Best Bourbon For Old Fashioned Site Www.Reddit.Com Canoeing on Elkhorn Creek

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Canoeing on Elkhorn Creek

Canoeing on the Elkhorn

We arrived in Frankfort, Kentucky late in the evening with rain threatening…again. But we were not disappointed as we were there to canoe the Elkhorn River and had learned on the internet that it was at the “green” level and the water was still coming down. In fact, everything in Kentucky seemed very green and grew greener as we drove south on highway 421. Even the sky had a greenish tint with the coming storm. We walked into the historic old town and saw few people but several interesting shops. Huge and imposing government buildings towered on one side of the historic area and was also devoid of people. We drove around them several times and saw only the occasional car and no fast food chains. Where was the real city we wondered? But we quickly found a restaurant that served great pulled pork barbecue, and luckily the friendly waitress knew where Canoe Kentucky Rental was. I had forgotten my directions in my eagerness to be on the river.

We drove out into the verdant (green) Kentucky countryside on a country road lined with old stone fences for mile after mile. I learned later that we were in the center of the blue grass area. New houses were juxtaposed beside old Southern mansions with their wide lawns and white pillars, and everywhere the corn was as tall as a mastodon’s eye, and the hayfields glowed golden in the rose-colored evening light. (Mastodonts and mammoths can be seen at Big Bone Lick State Park on the way back to Indiana via Highway 127.) The clouds and sun and humidity had conspired to paint a landscape with a patina any artist would envy.

We finally arrived at the small village of Peak’s Mill and saw the old school that had been mentioned in my left directions. There was a full moon so we could make out the Canoe Kentucky rental place next to the road. We had no idea where their primitive campsite was, so we finally parked in the church parking lot and went to inquire at one of the few houses with lights in the windows at 22:00.

We were given excellent directions and none too soon when someone looked out the window of the dark church at our car. Of course, there was a cemetery right next to the church. Another twenty minutes and we were at the campsite. In the moonlight we parked next to some other RVs before I noticed there were no cars around. I thought it must be an RV graveyard and expected to see the ghost of an old camper. When we finally found the RV Park for the living, we showed up in our RV and set our clocks for 7:00 to get to Canoe Kentucky at 9:00 the following morning.

Still Waters RV Park was very nice in the morning light. It was owned by the Strohmeiers and Greta assured me that the ghost campers were just RVs temporarily stored there. The road next to the park was Strohmeier road and the park was a well established park with some regular campers. The grounds were extensive and beautiful and of course very green. The camp is located on the Kentucky River at the mouth of the Elkhorn. A narrow old road leading down to the river, guarded by a stone gate and a gatehouse, said Private Greta. When asked why she said they had led to an old hotel where steamboats from Cincinnati had once stopped. The boats had traveled down the Ohio and up the Kentucky River to get to the hotel. Springs and beautiful rivers and streams like the Elkhorn, with its 200-foot limestone cliffs and white water, were the draw then as now. But now canoeing and kayaking are added attractions.

At nine o’clock we were at Kentucky Canoe Rentals watching the canoe safety video with several other people. We were a little concerned to learn that we were the only ones going on the whitewater section of the creek. We booked a thirteen mile trip that was part whitewater and part lazy river. The guys said that some kayakers had experienced problems at the dam at the Jack Daniels Distillery and repeatedly warned us to get to the side and portage around it. Once we were on the river with both of our dogs, a small white Kishu and a large red Australian Cattle Dog, we felt confident that we could maneuver the canoe in the swift water. The dam soon came into view and we got to the left side and managed to move around it, staying at the edge of the river instead of trying to ride the rapids under the dam. A couple of distillery staff on their break were watching so we wouldn’t mess up.

We soon had plenty of excitement as we came to an S-curved section of rapids. There was no time to plan an attack, and our boat bounced like a toy on the rocks, but the force of the current kept us going in the right direction, despite turning sideways. We are experienced canoe enthusiasts and really enjoyed the challenge of the class II-III rapids. It was easy to see the “V’s” when you got up to the whitewater and the waves were big in many of the chutes. Even in the lazy river section there were some whitewater challenges. The water was clean and inviting and the sun was warm which made swimming enjoyable. The Royalex canoe was a dignified vessel. We did it. We kept to the right as directed by the bridge abutment so we didn’t hit the cement wall and only had one bad encounter with spaghetti filter branches. We stopped at lunchtime and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that had never tasted so good and headed “up the lazy river in the midday sun” for the second leg of our journey. The total trip was about six hours and well worth the four hour drive to Kentucky from Indianapolis.

We tried an old riverside tavern in the evening and had beer with a Jaegermeister chaser, a surprisingly good herbal liqueur. On the label you will find the German inscription which, roughly translated, means: “It is the honor of the hunter that he protects and preserves his game, hunts sportily, honors the creator in his creatures.” All the young people in the bar drank it and when asked what it was they said it was “delicious”. The balcony overlooked the misty and mysterious Kentucky River. The full moon lit our way back to Still Waters Campground where we enjoyed another night in our pop-up camper. Everywhere we had seen horses in green pastures, prosperous farms with black barns and black wooden fences or old stone fences, tobacco, corn and hay fields and pink flowering mimosa trees. We heard friendly southern accents, cicadas stridulating (saws), crickets chirping, and bullfrogs croaking and the air conditioner in our RV humming. It was a welcome sound in the ninety degree, ninety percent humidity climate, where feeling like a fish didn’t mean you were going to eat one.

The next day we went into Frankfort and learned a lot about Kentucky history at the Historical Society museum and were surprised to find Daniel Boone’s grave at the Frankfort overlook. Later we found the “new town” up the hill from the old town on the highway as well as more of the older town over the bridge over the Kentucky River. It was there that we found and visited the “new capital building”, which was actually not new at all, but newer than the very old one in the city. The governor’s mansion was modeled after the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s summer villa. We enjoyed a bookstore with the entire second floor devoted to old books. I found a first edition of Booth Tarkington, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author from Indianapolis. Adjacent to the bookshop was an artist’s house and coffee bar, where we were lucky enough to meet the mayor, who invited us to a concert that evening. Rebecca Ruth’s bourbon balls were quite a treat and some of the homes were reminiscent of an older, grander era. The day was complete when we attended the concert in front of the beautiful old courthouse and enjoyed a band playing 80’s music and doing a wonderful rendition of “Billy Jean.” The town was now alive with people and everyone was enjoying a festive Friday. A few people we talked to said they didn’t like canoeing but liked Elkhorn Creek and some were quite impressed that we had tried it. One man we spoke to had been on it quite a bit and loved it.

We would also highly recommend the creek for canoeing and Canoe Kentucky for their great store, Wenonah rental canoes and the professional manner of the staff. The town of Frankfort offered southern hospitality and a sense of history, and it was interesting to see the old river town preserved in a separate area from the new town. It was a great paddle and a great ride.

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