It’s a misty Kentucky Sunday morning. The mules and I had planned to travel from Rineyville to Brandenburg, where we’ll cross the Ohio River in to Indiana. Not so with this damp weather. The rainy weather makes the mules’ heels soft. That means the hoof boots they wear can chafe their heels. Much better to set off tomorrow with dryer weather.
It is a good day to look at mule ramblin’ pictures, though.
Kentucky morning mist. Brick and Cracker take a grazing break to hang out under a Bradford pear. (Rineyville, Ky)
Week 5 of my Mules West ramble saw Brick, Cracker and I ride from Kentucky coal country to Kentucky farm country. Here’s the week in scenes, signs and faces.
A young Amish man unloads a horse drawn wagon full flowers. Helping him were 2 young women.They worked while I rested in the shade. In the half hour I stayed there, they brought in 2 wagon loads of flowers. All loaded and unloaded by hand. They had enough time left over to bring me an ice cream cone and Gatorade. Call it the overlap of new and old worlds – ancient work ethic and sports drinks.
Subtle signs of a more labor intensive lifestyle abound. Here, an old timey washer and wood fired heater on which to heat water for washing.
Look closely and you’ll see the marks left on the road by the Amish buggies. They’re the light bands in the pavement. (Pellyton, Ky)
The Amish farm a relatively small amount of surface area compared to conventional (read big and mechanized) ways. We’re definitely getting in to heavy duty farm county. Here, Ray Allen Mackie is driving his rig to work. Ray Allen let us spend the night at a cemetery he owns. (Larue County, Ky)
Corn planting time is here. Much of the agriculture is no till, meaning the seeds are drilled in to the ground without plowing the soil. Here, a farmer is planting seeds that will….
…sprout in to neat rows. Here, corn that’s up about 2 inches. (Outside Hodgenville, Ky)
There’s a reason the parking lot was empty when I passed…. (Hodgenville, KY)
Close enough…. (Science Hill, Ky)
Folks have been incredibly generous putting up our mules. Here are a few of the people we stayed with.
Debora and Terry Siming put us up three nights. A real luxury to let the mules rest their heels and fill their bellies for a few days. The Simnings helped fellow equine traveler Angela Wood get on the road. She’s crossing America in her wagon and you can follow her trip here on her blog
Lily’s family arranged for me to spend a wonderful night on land they owned outside Elk Horn, Kentucky. Thanks for the apples Lily. Lily’s mom Melinda Neal teaches at the Taylor Primary school in nearby Campbellsville. Since the school was on our route…..
…Cracker, Brick and I dropped by for a visit. That’s Melinda on the right. Here, I’m thanking 2 young volunteers that helped me demonstrate how much weight Brick was carrying in her saddle bags. (Campbellsville, Ky)
Tiffany Crawford hanging with Cracker at her farm in Somerset. Tiffany owns Cherokee Stables. She knows gated horses well and explained that Cracker was probably out of a Tennessee walking horse mare, not a saddle bred as I’d (incorrectly) guessed. (Somerset, Ky)
Skinny Pickle Cracker looks a million bucks! I think the lifestyle is really suiting him. He’s put on a lot of weight since I was last feeding him as much as I could get him to eat before you left. Must be the KY blue grass and the walking all day muscling. He looks great.
Thanks. You put the base on him, I put on the final layer. With help from plenty of folks along the way…
At the rate he’s gaining weight on this trip, we’ll be able to float him across the Mississippi. Love me some of that Kentucky blue grass! How do we get that stuff to grow in North Carolina?