Bourbon is the mainstay of Kentucky. It goes into everything. I’m travelling onwards laden with recipes that call for a drop or two or seven of this elixir and cannot wait to try to duplicate RB’s gobsmackingly gorgeous bourbon baked beans. But perhaps the best of all so far has been the bourbon beer – and I’m not one for the beer usually. It’s simply ale aged in old bourbon barrels. Someone was thinking outside the box.
On a Sunday morning on Nolin (pronounced as two words No/Lin) Lake, we had the place to ourselves as Saturday night’s partiers slept off their hangovers. If the music the night before was any indication, they’d be sleeping till noon. Apart from a few water-skiiers, a family of ducks, and the occasional heron, it was just the four of us. Good company indeed.
Situated inside Nolin Lake State Park, the lake itself was created as a flo0d-control back in the early 1960s. Its 5795 acres are well-suited to fishing bass, catfish, crappie, and walleye and its shores are littered with campgrounds both serviced and primitive.It’s a feat of engineering that has paid for itself in flood damage savings: – $82 million – versus an original cost of $14.5 million. Would that all public works were so profitable.
Right next door, sits Mammoth Cave, the largest explored cave system in the world. Discovered way back in the 1700s, its 340 miles of known passageways have fascinated millions of visitors for years.
To those who asked why were were stopping off in Kentucky, this is why! Few things come close to spending a few hours boating on a lake with some blues playing the background and some (illegal) bourbon beer on side.
Illegal? Yes. Alcohol is forbidden on all Kentucky water. And this is a state where you can’t dye a duck and sell it unless you’re selling six of them (I kid you not!). And one in which dogs are forbidden to molest passing cars. You gotta love America.