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Weekend Wanderings

Scenic southwest U.S. 68

If you thought the scenic views, historic sites, and attractions along U.S. 68
stopped in Lebanon, you couldn’t be more wrong. West of Bowling Green, this scenic
route is chock-full of places to visit and attractions to admire.

Sharing the Shaker life

Start your trip at the Shaker Museum at South Union. Founded in 1807, the Shaker
community here once sprawled across 6,000 acres and included 200 buildings. Guided
tours of the 1824 Centre House, one of only three remaining buildings, include
details about daily life, and how the society dealt with the outside world.

Beginning on the fourth floor and working your way to the basement, you’ll see
schoolrooms; sleeping quarters; sewing, laundry, woodworking, broommaking, and
preserving rooms; kitchen; and dining rooms, all filled with original Shaker furnishings
and artifacts.

The Shaker Museum holds monthly events on various aspects of Shaker life. On November
13, for instance, A Shaker Breakfast will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lifted
from detailed accounts in the community’s Civil War-era journals, guests are invited
to sample “a morning meal like no other.” Christmas at Shakertown, December 3-4,
will feature antiques and crafts, and from December 6-17 visitors are invited
to prepare a Christmas meal circa 1900 Shaker-style. For additional information
on tours and special events, contact: Shaker Museum at South Union, 850 Shaker
Museum Rd., South Union, KY 42283, (270) 542-4167.

Confederate rich Russellville

Continuing west on U.S. 68 to Russellville, stop at the Public Square. The brick-paved,
tree-lined square contains benches from which you can look at the Confederate
cannon, fountain, and several historically significant markers.

At the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, on South Main Street, you can pick up
a Historic Walking/ Driving Tour Guide. More than 40 buildings in the heart of
town, many dating from the early 1800s, are highlighted in the brochure. The most
famous is probably the Southern Bank of Kentucky building, now a private residence.
It was here, in 1868, that Jesse James and his gang first got into the bank-robbing
business. For additional details about what to see and do in Russellville, contact:
Logan County Chamber of Commerce, 116 S. Main St., Russellville, KY 42276, (270)
726-2206.

World’s tallest monument

Follow 68 west to Fairview and the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site. You’ll
see the 351-foot-high obelisk long before you reach it. It is, in fact, the tallest
concrete monument in the world.

The memorial, erected to commemorate the President of the Confederate States of
America, rises just a few yards from where Davis was born on June 3, 1808. The
monument has 7-foot-thick walls at the base, tapering to 2 feet thick at the top.
There’s an elevator that climbs to an observation area offering panoramic views,
but it’s closed for renovation until May 1, 2000. For additional information,
contact: Jefferson Davis State Historic Site, P.O. Box 10, Fairview, KY 42221,
(270) 886-1765.

Hopkinsville’s Trail of Tears

Further west on U.S. 68 is Hopkinsville, where you’ll find the Trail of Tears
Commemorative Park. This memorial commemorates one of the saddest chapters in
the story of America-the forced removal of the Cherokee nation from their ancestral
homes in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

There’s a museum, located in a mid-1800s cabin, where exhibits and displays detail
the Cherokee lifestyle before, during, and after the infamous Trail of Tears.
On a small hill nearby are the graves of Chiefs Whitepath and Fly Smith, leaders
who brought their people to this spot and succumbed to illness before the trek
resumed. For more information on the Trail of Tears Commemorative Park, contact:
Hopkinsville/Christian County Tourism & Convention Commission, P.O. Box 1382,
Hopkinsville, KY 42241, 1-800-842-9959.

Creatures of Cadiz

Further west on 68 is Woods & Wetlands Wildlife Center, in Cadiz. Here you’ll
find native species of fish frolicking in a 12,000-gallon aquarium, and more than
40 species of reptiles slithering and crawling in the serpentarium. Birds of prey
and critters of every stripe abound. Self-guided tours take you past displays,
exhibits, pens, and cages, all geared to educating visitors with an emphasis on
conservation and species management.

To find out more, contact: Woods & Wetlands Wildlife Center, 5732 Canton Road,
Cadiz, KY 42211, (270) 924-9107.

Day Trips & Short Stops

Church in the wildwood

The oldest log meeting house in Kentucky stands tucked in the woods, much like
it did in 1804, when it was built.

Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site in Tompkinsville celebrates the pioneer
religious spirit in early Kentucky. Built in the form of a cross, with 12 corners
commemorating either the apostles or the 12 tribes of Israel (depending on which
camp you belong to) and three doors representing the Trinity, the church is claimed
church is claimed to be the first one west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Founders and former congregates read like a Who’s Who of Kentucky history: Gist,
Ellis, Harlan, Stewart, Morehead, and Boone.

The graveyard is so extensive, there’s a cemetery map to help guide you. Interred
here are Squire Boone, Daniel’s brother; Hannah Boone, his youngest sister, and
widow of John Stewart; Joseph Gist, founding member of Old Mulkey Church; John
Giss, rescuer of the Calloway and Boone girls; Revolutionary War veterans galore;
cousins of General Stonewall Jackson; and General Samuel Wilson, who donated the
property for the church.

For additional information, contact: Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site,
189 Old Mulkey Road, Tompkinsville, KY 42167, (270) 487-8481.

Outdoor Log

Scent of a deer

It’s a common scenario during deer season. You carefully exit the truck, saturate
your boot pads or cloth drags with attractant scent, and quietly hike to your
stand.

But this may not be particularly effective. Jackie Barbour, founder and operator
of Jackie’s Deer Lures in Tollesboro, has been collecting deer urine for 18 years
and converting it into lures and scents for hunters.

Try the pro’s plan

According to the scent maker, saturating your pads at the truck merely uses a
lot of lure, it doesn’t create the kind of scent trail you want. “By the time
you reach your stand, which might be a half mile or a mile from the truck,” he
points out, “much of the scent has evaporated. You won’t pick up deer from that
far out.”

The pro suggests, instead, that you follow this procedure. About 100 yards from
your stand, apply tracking scent like ID #4 to your pads or drag. You can use
a fairly heavy amount, but you don’t need the pads to be dripping wet.

Fifty yards from your stand, refresh the pads or drag with a few more drops of
scent, and continue toward the stand. Now comes the important part. Twenty yards
from the stand, walk in a circle, completely around the stand. Then remove the
pads, and hang them in an open area, about knee-high.

“Deer following the trail will go to where the pads are hanging,” Barbour points
out, “thus providing you with an open shot.”

It is very important, Barbour insists, that you not wear your pads or drag into
the stand. “If you do,” he says, “the deer will come right to your tree, and look
straight up at you as they follow the scent.”

Scents alone aren’t the whole story. Jackie is a big believer in using rattling
horns and grunt calls. “Just don’t get too aggressive with the grunt call,” he
stresses. “That’s probably the number-one mistake deer hunters make-calling too
often and too loudly.”

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