|Very good drive to Bardstown except the rear view monitor went out as we were driving along. Called Winnnebago after arriving at the White Acres Campgound. They are to send a new monitor to us when we arrive in Bowling Green.
Thursday, 27th, we took a guided tour of the historic town via trolley. The trolley then took us to a visitor center of the Heaven Hill Distilleries. This area of Kentucky is known for the production of Bourbon. The area corn, wheat and spring water though the limestone rocks is the proper ingredients they need for good production. We then looked around town some more on our own.
Friday, 28th, we went back to the Heaven Hill Distilleries and I took the tour through the "rickhouse". Rickhouses are the buildings that they store barrels in for aging.
The barrels must be made of white oak and be flamed charred inside. They store them for a minimum of 7 years and up to 16 years. This process turns the alcohol into bourbon. They have 40 rickhouses at this location
and many others throughout the area. Most of them are 7 stories high and they can store hundreds of barrels per level. None of the buildings are heated or cooled. When they finally tap the cork on the barrel it may only be two-thirds to half full but will be about 150-160 proof. It is then watered down to about 90 proof when bottled.
Saturday, 29th, we drove to a little town of Loretto, which is about 30 miles from Bardstown. There, I took another tour at Maker's Mark Distillery,
a smaller distillery than Heaven Hill. This one showed more of the details of mixing the grains, put them in large vats to start the fermentation process. It was interesting to see these large vats made of cypress wood, 12 feet deep, full of what looked like oatmeal. The addition of yeast caused them to churn and bubble without having to be stirred by any machine. After 3 days that mash is run through a distiller which forms the alcohol. This is then put in the barrels. We were then shown the bottling machines, which were not working because it was Saturday. Since they are a smaller distillery, they hand dip each bottle lid in wax to seal. Of course, at the gift shop you can buy a bottle of bourbon and then hand dip it for a souvenir. We declined to do that. Don't know what we would do with a bottle of bourbon. So ends our lesson about bourbon. We then drove over to another small town about 10 miles away, New Haven, to visit the Kentucky Railway Museum. They have a small museum, a building full of varies model layouts and a train ride. We were not overly impressed with each. The train ride was about a 20 minute ride to the town of Boston, the engine was then moved to the other end of the train and returned to New Haven.
The 4 passenger cars were built in the 1930's and were in good condition but needed cleaning. Their steam engine was out of service because they were repairing the front truck. They had many other cars but they were behind a fence. The museum had a few things of interest but it was small. The layout building had about 8 different layouts, two of them under construction. All of them were dusty and very dimly lit.
Sunday, 30th, rainy day. Our first day of rain since we started, so caught up on some reading and this archive. We have had great weather up until today. It has been cool and nice.
Monday, May 1st. We visited the birthplace of Abe Lincoln, which is a National Historic Site.
A granite and marble memorial holds a replica of Abe's birth log cabin. There are 57 steps, which lead up to the memorial which represent his 57 years of life. A spring in a sink hole was their water source and it is still flowing today. Two years after his birth the family moved about 10 miles northeast of there. We also visited that location, which has another log cabin to represent his next 4 years of his life. The family then moved to Indiana.