West Baden Springs Indiana

West Baden Springs Indiana
Inside of the AMAZING West Baden Springs Resort in Indiana.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Calhoun Kentucky

Just a few pictures from Calhoun Kentucky, a nice little place.

I find myself going through Calhoun on my way to other places a lot, but it is always a treat to get a burger at Jays.

I love the Green River too.  It always makes me think of John Prine songs.  It is still pretty, but I saw several large items that had been dumped in it.  My dad says he once saw a fish in the Green River that he thought was a car at first.  There are some big fish in there!

I remember my dad buying the family's first VCR player in Calhoun.  Dad knew the guy running the shop, and talked him in to throwing in about 4 blank tapes on the deal (a huge bonus at the time).

We would rent movies at the theater/movie rental place in town.  I remember being young, and going to see kids movies at the small theater.  I think it was 50 cents or you could get in for free with 6 RC bottle caps.  That was in the 80s I think.  Anybody else remember doing that?

We had friends that worked for the local chiropractor, Dr. Strange.  He was in business for what seemed like forever.  He was always a great guy too!

Calhoun would be a great area to settle down in.  You have access to Owensboro, Madisonville, Greenville, etc. but it is still far enough away to keep its own identity.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Forgotten Historic Sites and the War of 1812

Check out the link to a great article by Lara Lutz.


Lara has written a very interesting article on sites relating to the War of 1812.  She takes a tour of a specific battle area that is not exactly well preserved.  It is still there and all, but the markers are obstructed..... and there is a Wal-Mart.

It sounds like efforts are being made to improve the sites, and there are folks around trying to preserve and remember what they can.

In my travels, I have found similarly hidden and forgotten sites.  As someone who likes to have a small souvenir of a visit to a historic place, I might make a visit to the Wal-Mart part of the trip.  A receipt, or a candy bar wrapper might be in my scrap book next to a postcard or magazine article about the place.  I have visited several historic and interesting locations where a mall, a post office and a general store now stand.  I am sure there are more that I can't think of right now.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Random Thoughts on Friday

You know I love music.  I especially love the independent regional acts.  The ones that you are lucky enough to catch in a park, or at a coffee house during a road trip- I really love these guys.

I had an experience recently though that was pretty negative. 

We saw this group on the road a couple of years ago and loved them.  I bought their cd.  I liked them on facebook.

THEN, I got messages all the time.  Literally, at least one daily about their new album, their tour, etc.  It became VERY annoying.  We were getting more messages about their upcoming album than messages from our friends.

As much as I love independent music, AND supporting the lesser known artists, we had to unlike them.  It felt wrong, we felt bad, but we had to.

The sad part about it is that I really love their albums (we own all of them except for their latest).  I would count one of their cds as an all time favorite.

It has poisoned our memory a bit on the music too.  Instead of thinking about a happy time of seeing this band in concert, their music will always make us think of an excessive amount of facebook spam.

I am reminded of the Tenacious D episode, where they try to give a fan the ultimate experience, and they end up stalking (and annoying) the fan.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kelly Little Green Men Festival

This past weekend the very cool town of Kelly hosted their "Little Green Men Days" Festival.  I was very happy to realize that I would be in the area for the opening day!

This event is very family friendly.  In fact, they started things off with the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of The Star Spangled Banner, and a prayer.  Gospel singing seemed to be a big part of the festivities too.  In fact, any festival goer could sing during the gospel open mic.

I wasn't at the event on Saturday, but I know local country performer Marty Brown played in the evening, and the alien/UFO influenced band Crashland also played.

I was really excited about meeting Geraldine Sutton Stith at the event.  I had read her book, "Alien Legacy" about her father's confrontation in 1955 with the aliens.  She was extremely polite and happy to talk about the incident, Kelly, etc.  She did about a 30 minute presentation on the Kelly-Hopkins Encounter.

If you are not familiar with the Encounter, I will include some links at the bottom of the page.  In a nutshell, a home was reportedly attacked by small goblin creatures.  Trust me, it is a much more interesting story than that (read Geraldine's book).

Think about 1955 in VERY rural Kentucky.  You had very limited communication ability..... this is a scary tale!

Luckily, the community has fun with their odd notoriety.

Other than Geraldine's presentation, I didn't notice much mention of UFO, ghosts, or other mysterious critters.

We did notice some interesting military aircraft in the area though!  I am sure that the conspiracy theorists felt that the government was keeping a close eye on things.  The fact that a military base is close by had nothing to do with it.

The festival is in a large field in Kelly.  If you are familiar with the town and the incident you know Kelly is very small.  The home where the attack reportedly occurred is literally right up the road from the festival (though I hear the current home occupents aren't thrilled about people coming by to check things out).  There really isn't much to see there anyway, so visiting this festival in August is the best way to celebrate Kelly.

For those of you who like to take road trips to see locations relating to ghosts, legends and the supernatural, this is a GREAT area.  I have mentioned Hopkinsville here before.  The grave of Edgar Cayce is in town as is the Pennyroyal Area Museum- which has interesting displays on the Kelly Encounter, Mr. Cayce, and other local oddities.

Less than an hour away is Adams Tennessee, home to the legendary Bell Witch- also mentioned on this blog many times.




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Explosions in Indianapolis

Fox 59 in Indianapolis has reported on explosions right downtown.  This is one of my personal favorite downtown areas anywhere, and I hope everyone is OK.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Jeanne Mozier- West Virgnia author and fun character!

I have mentioned West Virginia author Jeanne Mozier here before........  She wrote a book that I love called "Way Out in West Virginia" which is about the best travel guide to a state that I have ever read.

I got a note recently that she appears in a great ArtVoiceWV video.  Check this out if you have a moment, it is short, but very well done!


Also check out the ArtVoice WV site-


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Floyd Collins and Mammoth Cave National Park (Part 2)

 After our cave tour in the morning and a nice lunch, we drove out to Sand Cave to meet Ranger Johnny for the "Sand Cave Almanac Caravan". 
I really like the way that this tour/caravan works out.  You drive your car to Sand Cave, which is not far from the main visitor center.  Once there the Ranger does a nice talk about the cave, and Floyd Collins.  Next, you and the others in the Caravan drive out to Floyd's home, following the ranger.  Lastly, you drive out to Floyd's grave.  It's another free program offered at times at Mammoth Cave.
I do think this one is a bit misnamed.  Sand Cave is one stop on this tour, devoted to the very interesting character, Floyd Collins.
If you are not familiar with Floyd, he was a cave explorer in the area, who died at Sand Cave in February of 1925.  There were various caves and Mammoth Cave entrances at that time, and finding a new one could be very profitable.  In fact, Floyd had one on his property already, but wanted to find another.
So, one day he is exploring and he gets his leg stuck while in Sand Cave (which, from what I understand, is more like a long hole in the ground than an actual cave).  He can't get his leg unstuck.  He will remain stuck for the rest of his life (which is only a couple more weeks at this point).

Friends and family tried to get food to him and help him, but it just didn't work.  The passage to get to him eventually collapsed.  Friends and volunteers worked on digging a shaft to try to get to Floyd but time ran out.

The story of Floyd Collins doesn't come close to ending there.  His body was eventually recovered, buried, put on display, stolen... well, it goes on and on until 1989 when his remains were finally buried in its current location.

Seeing Sand Cave and visiting Floyd's grave site are a real treat.  And, if you are a fan of caving, its a bit of a pilgrimage, but visiting his home is a bit more of a challenge, and I am glad that the National Park allows people the chance to see it.

This is just a great tour.  I would have gladly paid to go on this one it was so good.  Thanks Ranger Johnny and Thanks to Mammoth Cave National Park!

After our tour and spending a complete day at Mammoth Cave, we stopped at Big Mikes for some drinks and headed for home!

If you think the story of Floyd Collins is fascinating, check out the whole story in the book "Trapped!".  I reviewed that book several years ago,  check it out!



Monday, August 4, 2014

Floyd Collins and Mammoth Cave National Park (Part 1)

I do find myself in the Mammoth Cave area a lot these days.

Oddly, this was my first time inside the visitor center since it has been updated!  It looks great by the way.  Here is a link to some more information on the update:


I liked the way it was, but it now has a better flow in general.  There is also a nice museum area in it that is very impressive.

We arrived pretty much when the park and center opened, and we quickly got our tickets.  ON a nice day during the summer, tours do sell out quick!  It is always a good idea to get your tour tickets ahead of time for Mammoth Cave.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if all tours on this day ended up selling out.

We had a great guide on our Domes and Dripstones Tour named Matt.  He covered everything on this tour.  We had fun exploring the cave, and we got a great workout, as 500 steps are involved in this tour.

Its funny, Matt said that on a good summer day, tours sell out (there had to have been over 100 people on our tour).  On a winter day, however, there might be just a few people on a tour.  He said that he has done this same tour with only one person before.

I remembered back in the early 90s.  Me and a pal went to Mammoth Cave on a snowy day.  We did not notice any other visitors there that day.

After our cave tour, we stopped by the Mammoth Cave Hotel for lunch.  This place seems to have improved over the years too.  I had a nice wrap and some potato soup.  This was a nice, fresh meal reasonably priced. 

We stopped by the gift shop at the main visitor center, and at the hotel.  Both have different items.  We found postcards for $.50 at the main center, along with a large selection of books on the cave.  We found cool wooden postcards at the hotel.

Its kind of funny, I am always looking at Amazon, and in other places for new books (or interesting old ones) on Mammoth Cave.  Looking at the available books in the gift shop is part of the fun for me at a park visit.

One thing I don't think people appreciate enough about our National Parks is how readily available rangers are.  There were plenty around on our visit,  and these guys generally know everything.  You can just go up and ask them questions.

AND......  There are a ton of free things to do at the parks.  Mammoth Cave is no exception.  A cave tour does require a ticket (prices are $5 on up) but there are some cool things you can do for free!  So, after lunch, we did a FREE tour focused on Floyd Collins!  See my next post!