How do I explain my relationship with Philip and Stephanie to the world? Maybe the Dynamic Trio?? Anyway, however I do it, the three of us were quite a team in Karlsruhe, Germany, exploring, dining, and having fun. I can honestly say it was miserable when they left to return to the mainland (see how Hawaiian I’ve become, it’s no longer “the States”). After I returned I visited them a few times (once in Tulsa, twice in Mays Lick), and they came to visit me in Hawaii. Despite the distance in miles, we are still very close, and I am sort of following Stephanie in my career path - late in life student of law. Sadly enough, they had not yet ever met Wayne even though he and I have lived together for over 10 years, but that changed today!
Philip sent a strip map to help guide us in the final phase of our 2 1/2 hour scheduled journey today, and Wayne used that to pinpoint the location in Google Maps. The drive was quite pretty as we left Lexington and headed further south towards Slade, Kentucky, to a rental cabin nestled in the middle of the Daniel Boone forest.
The last portion of the drive took us up a very steep incline (aka cabin driveway) towards Philip & Stephanie, who watched me drive the car partially into a rut on the side of the driveway. Reversed, got out of the rut, and gunned it up the driveway all while they were watching. I was glad to be done with the driving!
Stephanie, Philip & Wayne were introduced, and then Stephanie heated up some pork curry for lunch before we headed out to see the natural bridge on top of the sky lift. We paid our fare for the sky lift, and then headed up the hill. There were dozens of ferns, magnolia trees, and lush foliage as we went up the hill. A number of people (well, women) on the downhill side of the lift were confessing to being anxious on the lift. Not me, it was a great view and a great ride! There were a few signs that appeared to be designed for Dad…or Wayne…or Phillip...
The bridge itself is very wide, probably as much as at least 1 1/2 lanes of a road. We walked out along Laurel Ridge trail and out to the bridge itself, and then headed back to the other side of the trail.
We went back and unleashed the hounds for a potty break, and headed back out on a circle tour of the surrounding Red River Gorge area. We went through the Nada tunnel, which was carved with steam driven jackhammers in order to let the railroad through, and then further along the Red River Gorge National Scenic Byway. We stopped and went out to see a suspension bridge along the Sheltowee Trace Trail (and walk across it), encountering young, dumb (maybe) teens jumping off a rock into the river below. Ouch if the jump went wrong. We finished up our drive and headed back home for the evening, where Philip & Stephanie barbecued up a storm.
Philip then staged for us an elaborate bourbon tasting, starting with rye bourbons, and moving along to wheat bourbons. We tasted 9 in all, and we both had our favorites. Philip did a most outstanding job with the tasting, clearly putting a lot of thought into the selections, and Stephanie brought out dark chocolate, almonds and craisins. It was wonderful!
I think Wayne really enjoyed the day, definitely enjoyed the bourbon, and was pleased to make the acquaintance of Philip & Stephanie. I don’t know WHY ON EARTH it took me so long to get these three together, but I’m so very happy that I did.
Good night, y’all!