Good Evening Camp Courageous,
The travel group is on the road again! This time to Louisville, KY! We started off our trip this morning at 7am at Camp where we met Katie Stephan from Dubuque and Bartek Waclawik from Madison, WI. We then had check-ins in Marion, where we picked up Staci Howell; then we were off to Coralville to meet Scott Suchomel, Michael Cannon, Hayley Musser, and Sara Rugg. We also had a surprise visiter! Former counselor Mallory Pettengill, surprised us at the McDonalds. It was great to see her. Our final pick-up was in Walcott at the I-80 Truck stop. We checked in Doug Case, Lisa Boenitz, Chad Driscoll, and Randy Farmer. All the travelers were very excited about the trip and ready to explore Louisville.
We had a good drive. Very sunny, but a little windy. We had lunch at Culver’s, which was very delicious. We continued our drive and made good time to Louisville. We ate dinner at Old Chicago once we got to Louisville and then made our way to the Hotel.
It was a great day and all the travelers are super excited to be here. They are now resting and waiting for the fun to continue tomorrow morning!
Good Evening Camp Courageous,
Good Evening Camp Courageous,
The travel group was at it again today, traveling to new places. This time we visited the Muhammad Ali Center and Windy Meadows Farm.
The Muhammad Ali Center was the first attraction this morning. If you know who Muhammad Ali is or you don’t know who he is, come to his center and you will know who he was in a matter of two hours. The center was outstanding. There were so much literature and videos about Muhammad Ali’s life. He was a very inspirational man, that changed a lot of peoples views in this country in the heart of the Civil War. The Travelers really enjoyed the entertainment this center provided, it really kept all of my travelers entertained. Out of many of the hands on items, Traveler Randy Farmer, really enjoyed the recording booth, where he had a chance to tell his inspirational story and share it with the center. Travelers Doug Case and Michael Cannon really enjoyed hitting the punching bag and speed bag. It was great having so much to do, we could have easily spent more than two hours at this museum. But we ran out of time and needed to make our way to La Grange, KY.
La Grange is only about 20 minutes from Louisville, it was so worth the drive. We had lunch at DQ and then made our way to Windy Meadows Farm. This Farm houses a ton of retired and rescued horses. Ellie is the owner of the horse farm and was excited to show us around. Travelers Sara Rugg, Stacy Howell and many of the other travelers loved seeing all the horses. The farm even had a ton of dogs. The travelers sure love dogs! Ellie took us on a tour of her farm and showed us all the different breeds that she had. Her team still does some horse shows and they have a last minute emergency squad. Where they rescue horses if they were abandon or neglected. She said there is usually one per year. We had a great tour of the grounds, with lots of information of how much work it takes to care for horses and making sure they get all they need. After the tour, Ellie answered our final questions and sent us off.
After our tour we made our way to downtown La Grange, where we had a chance to do a little shopping. We first stopped at the Visitors Center, used the restrooms, talked for a few minutes and made our way shopping. A fun tid bit about this little town there are train tracks going right through Main St. They have roughly 30 trains that go through the town, and if you wanted to be eye to eye with the conductor, anybody can head up to a platform, to see the train at a different angle. It was great to see two of the trains that went through this town.
Once we were down shopping and after meeting some great people. We made our way to Big R’s and Shannon BBQ Restaurant. After dinner, we then made our way to the hotel, so we could get some rest for tomorrow. it was a great day in sunny Kentucky and we are so happy that we got to experience the Ali Center and Windy Meadows Farm. Stay tuned to all the fun we are going to have tomorrow, while we explore more of Louisville.
Good Evening Camp Courageous,
The travel group had a great fourth day in Louisville Kentucky. We had a number of things we did today, we took a walking tour in downtown Louisville, we had a dinner and show experience, and we came out to Churchill Downs to join in on the fun of the races.
Our first stop of the day was a walking tour of the city! We made our way downtown to the Visitor Center where we met our tour guide, Patty. Patty took us on an 1 /2 hour tour of the city. Along the way she told us some fun facts about Louisville. Did you know that Louisville is the 14th largest city in the country? The city merged with the county so that’s why it’s so big. Patty also pointed the way to “Bourbon Row”. Louisville has been home to quite a few distilleries! There were 50 different distilleries by 1950! Patty also told us that 95% of the bourbon exports comes from Louisville!
Patty also pointed out the different types of architecture. In the 1970s there was an architect that had the motto “less is more” so he designed buildings made out of only steel and glass. In the 1980s another architect had the opposite motto, so right next door to the simple buildings are buildings with lots of different features.
Next up we made our way down to the riverfront. The Ohio River runs through Louisville. This river is pretty wide so when it floods watch out! The city is actually built of a flood plate so a lot of the water will run under the city first. The worst flood in Louisville happened in 1937. Patty told us that if you were all the way down at the finish line of the race track that the water would have been up to your knees!!
Patty also quizzed us on some history facts and Traveler, Staci Howell knew a lot of the answers! The Travelers really enjoyed the beautiful weather and exploring more of the city. After the tour, we made our way back to the visitor center to shop!!
Our Second activity we did today was heading into Indiana to watch a show and have lunch at the Derby theater. When we arrived we had food waiting for us at our spots and our drinks ready for us, so we could have a delicious meal. An hour later the show started and we watched the performance Empty Nest. This show was a comedy about two parents enjoying their time with the kids long gone outside of the house, finally! But they weren’t alone for very long, soon the kids started to return and ended up coming back. It was a great performance and there was a lot of funny jokes and moments that really made us laugh. Traveler Scott laughed the entire time along with the rest of the travelers. If you ever hear about this performance called, Empty Nest, I suggest going out and watching this show, it will be worth our time.
Before we knew it; it was time for our last adventure of the day. So after the show we made our way to Churchhill Downs! Before we did that the staff surprised the travelers with fun dress up hats. Since the tradition is if you come to Churchill Downs and go to a race, you have to wear nice hats. When we arrived we took pictures of us with their great hats and then made our way to millionaire row, where we felt like millionaires! We had two tables surrounded by a buffet, TVs everywhere, and lots of people getting ready to watch the races, the horse races that is! We had a delicious meal and some delicious cookies and brownies. And the horse races started at 5 PM on the dot with the trumpet blowing. This was done when there is seven minutes until race time. Before each race the trumpet is sounded so the horses and Jockeys could get ready. We cheered on our favorite horse on each race. Sometimes our horses won and sometimes they didn’t but it was exciting to experience this live! The travelers really did have a great time experiencing this sport. Traveler Katy Stephan had such a great time her and traveler Randy farmer were loud and proud cheering on their favorite horse. Traveler Michael Cannon enjoyed looking at all the horses and picking out his favorite horse. The favorite horses included, Zander Zone, who won 1st in the 3 round, Hollywood Star won in the 4th round and the last race Sister Blues won 1st. Traveler Stacey Howell won 3 times! She gave those horses some great luck!
Headed back to the hotel now resting for our last day in Louisville Kentucky. Thank goodness you all are safe from the storms.
Good Evening Camp Courageous,
We first started off at the Slugger Museum. It is such a fun place to visit. When we got their we made our way to there new Lego exhibit. This exhibit had the replaces, built by legos, of a number of baseball stadiums. The Miller Field (brewers), Cincinnati Reds, and of course yours truly the World Series Champs, the Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field. These stadiums were awesome! If you remember our blog from the Brewers game, we mentioned about the retractable roof, well in this exhibit they created the stadium where the roof actually opens and closes! It is pretty cool. After the exhibit, we sat and watched a 20 minute video about the slugger museum and the great baseball players that used them, including Derek Jeter.
Once we were done watching the film, we began our tour the factory. Did you know that 40,000 of Northern White ash and maple trees are used to supply the slugger baseball bats. Over 1.8 million wooden bats leave the factory including the free mini bats we get after the tour. THAT IS A LOT OF TREES!! But it was a good tour. We learned a lot about how they make the bats and how they form the bats. We couldn’t take any pictures or video, but it was great watching some of the bats being made.
Before we knew it, it was time to head to the museum. This museum has a lot of history about the players who used slugger bats and the history of when they started. The travelers even had a chance to hold up some famous players bats and take pictures from the dugout. It was a fun experience. After we visited the museum, we shopped and then made our way to lunch at Arby’s.
After lunch, we made our way to The Mega Caverns. Here we had a chance to take a tram tour of the Caverns. It was 58 degrees and it felt awesome! Since the temperature outside was 90 degrees. Our bus was escorted into the Caverns and had a chance to park inside the Cavern. This place was HUGE!! One of the biggest in the nation. It use to be a Limestone Mine, the first dig started in 1939. Now it serves as the Largest Organic Recycling facility in KY. They have 18 businesses working out of the Cavern. There are storage companies (vehicles and storage containers), one company pumps out 50,000 gallons of water a day from it’s aquifer, and the last business is worm poop! That’s right Mr. U, worm poop is sold for $40 a pound!
We found out all this information on our tram tour. We started the tour around 2pm and it was a good 1 and half tour. The jeep pulled the two trailers that held all the people and took us around the caverns giving us the history of the Caverns. They showed us the different formations of the Caverns, and had different signs of where we were in the Cavern and what was above us; for example, the Highway was in one location and the Zoo was in another. This place was huge and we didn’t even visit all the places. Some places are closed off to the public and the employees. This Cavern is home to a climbing activity, a zip-line, and biking. They even had a gift shop. The tram ride was pretty cool and we learned so much about the history of the Caverns. Did you know that this Cavern was being prepared for the Missile Crises in the 1960s, they were getting beds ready, for people to live up to five years, if something would have happened. The tram guide took us through this as well. Over all it was a great tour. One favorite story we learned about was the “Legend of Falling Rock.” It is a fantastic story, and the only way I am going to share it with you, is to visit the Travel Blog and read the story. It is posted at the bottom of the blog.
After our visit, we made our way to our last sit down dinner for the week. At Cardinal Cafe. It was delicious. We then made it back to our hotel early, so we could get some rest. Tomorrow we head back to Iowa. We have drop offs in Walcott, Coralville, Marion, and at Camp Courageous. A HUGE THANK YOU to all the travelers, you all are responsible for these trips, so thank you for attending. A special thank you to Dani Carter and Stacey Patterson. It was great having you on the trip, volunteering your week to be with our travelers.
Tonight we also had two special guests show up to say hi! Former counselors Kegan and Rachel Kegley. It was great to see these two and catch up! Thanks for coming by!
The Travel Team