Time for a mid-winter-get-away! Our plan was to drive out of Ohio and into Kentucky to view two bigger-than-life venues: The Ark Encounter, and The Creation Museum. A good excuse is that it was DIL Halie’s birthday, and that is all it took to motivate . . . Caleb and Halie would be joining us.
Thursday, Feb 14th, (Happy Valentine’s Day!) Tom and I left home at 10:00 a.m. and poked our way south in no particular hurry. This trip wasn’t really about the camping – but, we brought the Silvermine as a comfy headquarters for the pups and us. Caleb and Halie left separately after work on Thursday, and drove as far as Cincinnati where brother Micah put them up overnight. We all planned to meet up in the morning!
Another added bonus was that Airbud Alan was just as anxious as we were for a winter respite, and he eagerly jumped on the plan. We met Alan at Three Springs Campground in Corinth, KY, just a few miles from the Ark – and 45 miles from the Creation Museum. It is a secluded little campground, accessed by a narrow road out of a “Wrong Turn” movie, and is nestled down in a hollow complete with a stream. In the summer, I suppose it is pretty.
For supper we drove 5 miles up the road to El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant – absolutely wonderful! In the evening Alan and Tom settled into Alan’s Airstream for an evening of movies . . . and peanuts.
At 10:00 Friday morning we pulled into the Creation Museum just a few minutes after Caleb and Halie arrived. A lot of the beautifully landscaped outside walkways were closed, and it was too cold to enjoy them anyway. Inside was the “Walk Through History” featuring scientific and Biblical answers for the world we live in. It all began with the 4D Special Effects Theater feature presentation of “In Six Days.” It recounted the Biblical creation story, with a 4D movie presentation, and many other special effects that made the whole telling surprisingly explicit.
Then, the journey through the museum outlined the creation story and beyond – all the way to Jesus’ resurrection. We had lunch in Noah’s Café, and wound up our trip about 1:00.
For supper, wanting to share the goodness with Caleb and Halie, we returned to El Jalisco for another fiesta!
Saturday morning we headed for the Ark Encounter, which opened at 9:00 and was just 10 miles away. The mantra for the Ark Encounter is THINK BIGGER. It is an authentic replica of the Biblical Ark – the God-prescribed 300 by 50 by 30 cubits – at seven stories tall and a football-field-and-a-half long. It is the largest timber-framed structure in the world! Do I have your attention?
We loaded a bus for a quick trip from the ticket booth to the Ark. As we entered the Ark, it took a few minutes to become accustomed to the size and scope of the thing. We spent the next 5 hours absorbing the titanic dimensions of the craft, and reading our way through the many descriptions, details, and displays.
After our tour we returned to the campground and Caleb and Halie returned to their hotel – and all met up again at LaRosa’s pizza for dinner. At that point we each made our own declarations for departure in the morning: we planned to leave by 7:00 to hopefully beat the snow that was predicted, Caleb and Halie planned a trip to the Newport Aquarium on the way through Cincinnati, and Alan didn’t think he would be lingering too long at the campground in the morning.
We were home by noon – and the snow started within 10 minutes of when we were home. No Joke! Looking to the future, our next planned trip is to a little Indy Car racing venue in Austin, Texas – leaving March 12th! We are expecting the race to keep us away from Van Wert for 2 weeks!
In the middle of the Polar Vortex, when temperatures were below 10 degrees for several days straight, we got a little stir-crazy being confined in the house! A deep-freeze is not the time to plan a campout get-away, but we began seeing tantalizing tidbits that Niagara Falls was freezing to create a spectacular winter wonderland. We made that trip four years ago and were in total awe of the ice-spectacle. We decided to give it another go and invited Caleb and Halie to go along with us.
The plan was simple: a 7-hour/400 mile dash to the Falls on February 2, leaving Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. Caleb and Halie came to our house on Friday after work for the early take-off on Saturday morning. The roads were clear and there was some very light fog – eventually a blue-grey sky, and temperatures above freezing!
We arrived and checked into our Wyndham Hotel on the American side and quickly settled into our rooms. By 3:00 we were back in the truck and on our way through customs to stroll the beautiful promenade on the Canadian side.
It took awhile in the parking lot to get layered up for the 33 degree cold and dampish stroll on the walkway. Our parking lot was at the extreme end of the promenade -- at the horseshoe end of the falls.
The temperatures here at the falls had been below 10 degrees for the past 5 days, and the heat-wave of above freezing temperatures brought out a lot of people to view the falls.
We finally reached the stretch across from the American Falls – the stopping point. We crossed the street and headed back, passing through several of the gift shops! During our stroll we had seen a giant Ferris wheel up on the hillside among the main drag of restaurants and tourist traps, so we headed up to check it out. As it got dark, we climbed on that Ferris wheel . . .just as the lights came on the falls. Three of us found the height of the Ferris wheel a bit intimidating – but Halie took it (her first-ever Ferris wheel ride) in stride.
Here is a video of our Ferris wheel ride.
After the Ferris wheel ride we warmed up in a Sports Bar while eating supper, and then made our way back to the truck and the hotel room. Basically, the trip was over -- all except for the trip home in the morning!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown