Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Berea, Kentucky

We spent our second night in Berea, a small college town south of Lexington. KY.  Berea is home to a thriving arts community and we spent yesterday visiting the workshops of potters, jewelry makers, woodworkers and a glass blower.  There are also a number of galleries and shops that feature the work of Kentucky artists and craftspeople (including some quilters). We are in blue grass country, with rolling hills, green grass and trees, and blue blue sky.  One thing that stands out here is that many fences and barns are painted black.  We took our own survey to discover why this is.  So far we have been told that black paint costs less, is available in very large quantities, is traditional here, and that it is the perfect color for drying tobacco inside, although we have not seen any tobacco. There are many black barns over the countryside in Madison County, KY with painted quilt blocks above the doors.  Finding them is like finding little treasures. 

After leaving Alexandria on Thursday, we drove 25.6 miles to our first stop at Lake Fairfax, VA.  Since then we have been to Harper's Ferry, WV; the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Staunton, VA, and White Sulphur Springs, WV. We saw a black bear and dozens of deer in Shenandoah.  The campgrounds in SNP and at Greenbriar State Forest near White Sulphur Springs, WV have been two of our favorite places.  They were peaceful, with  trees changing to fall colors and dropping leaves.  People we meet are friendly and proud of their states, campgrounds, etc. Zander met a Wheaton terrior named Riley at Greenbriar.  They chased and played until Zander was exhausted.  He has been a good little traveler and we are glad he came with us.

We are having fun and finding new and interesting people and places on our journey.  Today we will drive 270 miles to see the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, and then on to Springfield, Il to visit the Lincoln Library.  More later...


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