin KY in the town that Colonel Sanders (Harland Sanders) started making what became Kentucky Fried Chicken. He started out with a Pure Oil station that sold gasoline and then added a restaurant and motor court (which is what they called motels in that era). His restaurant first became well known for it's breakfasts and only later added fried chicken.

Recreated restaurant kitchen from Colonel Sanders' Cafe

Small museum dedicated to Harland Sanders

Artist's painting of Colonel's original location
He became very successful but when the interstate highway bypassed Corbin his business suffered and he ended up having to sell the property to settle his debts. The buildings ended up being torn down a few years later. At age 65 he started a new business with only $105 (the legend goes) by going to restaurants in Kentucky and selling them his "secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices" for Kentucky Fried Chicken. He later started franchising the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and in the mid-1960's sold out to a group of Kentucky businessmen for $2 million dollars. He remained a spokesman for KFC during the rest of his life. In Corbin there is a KFC that houses a small museum dedicated to Colonel Harland Sanders and his life and businesses.
Sanders Cafe is really a KFC location
Connie sitting with the Colonel
As we drove back to the campground it started to rain again.

Friday (Aug 21):

Connie and I have continued to practice our 30 days of Yoga. Today was Day 7 for us. After we ate breakfast, we went for a walk in the park. We stopped by a replica of some old log buildings along one of the trails in the park.

Connie front of a log cabin with a dog trot

Mike in front of a smaller log cabin
We also stopped where a number of white settlers were killed by Native Americas at a location with-in the park.

Plaque about the "massacre"

Grave sites from the 1780's of the victims
There is a story that three individuals survived the massacre one of which was a woman who was pregnant. She is said (in the story) to later have given birth inside of a hollow tree near this location. There is suppose to be a plaque at the location of the hollow tree but we did not see it.

From there we walked to a mill that is located in the park. The mill has been around for a long time and it still being used today to make corn meal.

Connie with mill in background

McHargue's Mill

Mill stones that had been used in the grinding of corn and wheat

Connie in front of the mill

Man made water fall to power the mill

Turbine that uses water to turn the mill
We met Bob a volunteer who runs the mill for several hours each week. He told us the history of the mill and we were lucky enough that he was going to be doing some grinding today. The original mill would grind both corn and wheat at the same time and in the winter it would be used as a lumber mill. None of the lumber making equipment has survived. Bob told us that there was a movie filmed at this location in 1955 starring Burt Lancaster called The Kentuckian. The mill and surround water was used in several scenes in the movie (it was also the first movie that Walter Matthau starred in). We ended up going back later and purchased one of the bags of corn meal that was ground in this mill by Bob.

From there we walked over to a 1/2 mile section of The Wilderness Trail that runs through the park. This was the trail used by Daniel Boone and others from 1775 to 1795 to bring settlers from North Carolina to Kentucky. We talked about walking on the same trail as Daniel Boone did 230 years ago.


Mike at entrance to trail. Plaque was placed there by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Connie along the Wilderness Trail

Mike following along
After lunch at the campground we decided to visit the Camp Wildcat Civil War Battlefield. The information we read on-line said it was off the beaten path which was an understatement. The site is located about 3.5 miles off of the paved road on what looks like a logging trail that has been improved. We were glad to be in the Jeep although we never had to put it in 4 wheel drive.

View of road to battlefield site
We stopped a took a picture of a plaque showing where the Confederate troops camped at the bottom of the hill before the battle started.



At the top of the hill we found the battlefield site.
Mike at the entrance

Our attempt at a "selfie"
We read the information at the covered pavilion located at the end of the parking area and then proceeded to walk the trail up to where the battle took place.

Pavilion with general information about the battle

Connie pointing the way "up" the hill

The union troops hauled several cannon up the hill. Parts of the hill was so steep
that it took nearly a hundred men to pull the cannon up the hill.
This was the first battle of the Civil War that was fought in Kentucky. It resulted in a Union victory since they held the higher ground and repulsed several Confederate advances. As was the case in many battles during the Civil War, more soldiers died from disease than from actual battlefield wounds. An interesting story from this battle: Samuel P. Carter who was in the Navy at the beginning of the Civil War joined a group of volunteers in the Union army that fought in this battle and later became a general during the war. After the war was over, he returned to the navy and at the end of his career became an admiral. He is the only American to hold both the rank of a General in the Army and an Admiral in the Navy during his lifetime.

We then returned back to London and ate dinner at the Heavenly Pizza Place on Main Street. We had their buffet and as usual with buffets we both ate too much.