Nashville to Kentucky

After departing Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday, I headed west towards Nashville. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get many photos here. Four days in the Smokies had left me utterly exhausted and I had a good friend and a cousin in Nashville that I wanted to spend time with as well. I did try and catch a shot of the skyline from Pedestrian Bridge in East Nashville but the downtown parking situation on a Saturday night had other plans. 

I spent most of my time visiting with my good friend Paul and his roommates and cruising around town with my cousin Peyton. Being born and raised in Texas, one thing I knew I wanted to try while I was here was the BBQ - and while it was incredibly delicious, I have to give the victory to Texas here (although the potato salad was the best I ever had). 

Pulled Pork, Potato Salad, Mac & Cheese, and Corn Bread from 

The man, the myth, the legend - Paul Lindsay

Saturday afternoon, I departed Nashville and headed north towards Mammoth Caves National Park in Kentucky. Before this trip, the only things I knew about Kentucky were that it's where bourbon is made and that they're crazy for college basketball. But unbeknownst to be, and probably most people for that matter, Kentucky is also home to the longest underground cave system in the world.

Spanning an area of roughly seven square miles, Mammoth Caves contains nearly 400-miles of elaborate, limestone passageways. New rooms and passages are discovered frequently and some experts believe that over 1000-miles are yet to be discovered. 

Going down into the caves was a trip. We walked down about 200 steps through all kinds of twists and turns. The photos I took don't do it justice. In an ideal world, I'd be able to take my tripod down there with me and spend time really working on getting these shots perfect, but due to the nature of the tours, I was mostly shooting from my hip as we walked through the cave system. 

Bus ride to the caves

Cave entrance 

The next day I went for a hike along the Green River. 

The fall foliage is really starting to peak

Green River Ferry - you can really tell why it's called the Green River. 

This is an overlook on the Green River Trail. I saw it as I was hiking earlier that day and returned in the evening to shoot it. I had to hike about half a mile in the dark afterwords but it was worth it. 

Took this shot my last night in the park at Sunset Point near the visitor's center. 

Haystacks outside of the park. There were so many scenic drives in Kentucky with rolling farmlands stretching on forever

I left Mammoth Caves on Wednesday and continued north to Elizabethtown to see my old buddy Greg. In another life, Greg and I took acting classes together in LA. We used to all go to his house after class to hang out and work on our craft. I have lots of memories from my first years in LA with this guy. He and his wife Melissa were so accommodating. I just happened to be staying with them on his father's birthday so that night I got to go have dinner with his whole family from his grandparents  all the way down to his nieces and nephews. They're a wild bunch, but they made me feel right at home. 

Greg and Melissa

After I left Greg's, I pointed the car east and began the drive to Shenandoah National Park. Along the way I stopped by the birthplace of some guy named Abraham Lincoln and also drove past a few bourbon Distilleries on the famous "Bourbon Trail," (unfortunately, I got off to a late start and they were all closed by the time I got there).

Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace

It's currently about 2:15 on Friday. I'm about 30 minutes away from Shenandoah National Park where I'll be camping for the next four nights. I probably won't have much celll phone service or wifi, but I'll post some great photos for you guys as soon as I get out. 

Cheers from Virginia,

-Zak