call to place: louisville & lexington, kentucky

Kentucky is calling my name.  Kentucky: land of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, of wide-brimmed fanciful hats, of thoroughbreds and saddlebreds, of rolling green horse farms, of horse racing and breeding. Land of covered bridges, weathered tobacco farms, Muhammad Ali and bluegrass music. Land of the Bourbon Trail, bourbon distilleries, microbreweries, and wineries. Land of Derby Pie and spoonbread, beer cheese, fried chicken and catfish, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pork chops and BBQ. Land of mint juleps, Kentucky Manhattans, Ale-8-Ones, and the Kentucky Derby’s Grey Goose Oaks Lily. Land of Millionaires Row and the Belle of Louisville. Land of quilt collections and shell grottos.

It’s a shame I won’t be there on the first Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to visit a horse farm, since I’ll be visiting in the off-off season. At least, for sure, I should be able to drive around in horse country.

The capital of Kentucky is Frankfort, but I won’t be stopping there.  I’ll head for the largest city, Louisville. I’ll stop in Covington, south of Cincinnati, and then, finally, Lexington. Hopefully, I’ll encounter the state bird, the Kentucky cardinal, but it’s unlikely I’ll find the state flower, goldenrod, in bloom. The thoroughbred is, of course, the state horse. The state song is the 1853 “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Collins Foster, and the state bluegrass song is “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” by Bill Monroe in 1947.  Famous Kentuckians include writer Bobbie Ann Mason; actors Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Harry Dean Stanton and Lee Majors; country singers Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn; and boxer Muhammad Ali.

Of notorious fame was Kentuckian Kit Carson, who launched a full-scale assault on the Navajo population in January 1864, destroying everything and eradicating the way of life of the Navajo people. Hogans were burned to the ground, livestock was killed off, and irrigated fields were destroyed. He led the Long Walk of the Navajo, known as the 1864 deportation and attempted ethnic cleansing by the U.S. government, when Navajos were forced to walk from their land in what is now Arizona to eastern New Mexico.

Originally part of my own state of Virginia, Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union in 1792. Today, it’s the 26th most populous state in the U.S. It is known as the “Bluegrass State,”a nickname based on the dark green/blue grass found in many pastures due to their fertile soil.


Lexington is horse country


“THE CALL TO PLACE” INVITATION: I invite you to write a post on your own blog about what enticed you to choose a particular destination. If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments.  If your destination is a place you love and keep returning to, feel free to write about that.  If you want to see the original post about the subject, you can check it out here: imaginings: the call to place.

Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, March 27 at 1:00 p.m. EST.

My next “call to place” post is scheduled to post on Thursday, March 28.  If you’d like, you can use the hashtag #wanderessence.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the fourth Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time.  🙂

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