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Kentucky’s Land Between the Lakes…

Posted by on August 15, 2017

LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES. We’re in Kentucky now, staying for a few days in an area known as Land Between the Lakes. It is an inland peninsula formed when the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers were impounded, creating Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley–one of the world’s largest man-made bodies of water. The Army Corps of Engineers began construction of this huge recreational area in 1959, and in 1963 President John F. Kennedy created Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, a 170,000-acre national recreation space for all to enjoy. LBL was formed to demonstrate how an area with limited timber, agricultural, and industrial resources could be converted into a recreation asset that would stimulate economic growth in the region. Land Between the Lakes is the country’s only such national demonstration area. The park within this vast area where we’re staying is called Hurricane Creek.

These Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds are national treasures and major assets for nearby communities. Each typically has a lake, river, marina, RV park, day use area, sand volleyball courts, restrooms and hot showers, boat launches and fish cleaning stations. And I’ve seen anglers haul enough fish from the lakes to stock a seafood market!

 

When we arrived at the check-in kiosk, the Ranger told us our space was on the lake right down this road. I guess the sign pretty much says it all.

 

 

We’re still a long way from home! Hurricane Creek Campground is near the tiny town of Cadiz, Kentucky. 

 

HURRICANE CREEK CAMPGROUND. Our site is at Hurricane Creek Campground, located in the wooded, rolling hills of southwestern Kentucky on the shores of beautiful Lake Barkley, near the little town of Cadiz. Once again, we have a nice site right on the shore of the lake and near the swimming area. We’ve really found some great RV parks since we left Florida! Here’s hoping our luck will continue as we make our way across the country to Oregon, by mid-November.

 

We drove on some skimpy back country roads to get to our site at Lake Barkley. This is a typical roadside scene in this part of the country. We stopped and talked for a bit to the guy who was riding this tractor. He was too shy to let me take his picture. 

 

There were lots of farmers, cotton fields and old barns along the road leading to the lake.

 

Roadside cemeteries are also common along these back roads.

 

Lake Barkley is the fourth beautiful park where we’ve stayed in the last three weeks. We’re batting 1000. Today’s weather was perfect! Mid-80’s and no humidity. That’s very unusual for this time of year. 

 

This is another CoE park. They are incredibly well constructed. For those of you who are RV’ers, you will appreciate the framed patio area and the huge, sturdy concrete table and benches. You just don’t see quality campsite construction like this in most parks! And the CoE parks are very reasonably priced. They are national treasures! 

 

The park has a roped swimming area with a sandy beach and a spectacular view of the lake. 

 

Molly loved exploring the nooks and crannies of the rocks at the shoreline. She’s turned out to be a very good traveler! She gets excited on driving days because she knows she’ll soon have a new play yard. (Excuse her appearance. Tomorrow is Molly’s bath day…her least favorite day of the week!)

 

The Lake is immense. Fishing, water skiing, jet skiing and sailing are all popular. And I’ve seen lots of pontoon party boats trekking around the lake with folks having a good time and enjoying the scenery.

 

Once again, we have a huge site and we almost have the park to ourselves. You can barely see our motorhome, in the center, through the trees. This photo was taken from the shore of the lake looking at the park. No crowded RV spots here! 

 

Setting sun at Lake Barkley in southwestern Kentucky.  

 

THE TOWN OF CADIZ. Located on a Kentucky Scenic Byway, just 15 minutes from our site, is the little town of Cadiz. It’s an old town and only about 2,000 folks call it home. Like so many small towns in America “everything” is located on Main Street. But some of the buildings here are impressive. The town and surrounding area was a base of Union and Confederate operations during the American Civil War. The folks here all know one-another and were friendly to us. We saw no remnants of the Hatfield – McCoy feud, which was caused years ago by the Civil War, land disputes and revenge killings. In fact, the crime rate here is the lowest in the state of Kentucky and far, far below the national average. The pace is slow. People know who they are and willingly accept their place in life. Sure, the kids have cell phones but most of the trappings of modern day life in California are conspicuously absent in this and other small towns here and in Tennessee. I wouldn’t choose it for myself, but it’s been nice to experience a simpler life while we’ve been here.

There are some handsome buildings in Cadiz. This is the Hall of Justice.

 

This is one of about six churches in town. As in some of the other little towns in the South I’ve shown you, I can’t understand how the population can support all these churches.

 

There are several beautiful old Victorian homes on Main Street. Most of the folks in town live far more modestly.

 

One of the town’s good old boys hanging out at the Antique Mall. Folks around here have all the time in the world to hang and chat, it seems.

The folks here live a simple life, but most seem satisfied with it. Spelling is not as important here as in some parts of the country!

 

HAM FEST IN CADIZ. As soon as we began walking down Main Street, we saw statues of pigs in front of most all the stores and shops. We knew there must be something special about pigs in this little burg. There is: The Annual Ham Fest. Country Ham is this area’s claim to fame. A school teacher we met in the antiques store/soda fountain told us that “rain or shine, the pig fest squeals on each October in Cadiz.” She said that even if you’re not into ham and all that goes with it…butterfly steaks, pork chops, barbecue, hog roasting, gallons of sauce…Ham Fest is the perfect thing to experience while in the area. She bemoaned the fact that we’d be long gone before October and urged us to reconsider because we really didn’t know what we’d be missing! Ham Fest is equal parts county fair and pork-oriented cuisine.

 

Each of the shops in town has a pig out front on the sidewalk. Each is decorated differently.

 

I guess this one is supposed to look like a lion.

 

SO NOW YOU’VE SEEN IT. You’ve now had a look at Kentucky’s Land Between the Lakes, Lake Barkley and the little town of Cadiz, plum-full of Americana. I suspect we’ll see some more little town along our way across the country  steeped in Americana: artifacts related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the country. Our next stop will be a park in rural Missouri. From the pictures I’ve seen it looks nice and we’ll also get a good glimpse of the solar eclipse. So join me then, won’t you.

I’ll continue my story next time.

8 Responses to Kentucky’s Land Between the Lakes…

  1. Joanne

    Knowing someone who’s last name is Raye, I can only think that the ‘misspelling’ on that door is a play on some persons name. Just a thought.

  2. Jon York

    Nice post.

  3. Greg Alford

    Hi Joanne. I wondered about that, but from what I saw and the folks I met “in the neighborhood,” I think not. The folks here are very friendly, mostly impoverished, uneducated and simple. I don’t say that with disdain, it’s just my observation and part of what I’ve discovered in this part of the country. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Greg Alford

    Jon, many thanks! I’m looking forward to your pictures and commentary starting in September, when you begin your annual trip across America.

  5. Fanny Timmer

    I think you need to travel to the other side of Kentucky for the Hatfields and McCoys. Closer to West Virginia. You might find info about the tobacco wars and the night riders, although with the current political climate, you might avoid the night riders. I enjoy your blog. We are “part-timers”.

  6. Greg Alford

    Hi Fanny: We were “part-timers” for years before beginning our Great American Adventure. And, we’re about to return to that lifestyle again when we make our permanent home in Oregon. We’d not trade the experience we’ve enjoyed for the last four years for anything. In addition to seeing the country and meeting the people, my wife and I feel a sense of accomplishment and we share memories that are uniquely ours forever. As far as the Hatfields and McCoys, I think we’ll pass on heading closer to West Virginia to meet them. We’re headed to the Ozarks tomorrow and there is lots of interesting folklore there, as well. I’ll post what I learn after we’ve been there for awhile. Thanks for reading my blog! Happy Trails!

  7. Kitty

    You and Florence are scoring big on the ACOE parks! I’ll check them out when we’re back on the road. Happy to see a picture of Molly, she’s a cutie! Great pics, keep them coming!

  8. Greg Alford

    Hi Kitty and Jim. Yeah, the CoE parks are really something! Wish we’d thought to check them out four years ago. Molly says to tell you that last picture of her wasn’t a very good one. She’ll be bathed and looking much better within a few days. I’ll send you a good picture then.

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