Do you have a bucket list?
No, we’re not talking about the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman (though that is a fine flick). We’re not even talking about that Buried Life show on MTV (though it’s pretty awesome, too).
We’re talking about a list of things you have – either in your mind or on paper – that you want to do before you die. Wow, that sounds morbid. Let us rephrase. Do you have a list of things you want to make sure you do in your life? Things you want to see? Places you want to visit? Food you want to try? If you don’t have one, maybe it’s something to think about.
Before he died, Kentucky historian Dr. Thomas Clark was asked by a friend of his (former Lexington Herald-Leader photographer David Stephenson) to make a list of his Kentucky Treasures – 10 places every Kentuckian should visit. Clark died before he’d completed his list but his widow Loretta found a type-written list of 11 places in her husbands things. It may or may not have been his final draft. You can find that list here, along with an audio program about Clark and his Kentucky Treasures done by KET.
Last week, the Lexington Herald-Leader put together a “Kentucky Bucket List” of 50 things in the state you should see, taste or do before you die … or maybe even before the summer ends. There are a lot of great things on the list, a few of which we’ve already checked off of our Old Kentucky Road Trip list (Mammoth Cave, Wigwam Village … and we may or may not have had a run in once upon a time with some moonshine, which we are not at liberty to discuss), so we thought we’d pass it along to all of you travelers.
And in the spirit of this state bucket list, we decided to make one of our own. A few personal things we’d like to see and do in Kentucky in our lifetimes. (The out of KY list is much longer, I’m afraid).
Cameron & Blair’s Kentucky (Road Trip) Bucket List
1. See a moon bow at Cumberland Falls. Only at night during a full moon can you see this phenomenon, not found anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere.
2. See the Mississippi River at the very tip of Western Kentucky.
3. Visit a coal mine.
4. Spend a day in silence at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Nelson County.
5. See the New Madrid fault.
6. Visit Fort Knox.
7. Travel the length of Kentucky Highway 68 from Maysville to Paducah as it weaves its way through dozens and dozens of Kentucky’s most interesting towns. (It’ll take you past the Jefferson Davis monument too).
8. Attend some of Kentucky’s great food festivals. Tater Days? The Country Ham Festival? Yes, please.
The Kentucky Bucket List
**Now Updated** with Reader Favorites!
(and featuring MOKRT)
For more information on each bucket list entry, head over to the Herald-Leader.
1. Visit Mammoth Cave (check!)
2. Dip a bourbon bottle into that famous red wax at Maker’s Mark in Loretto
3. Take a sip at all the distilleries on the Bourbon Trail
4. Watch Harlan County U.S.A.
5. Read the works of Wendell Berry
6. Visit the Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin
7. Own a piece of work by a Kentucky craftsman
Read the rest after the jump!
8. Read Louisville native Hunter S. Thompson’s seminal article “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved”
9. Visit the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown
10. Talk to Freddie Farm Bureau at the Kentucky State Fair
11. Walk over Natural Bridge, near Slade
12. Ogle the natural beauty at Red River Gorge
13. Take a hike at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill
14. Stand outside the gold depository at Fort Knox
15. Grab a country ham sandwich
16. Listen to the trickle of the Sinking Spring at Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace near Hodgensville
17. Visit the Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington
18. Measure your stride against that of the great (giant) horse Man O’ War
19. Bring roses to Funny Cide
20. Eat a hot Brown at Louisville’s Brown Hotel
21. Attend one of the multitudes of bluegrass festivals across the state
22. Visit the state Capitol building in Frankfort
23. Read Harriette Arnow’s The Dollmaker
24. Visit Cane Ridge Meeting House outside Paris
25. Tour the Corvette Museum and Corvette plant in Bowling Green
26. Visit the Toyota plant in Georgetown
27. Eat a tomato still warm from the sun
28. Attend the Garrard County Tobacco Cutting Contest
29. Find a fence row and pick some blackberries
30. Eat a slice or two – or three – of historic “transparent” pie at Magee’s Bakery in Maysville
31. Have a taste of the state’s regional sodas
32. Attend the Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County
33. Watch the sun rise from Pinnacle Overlook
34. Watch the sun set over the Mississippi
35. Visit the Tri-Cities area – Cumberland, Benham and Lynch – for a look into the storied past of the underground coal industry
36. Read All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (Warren was a native of Guthrie)
37. Take your picture by the signs that mark some of Kentucky’s more oddly named places (Like Black Gnat, Monkey’s Eyebrow, Rabbit Hash and Peasticks)
38. Visit Letcher County’s Lilley Cornett Woods
39. Memorize all of the versus to our state song
40. Take a self-guided West Kentucky barbecue tour
41. Put your name on a bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
42. Drink moonshine
43. Ride a horse
44. Go hiking or rafting in gorgeous Breaks Interstate Park
45. Stay in Wigwam Village in Cave City (check!)
46. Explore Kentucky’s Amish and Mennonite communities
47. Get out on Lake Cumberland
48. Drive Eastern Kentucky’s U.S. 23, aka the Country Music Highway
49. Meditate of life (and death) at Lexington Cemetery
50. Walk on the land once owned by Henry Clay
Source: The Lexington Herald-Leader, Friday June 17, 2011
All photos by Elliott Hess, www.elliotthess.com, for My Old Kentucky Road Trip