Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Kangaroos and Rolley Hole
We saw enough of the weather forecast last night to think it might rain today. That would not be good as we had planned a trip to Kentucky Down Under--an outdoor activity. We decided to get up fairly early and play it by ear. By the time we were loading the car it was drizzling so we decided to find a place for breakfast--which might not be easy given that we were still in Cave City. We went to Cream and Sugar and it was open and looked promising. It was. We had a good meal and good service! It was still overcast but not raining so we headed to KY Down Under. There were not very many people there which was good. There were only 4 of us on the cave tour. This cave was very small and had lots of formations, unlike Mammoth Cave. It was interesting and beautiful in a cave sort of way. After our cave tour we went to several different informative stations to see animals native and not native to Australia that are for some reason in KY. We saw (and petted) a camel, kangaroos, emus, lorikeets and other assorted birds, goats, sheep, cows...a whole menagerie. It was a cool place and we learned a lot. We spent several hours there then headed to one of Kentucky's scenic byways. We went through Glasgow to get to the byway and decided to eat lunch. We picked Lil Country Diner, which was a little sketchy on the outside but the food was yummy and the staff more than pleasant and helpful. From there we took the byway to Tompkinville and the Mulkey Meeting House. This is actually a KY state park. It's an original church meeting building and cemetery. The setting was very peaceful and serene. We briefly walked around the grounds and we talked the caretaker. She said while we were in Monroe County that we should go to the Marble Dome and gave us printed directions on how to get there. We weren't sure what to expect but we did not expect what we got. Driving up, past the National Guard Amory and through what looked like a restricted area, we came upon a dilapidated building w/ open doors and a couple of vehicles out front. As soon as we pulled in, we were spotted by someone inside. Our cover blown, we parked the car and went in. There were 2 men inside and about 25 of the nastiest recliners I have ever seen, a dirt marble court (?), a giant sifter thing and some trash. We had come upon the Rolley Hole Marble Court. Lucky us! We talked to the men, inquired as to how Rolley Hole Marbles are played and asked for a demonstration. We didn't get much of a demonstration but we did get some pictures. The "Main Marble Man" pulled up after we got there but he didn't demonstrate either. After a little more chit-chat, we made our exit-barely able to contain our laughter until we got out of the parking lot. We headed down the road to Gallitan where Kevin's girlfriend, Laura, works. When we finally picked up phone service, I called her and we went by her office, got a hotel reservation (Hampton, here we come) and made plans to go to dinner with her. We followed our Garmin directions through Nashville (not on any interstate) and after an eternity, we finally made it to the Hampton. Laura picked us up and we went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. We were fortunate today that the rain held off until we got almost to the hotel. Another laughter filled travel day!