The Trip to Find the Colonel’s Origin

Before I went to Kentucky for the first time, I researched the “must see” sites. All of the reputable sites said a visit to Colonel Sander’s first store fit the category and the restaurant was an historical venue with a museum. Because of this (and having another reason to travel through London and later seeing Cumberland Falls), I scheduled my return to the Nashville airport through these destinations.

As I approached Corbin, KY, I put the museum’s location into my GPS. After many strange turns, I dead-ended in someone’s driveway in a residential section on a hill. So, I found another website and added that location to my GPS. This one took me to an industrial location that was on the south side of Corbin and nearly abandoned.

Then, I searched for another location and followed the GPS to the north side of the town to a small community of Lacy (I think). At this point, I lost my patience. Seriously, this was a small town. How difficult could it be to find Colonel Sander’s museum? I located another online site and drove south (retracing my steps yet again). This time, “my location” was in a busy intersection. I decided enough of this and headed towards Cumberland Falls.

Less then 1/2 mile ahead, I saw a tall KFC sign. There it was (based on photos online). I was so excited to see the museum and taste the Colonel’s chicken made in the original kitchen. Great exhilaration followed by immediate deflation–It was KFC. Just the same options with a few “relics” behind glass. How sad…


Tour continues in September

In the last few days, we have been trying to organize the last part of the leadership tour.  Here is the tentative schedule:

1:  Fly to Nashville2:  Something in Nashville
3:  Nashville State (in the Nashville area)
4:  Pellissippi (Knoxville; with Roane State and Hiwassee)
5:  Walters State (Sevierville campus with Northeast)
6:  Cleveland State (Chattanooga and Georgia)
7:  Chattanooga (Aquarium & Lookout Mountain)
8:  Drive to Columbia
9:  Columbia State or Motlow State (invite Alabama)
10: Dyersburg State @ Covington (Southwest)
11: Madisonville CC in Western Kentucky
12: Jefferson.Comm.&Tech.College (Louisville, KY)
13: Jefferson.Comm.&Tech.College (Louisville, KY)
14: Things around Louisville, KY
15: Drive to Cleveland
16: Cleveland-Cuyahoga CC (Parma, OH)
17: Columbus State CC (OH)
18: Cincinnati State (OH)
19: Gateway Community and Technical College (Florence, KY)
20: Bluegrass Community and Technical College (Lexington, KY)
21-22:  Something fun somewhere
23:  Somerset CC (KY); drive to Nashville
24:  Fly back to Eugene

Journey to Short Creek

Probably one of my best excursions was trying to find Short Creek in Kentucky.  I was told to Google it on a map, and I was shown that it was an easy trip off the main highway between Somerset and London.  Google didn’t find the creek, but I was able to find the road.  First there was a two-lane pave road.  It was Sunday, and I drove by a church in session.  It was a beautiful morning, and I was driving the country road with my windows down.

Further down the road, it became a one-lane paved road.  My Google map did not show a waterway for quite some time, and I wasn’t really paying attention to my online map because I figured the world’s shortest creek would be obvious.  I lost my data connection, and shortly thereafter the homes become less well kept. The road became gravel, but I grew up in rural Oregon, so that didn’t bother me.

Short Creek Road

It really was a beautiful drive with those cicadas chirping everywhere. About those cicadas, I felt as though I had ringing in my ears most of the time, and I don’t understand how the local people did not hear them. I guess after time, one just tunes it out. Around the next bend, guess what I saw?

Old barn

Let’s just say that I pulled up behind a pickup right in front of a man’s house. Yup! The road ended right there. He was sitting on his front porch with his dog. I yelled to ask him how to get to Short Creek, but he couldn’t hear me. The dog bounded up. (There were no banjos playing.) The man had to walk all the way up to the car to be able to hear me. He told me that the creek was at the beginning of the road, right after I turned off. How had I missed it? He told me to turn around in his yard, so I did and was on my way.

I was nearly back to the road when I saw a small pullout.  Yup. There’s a creek over there, and it’s reputed to be the shortest one.

There’s water over there

There is a sign, on the other side of the road facing the creek.  Who reads at a 90 degree angle while they are driving?

Short Creek sign

Anyway, I got out and admired the little creek.  The water was blue and flowed nicely.

Short Creek

Berea, KY

This is a college that I learned about during my recent studies. Admission is highly competitive, from what I understand. Instead of students paying tuition, all students perform service. That helps the college, the students, and the community.

The local community includes a lot of art and artistic endeavors. For example, there is a man who is known for making quality dulcimers. Unfortunately, we were there too late in the day to visit his store, His items in the windows were beautiful.

The hotel was very beautiful, and I would like to stay there one day and dine in their restaurant.

It rained just as soon as we arrived. That was nice. It was very different from Oregon rain because it was warm rain that came, poured, and moved on. In Oregon I am used to longer lasting rain that makes everything grey.

I also saw bunnies. They were just running around like they do on campus at the University of Victoria.  I was so excited that I yelled. Unfortunately, I scared Margo who thought she should slam on the brakes for some emergency.

The strangest thing was a truck we were following on the freeway. I guessed that the cargo was 2 big screen TVs with wheels, tires, and large tubes. No one else identified it until we passed.

Following the truck

It was truck axles. I am still not sure what the “big screen”-looking items were.

Kentucky Presentation

This was another great group. My presentation was in the morning at the beginning of the one-day boot camp. Participants interacted early in the presentation. They continued to ask me questions throughout the day.

Some questions were:

  • If children were raised in a more closed society, would their values and beliefs remain the same?  I believe that would be true because external and peer pressure would maintain the system. Later I learned that this student had previously a class assignment to ask people 20 years older and younger specific questions related to values and beliefs. Within her Appalachian community, the responses were similar; however, when she asked her online friends outside the local community, the responses were similar within age groups, but dissimilar between them.
  • What do I think the millennial’s children will be like? Related to that was another question about whether I had researched the traditionalist’s parents? Great questions? History indicates that social behaviors are often circular, but I am not sure whether the millennial’s children will be like the traditionalists or the previous generation. Research will be required.
Presenting in Kentucky

Presenting in Kentucky

Paris Landing State Park, TN

This is a huge lake with a marina on the west side of the highway and the majority of the park on the east side. The highway rises up over the water to allow for boats to pass underneath. Since I am not a water enthusiast, the park didn’t thrill me. There were a lot of bugs that seemed to want to hover in my face. I later heard from two military personnel that a hen and juvenile turkeys were in the area, but I missed them.

The most interesting things I saw were:

  • An older woman an son (maybe grandson) who had obviously been there for a while.  They were picking up pebbles down by the water and putting them into a bag. They sorted through pebbles, but I have no clue what they were hoping to find. There was no beach, and the pebbles appeared to be average rocks (not gold or agates), so that was interesting.
  • Two heavyset women wearing swimming suits, sitting on a structure, and fishing. I have seem women fish before, but I have never seen them do it in swimsuits. Also, I am used to fishing people having a more active role rather than sitting passively.

    Fishing at Paris Landing State Park

  • There was a sheriff patrol car sitting there the entire time I was watching the lake (about 15 minutes). I noticed several other patrol cars with officers in them simply sitting. That also makes me curious, and it is no wonder that everyone exceeds the speed limit.

Paris Lake State Park in Tennessee

Paris, TN

The first thing I saw was the welcome sign with a fish on it. I proceeded to Downtown because my online research indicated the architecture was good–it was. I walked around a bit. The time was right before 10am, and many of the stores were not open yet. That was probably a good thing. The courthouse was beautiful, and the statue of the Confederate Soldier looked very worn. In fact, the soldier appears to be missing his entire face. The flora was beautiful, but my knowledge of the plants is severely lacking.

Confederate Soldier

When I returned to the car, I remembered that Dave told me that I had to find the big catfish. My efforts to search online with my phone weren’t too helpful because there was not a specific address given. I headed back towards where I thought the reviewers mentioned (south entrance to the town), and from downtown, I could see that the “big catfish” was the fish I had already seen.

The “big catfish” of Paris, TN

From there, I tried to find the Eiffel Tower. In Paris, France, the tower is dominant in the skyline and easy to locate. Google maps had a more difficult time. The journey took me through a residential area (actually several), and I saw the Paris water tower up close. The setting for the Eiffel Tower replica is in a park near a small swimming pool. It was cute. There was no one around to take my photo with it, and I was in no mood to try the timer on the camera, so off I went.

Milan, TN

The locals call this Milan (with a long I sound), so it is not pronounced the same as the Italian city. Construction crews were working on the main route through the town, so it was awkward to get around. One funny thing was the guy driving the road cleaner. Up the hill from him were 3 women who were behind their vehicle smoking (I believe). One woman was sitting in a folding camp chair with her oxygen tank. The guy with his nasty dirt stirring machine drove up towards them, and then he backed down the street and made another pass. The second time, he came closer, and the women scurried. It was an odd way to ask them to move so he old clean the street for the construction crew, but then again, that was an odd location for them to be chatting.

Street cleaner approaching three women.

The other interesting things in Milan were the desolation near the railroad tracks, a vehicle outside the tattoo shop, and an outdoor revival area. Yes, you Southerners probably think that I am strange, but I have only seem outside revival tents in movies, like The Blues Brothers. The only thing better would have been if there had been people there.

Outside revival (according to the sign nearby)


Traveling from Jackson, TN to Somerset, KY

I was up and on my way by 7am. The first challenge was to put fuel in my rental vehicle. I managed fairly well. Thank heavens there was no one to observe. I am used to that black plastic thing around the nozzle that sucks up to the car. Well, in reality, I am used to someone else pumping my gas because in Oregon, it is illegal to pump your own gas.  In all the states where I recall pumping gas, that black sheath had to be placed properly for the gas to be dispensed. This was just a regular nozzle. It worked.

Next, I stopped by Union University for hugs before heading off to Milan, Paris, Dover, and Clarksville.

Driving in Tennessee

My thoughts on the trip are as follows:

  • Milan, TN is definitely not as exciting as Milan, Italy, and that is probably when they pronounce it differently.
  • Paris, TN was fun, and I enjoyed it more than my last trip to Paris, France. (My next trip to France will be much better.)
  • Dover, TN was smaller than I liked, and I think there were several things there that could have interested me, but I didn’t have time for hiking and exploring.
  • Clarksville, TN was huge and a disappointment. It seemed to go on forever, and I couldn’t even find a place to park downtown to grab a cub of coffee.

When I crossed into Kentucky, I felt eerily at home. I enjoyed the drive to Somerset. The one thing that I noticed was lots of trees, rocks, and butterflies.

Tennessee Honors in Action Conference

Today I spent in Jackson, TN after sleeping in later than usual. I visited the Casey Jones Village.


After that it was downtown to see the Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame site, and I found an interesting bookstore nearby. The lady who owns the store publishes local authors. What a wonderful idea.

Then it was on to Union University. It’s a beautiful campus, and Dave Strong tells me that this is its 2nd location and most of the buildings were destroyed in a tornado a few years ago. Yikes! The tower is especially pretty and sounds nice, too.

Union University Tower