I was treated to the most beautiful day imaginable and I spent it exploring some of the byways of Kentucky’s bourbon country. After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast I set out for Buffalo Trace Distillery, a place rich with history. Whiskey has been distilled along this bend of the Kentucky river since shortly after the United States became the United States. It is lovely to behold and lovelier to smell. You can sense its intoxicating aroma from a quarter mile away.
It turns out I was not the only one to have the idea to visit Buffalo Trace. Apparently the Kentucky Derby is tomorrow and many people make a weekend of it in this part of the state. The place was absolutely filled with visitors. A crowd like this one can have the potential to be obnoxious but everyone seemed to be in a splendid and generous mood. I can’t remember ever being in as big a group of people who were all this courteous and friendly. I took the one hour tour and learned a lot about the history of the area and about the making of bourbon. I need to get a good night’s sleep tonight so I am not going to take the time to recount it all here.
After that I set off on another difficult and pointless quest. A friend of mine back in Portland is a huge bourbon fan. He has an extensive collection and I went to see if I could find some rarities on his wish list. I was also in search of a particular bottle of rye for myself (as I’m more of a rye whiskey man). Here was my takeaway: the demand for boutique bourbon is so immense right now that the producers are sending much of it away to other markets, much of it overseas. There are still a few gems to be found here but it was not as easy as I had anticipated. I found one oddity for my friend (and struck out entirely for myself) but he had another much more simple request: there is a brand of “regular old bourbon” he loves that is not available in Maine. I saw it on the bottom shelf of every liquor store I visited. After I had visited three liquor stores, and driven past scores of others (all with drive-thru windows – something very foreign to a guy from Maine) I decided it was time to head toward my hotel, set up my trailer for tomorrow, then pick up a few bottles of bourbon when I was out getting some food for supper and for the roadtrip.
It seems my hotel is in a dry county. I circumnavigated the entire town. No liquor stores. So I put a search into the google. A few places showed up, 45 minutes away. I really didn’t want to go back the entire distance I had traveled this afternoon. One place did come up in the search that was only 20 minutes away. The sun was setting and the evening was mild and delightful so I thought I’d continue a lovely drive. I followed the instructions coming through my phone until the voice said, “You have reached your destination.” I was surrounded by empty fields for as far as the eye could see.
I headed back toward the little town of Leitchfield and found yet another delicious meal at a local Mexican restaurant. (I might not have repeated that after last night but Leitchfield is not a town rich with choices and the Chinese Buffet didn’t sound appealing.)
The weather prediction for tomorrow has me fretting yet again. It should not be as bad as last year (think happy thoughts about that) but I’m definitely going to encounter some rain. I’m better prepared, with new and improved sides and a roof for the trailer. And I am going to be much quicker to stop and cover up when the rain comes hard. So far the prediction is for rain that should come and go. It may be slow going but I don’t think it will be a disaster. Wish me luck.