Our supposed cognoscenti will find this terribly gauche, but I love my country. Not only do I love the ideas that animated its founding, but I also love the land itself; indeed, when the Discovery Channel aired its North America miniseries, I had several religious experiences. Thus, when I decided to go to World Con this year, I also decided to drive -- and to take the long way around. Currently, I'm sitting in a hotel room in St. Louis; over the past few days, I've traveled through West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. Click below to see some highlights!
On Wednesday, I stopped to have lunch at Hillbilly Hot Dogs in Lesage, WV. If you're a fan of Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives, you may have heard of this place before. Well, I'm happy to report that my grub tasted great -- and yes, the atmosphere is a real hoot. The pictures below only scratch the surface.
Earlier this afternoon, meanwhile, I visited Tell City Pretzels and bought a couple bags of their lightly-salted, hand-twisted pretzels.
And I also stopped at the Tom + Chee in Evansville. I love grilled cheese and tomato soup, so this choice was pretty much a given.
So far, I've visited two abbeys. On Wednesday, I bought some Trappist fudge at the Abbey of Gesthemani in Kentucky -- and also stopped in the church to pray for my family members and for my own safety.
Then, as I was wandering around the southern Indiana countryside today trying to figure out how to get around an unexpected road closure, I found the Archabbey of St. Meinrad. Oh, what a happy accident!
Thursday was devoted to two things: a tour at Mammoth Cave (the largest known cave in the world, they say) and a late night of stargazing. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from the latter, as I don't own an appropriate camera. I will say, though, that I appreciated the opportunity to see the Perseid shower in an area that was relatively free of suburban light pollution. Some of the meteors were very faint; others were clear and sparkly.
As for Mammoth Cave? I took the short, "easy" tour of the active part of the cave, but I still got to see some interesting drip formations. One in particular reminded me a little of Cthulhu.
I have a few shots of the Ohio River to share.
Peace and blessings to all my readers. I hope to return on Monday with some pictures of my adventures in St. Louis and Branson. Please stay tuned!