We finished our time in Gatlinburg with some really nice hikes and a trip to Cade’s Cove, an old farming community (circa 1830) in the Smokies that has been restored. Our favorite stop was the working Grist Mill and church graveyard. It turns out that grist mills (grinds grain into flour) served such an important role in farming communities in the past that some of the terms used by the millers still linger today. Here are a few examples:
- When a miller wanted to know if the stones were grinding too fast, causing the meal to burn, he would “put his nose to the grindstone” to check for a burning smell.
- If he was grinding too fast he would quickly bring the milling to a “grinding halt.”
The town of Gatlinburg itself is not exactly the quaint mountain town we were expecting but we had fun.
Arrived at the Sheraton in Jeffersonville, IN (across the Ohio River from Louisville) last night. It has been fascinating just watching the parade of hats and outfits going through the lobby. Every few minutes a limo pulls up and out comes the dress and suit bags, hat bags and fashionable couples. They take this event very seriously here. Today is Oaks day (happy Oaks day!). The Kentucky Oaks is the big race at Churchill Downs the day prior to the Kentucky Derby. Three year old fillies run the Oaks, so everyone is wearing pink today. It is also a big fund raiser for breast cancer.
We spent today in downtown Louisville visiting the Louisville Slugger Museum and buying final accessories for the Derby.
The museum is on site where Louisville Sluggers (baseball bats) are manufactured so you get a great tour of the factory. Today they were making bats for Joey Votto (Cincinnati Reds). It was interesting to learn that a typical pro goes through approximately 120 bats per season. The museum has some great artifacts including Jackie Robinson’s bat used in college and the minors, Hank Aaron’s 700th home run bat, and one of Babe Ruth’s bats from his (then) record setting season of 1927 when he hit 60 homers. The Babe carved a notch in this bat for every home run he hit.
Walked down to 4th street to pick up a few “accessories” and a Mint Julep cupcake.
So… we have our outfits, shuttle passes, and cash all ready to go. We’ll be betting California Chrome across the board! Wish us luck.