|Saturday was a beautiful day in the Valley…. The setting is just as pretty as it sounds…. We are surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest and are nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains…. What could be nicer?
We went for a ride on some of the Scenic Highway routes…. The first one is Kentucky’s National Scenic Highway 25.… This highway used to be the main road North and South through Kentucky until I-75 came thru… In fact, it was the route that people used to take all the way to Florida and was called the “Dixie Highway”…… We took it north to the town of Berea…. Berea is a neat little collage town and is known for it’s many art shops and gallery‘s..… Yesterday just happened to be the day that they were having their International Festival…… They had music, food and art from all over the world…
We stopped first at the visitors center which is in the old train depot (don’t you just love those old depots?) to make sure that we didn’t miss anything and then walked around “Old Town” to many of the shops before we made our way over to the park that the festival was held…..I can’t say that it was one of our favorite festivals but for a small town, it was interesting and they sure had a nice turnout from the locals….One of our favorite was the American Indian section where they had brought in a buffalo and had pony rides for the kids…. At first we feared that they were giving buffalo rides and that scared us but they have too much respect for the buffalo to do that…. They can be very unpredictable. I also had a lesson in the first car seat.….. I’m sure that you all have seen the Indian Mothers with their babies strapped to their back but what I didn’t know was that they were also strapped at the head and if danger ever came their way the moms could toss the entire carriage to another person without harm to the papoose…. I don’t think today’s car seats are even that secure……
When we walked back to our truck we noticed a music store…… It didn’t take us long to cross the road and check it out…..What a neat place…. We found all kinds of really old instruments including a Gibson guitar from the 40’s in excellent shape that Bill would have given his eye teeth for…The owners were two of the nicest people and took a lot of time to talk to us and show us many things that they have amassed…… One man was about the same age as my son, Randy and all I could think of was that Randy would love to see this…. Randy had a music store in Duluth and his own Bluegrass Band…. He had access to many old instruments but some of these that we saw were from the back hills that he would have never seen before…. I just have to get him to come to Kentucky…. He would have a ball…After buying some new guitar strings we moved on to the Collage Square where we were told that the Boone Tavern and Hotel had just reopened after renovation and was a great place for lunch…. On the way we came upon some of the most beautiful trees that we have ever seen in bloom…. Some were bright red and some were orange…. Now I know we have seen the name of these before but for the life of me, I can‘t remember what it is…
We arrived at the Square and found the Boone Tavern only to be told that is was open by invitation only..….Seems that they were having their Grand Opening Celebration and the Board of Directors were getting the tour….. We did go through the hotel and use their bathroom facilities but took our business elsewhere for lunch….. We lucked out and found a really nice café just a couple of doors away… It was filled with collage students so you know that it had to be good and reasonably priced…. I had one of the best quiches that I have ever tasted….
We took more back roads on our way home through some beautiful farm country where it looked like the tobacco was already planted and several other crops that we were not sure of…. We managed to get ourselves lost and had to rely on the GPS to get us back on track but that is half the fun…..
Next we found a little Museum in the making right up the hill behind our campground… We toured it with it’s founder, Dr. Jerry Hayes…. It is called Brush Arbor and is an Appalachian Pioneer Log Village….. I say that it is still in the making because the founder has many wonderful ideas that he has not yet been able to put in action but I sure would love to come back and see the finished project…. Jerry is a direct descendent of Simon Kenton who is very well known in Kentucky's early days...He has a passion for preserving it’s history…
We got back to Renfro Valley in plenty of time to get ready for the evening shows but we could hear music going on long before the time we had planned on going so we hurried up and got to the entertainment area in time to see several busses of students and adults that were clogging…. Now that was really fun to see…. Some of the students were very young (six or so) and some were teens as well as many adults…. We are not sure if this was a dance class or one of the many dance contests that they have here but we were glad to be part of it…..
The 7:00 show last evening was the Barn Dance Show…. That is the show that started Renfro Valley way back in 1939 …. The show was aired from Chicago every Saturday night and is still going strong…. What a show it was…. We saw and heard some of the best music we have ever had the pleasure of attending…. They had everything from young children dancing, some of the best bluegrass music around , super comedy and just great music…. The place was packed with groups from all over the country….We also stayed for the 9:00 show that was good but not as good as the earlier one or the ones we had seen on Friday in our opinion…… Of course, that is only our opinion… All in all, there isn’t a bad show performed here at Renfro Valley….
Sunday the weather turned sour and we had tornado warnings this morning and tons of rain all day long…. We managed to take a tour of the Kentucky Hall of Fame and enjoyed it immensely… Next we found a Walmart back in Berea and stocked up on bread and milk before coming back to have a wonderful day at home….. I have dinner cooking in the crock pot , the fireplace is on and I have a new Tammy Hoag mystery book…. Need I say more?…………… Later