anticipation & preparation: louisville & lexington, kentucky

To prepare for my ten-day “Midwestern Triangle” road trip to southern Illinois, Cincinnati, OH (which I wrote about here), and Louisville & Lexington, Kentucky, I started by looking through several guidebooks:

  1. Kentucky: Moon Handbooks by Theresa Dowell Blackinton
  2. Off the Beaten Path Kentucky: a guide to unique places by Zoe Ayn Strecker, Revised and Updated by Jackie Sheckler Finch

I found some novels set in Kentucky:

  1. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett ***
  2. Shiloh and Other Stories by Bobbie Ann Mason ****
  3. Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith ***
  4. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver – currently reading
  5. In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason
  6. Baptisms and Dogs: Stories by Brian L. Tucker
  7. The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
  8. The Sisters by Nancy Jensen
  9. River of Earth by James Still
  10. Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories by Gurney Norman
  11. Hunter’s Horn by Harriet Simpson Arnow

books set in Kentucky

To see books set in the U.S.A., please visit books | u.s.a. |

I also found some movies set in Kentucky:

  1. The Story of Sea Biscuit (1949)
  2. Raintree County (1957)
  3. Harland County, U.S.A. (1976)
  4. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
  5. Stripes (1981)
  6. In Country (1989)
  7. Fire Down Below (1997)
  8. The Insider (1999)
  9. Seabiscuit (2003)
  10. Elizabethtown (2005)
  11. Dreamer (2005)
  12. Secretariat (2010)
  13. Tammy (2014)
  14. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
  15. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
  16. American Animals (2018)

I also made a music playlist on Spotify for my road trip: midwestern triangle road trip. It includes bluegrass music (Kentucky’s claim to fame); as well as songs such as “Look at Miss Ohio” by Gillian Welch; “Ohio,” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; and “Illinois” by Dan Fogelberg. 🙂

Itinerary: Below is my itinerary for the entire trip.  I previously wrote about the areas in southern Illinois, Indiana and Cincinnati, OH, shown in blue text.


Kentucky & Ohio destinations

Day 1 – Sunday, Feb 24:  Drive to Lincoln City, Indiana (10 hours) – Spend night in Lincoln City

DAY 2 – Monday, Feb 25: In Lincoln City, Indiana, visit:

  1. Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial, Lincoln City
  2. George Rogers Clark National Historic Park, Vincennes, IN (1 hour 20 min)
  3. Salem, Illinois (1 hour 30 minutes) – Richard Pollard’s Yard Art – just north of town on highway 37
  4. Drive to Murphysboro, Illinois (1 hour 25 minutes)

DAY 3 – Tuesday, Feb 26: Murphysboro, Illinois

  1. Hang out and explore Carbondale and surrounding area.

DAY 4: Wednesday, February 27: Murphysboro, IL

  1. Hang out and explore Carbondale and surrounding area.

DAY 5: Thursday, February 28: Murphysboro, IL to Louisville, KY (3 hours 40 minutes)

  1. Stop on the way at Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest, IL (1 hour 50 minutes)
  2. See Kentucky Show! at the Frazier Museum
  3. Visit Churchill Downs

DAY 6: Friday, March 1: Louisville, KY

  1. Visit the Muhammad Ali Center
  2. Visit Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
  3. Visit the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft
  4. Take an Old Louisville Tour
  5. Take a ride on the Belle of Louisville

DAY 7: Saturday, March 2: Cincinnati, OH (1 hour 40 minutes)

  1. Take walk #1: Ohio River: Bridges, Parks and Three Cities (including Covington, KY)  (4.2 miles)
    1. Ohio River
    2. Covington, KY
    3. Roebling Suspension Bridge
    4. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  2. Take walk #3: Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton: Urban Italianate Architecture Haven (2.4 miles)
    1. Findlay Market
    2. Enjoy whole area on the National Register of Historic Places

DAY 8: Sunday, March 3: Cincinnati, OH

  1. Pick up Mike from his friend’s house in Centerville, OH (1 hour each way)
  2. Take walk #2: Downtown: Resurgent Economic and Transit Hub (3 miles)
    1. Booksellers on Fountain Square
    2. Carew Tower
    3. Contemporary Arts Center
    4. Taft Museum of Art
  3. Take other walks as we desire; explore whatever we haven’t yet seen.

DAY 9: Monday, March 4: Cincinnati, OH

  1. Take more walks around Cincinnati. 
  2. Consider the “Nati in a Nutshell” Tour by Urban Adventures
  3. Explore Covington, KY.  See walks #17-21 in Walking Cincinnati.

DAY 10: Tuesday, March 5: Lexington, KY (1 hour 30 minutes)

  1. Explore some of the covered bridges in Kentucky on the way to Lexington.
  2. Visit one of the horse farms:
    1. Claiborne Farm (Secretariat’s grave) – 11:00 a.m. tour
  3. Stop into a museum: Either:
    1. Ashland – The Henry Clay Estate
    2. Headley-Whitney Museum – Shell Grotto
    3. Wade Hall Quilt Collection – University of Kentucky
  4. Take a stroll around downtown Lexington

DAY 11: Wednesday, March 6: Drive home with Mike from Lexington, KY (8 hours 5 minutes)


Here are my intentions for this trip:


My Kentucky intentions


barns and livestock


“ANTICIPATION & PREPARATION” INVITATION: I invite you to write a post on your own blog about anticipation & preparation for a particular destination (not journeys in general). If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments. Include the link in the comments below by Thursday, March 21 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Friday, March 22, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the 4th Friday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂  If you’d like to read more about the topic, see: journeys: anticipation & preparation.

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read posts from our wandering community. I promise, you’ll be inspired!

  • Pauline, of Living in Paradise…, wrote about preparing for her upcoming trip to New Zealand.  After lining up house sitters and getting Jack’s passport resolved, she discovered some artistic shadows in a Brisbane museum.

Thanks to all of you who wrote posts about anticipation and preparation. 🙂