After writing last night's post, I thought it might be a good idea to take the girls to Big Bone Lick State Park. (Anyone else snicker at that name?)
Oh, I had lofty goals. Show the girls some nature, do some birding. I enticed the girls into getting excited about the trip (140 miles total) by telling them that there were buffalo there.
The first thing we saw coming into the park was a trio of deer.
The sign at the visitor's center: This site, full of bones and teeth from mastadons, etc, is heralded as the "beginning of vertabrate paleontology in North America". There's a quote from Benjamin Franklin on this sign. He called it "The great licking place".
Basically, the saline/sulfur springs attracted large mammals of the time and the boggy soil trapped them and they sunk to their deaths. Hence the multitude of bones. I was lucky that I have such a nasty cold and can't smell a thing...I remember quite a stench from past visits.
There is also a bison breeding program. These big guys were once common in this area, but settlement and hunting destroyed them.
After a long walk in the mud, we found them.
These two young ones were play-fighting, which sent the girls into hysterics (after I explained what the bison were doing).
You can see the reflection of the girls' coats in this big, beautiful eye. I couldn't resist scratching their surprisingly soft noses.
The girls fell into a rather large puddle of mud coming back to the parking lot. This did not go well with Lorelei. (Isabelle isn't too picky about such things). I had to use my jacket to clean Lorelei's hands off. (She went down on all fours, and her hands sunk up to her wrists)
She was not a happy camper. She had fallen asleep just as we were pulling into the park, and you DO NOT wake her from a nap, if you value your sanity. Add a runny nose from the cold, and you end up with a very messy kid.
Before coming back home, we wandered the Kentucky countryside. Did you know that there is a town there called Rabbit Hash???? And a place called...wait for it....
Beaver Lick. I kid you not.
A sign about Mary Ingalls (or Ingles...I have seen it spelled both ways). What an awesome lady. She lived to be 83!
Is it me, or is this house a bit lopsided?
Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what "fishing gas" is?
On the Interstate home, we passed an exit that Mom had pointed out to me when I was younger. I had never been up this particular hill, but today, I decided to see it for myself.
When my Mom was 9 (1951), her father died. My grandmother was forced to work full time, and with 4 children still at home (the 2 oldest were out of the house by then), she had no choice but to send her youngest kids to an orphanage. They stayed there during the week, and if my memory serves me, they could come home some weekends. My youngest aunt, who I didn't even know existed until about 10 years ago, was adopted by the secretary of my grandfather. I have never met her...family members have tried to bring her into the family, but she refused. God knows what she was told about all of this.
The other kids were eventually allowed to come home, but the damage was already done to an extent. There was always a strain between my Mom and grandmother. But my grandmother is not the villain here. The woman started out as a cleaning lady, and by the time she retired, was head of payroll in Covington, KY. She worked hard, temporarily gave away her children so they could be taken care of.
I had never seen this orphanage except for speeding by it on the highway, until today. It's a clean, orderly-looking place, but it's sad. Very, very sad. Isabelle and Lorelei asked me what this place was, and I said it was an orphanage. They know what that means from the movie "The Rescuers". And they were properly awed and saddened by it.