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January 7, 2006

Road Trip Report, Day 4

12 hours, ~425 miles

After a big breakfast and a late start from the B&B this morning, we headed from Bardstown down to Loretto, Kentucky to visit the Maker's Mark Distillery, which is a National Historic Landmark. I am a "Maker's Mark Ambassador" so I got VIP treatment: a special medallion pin to wear, a proclamation in my honor read aloud to a bunch of puzzled visitors in the gift shop, and a stamp in my Maker's Mark passport. It was pretty funny.

The free tour of the distillery was excellent -- very interesting to see all the stages of the bourbon-making process. The aging warehouse smelled delicious. They age the bourbon for up to 6 years in new white oak barrels that have been lightly charred inside. After the tour, we bought a bunch of goodies in the gift shop, including a small bottle that I got to hand dip in the wax (actually red plastic) that seals the top of the bottle. Unfortunately, my dipping job didn't come out too well. I'll post a bunch of pictures from the tour soon.

After visiting the distillery, we got lost on Kentucky backroads for a little while but eventually found our way back to the Bluegrass Parkway and drove on to Lexington, Kentucky, where we stopped for lunch at an Italian restaurant called Joe Bologna's. After lunch, we visited a cool little coffee shop, Third Street Stuff, that our waitress recommended. We stopped there mostly so we could get on the internet to research lodging possibilities in West Virginia.

This was our first really cold day, and in Lexington we started to see snow flurries. As we headed up the interstate highways to West Virginia, we ran into more and more snow. The challenging mountain highways were especially nerve-wracking in the dark with snow falling fast, but we managed to make it to our hotel (the Radisson) in Morgantown, West Virginia at 10:30. Just had a late room service dinner and we're about to turn in. We're both fighting off colds and are more than ready to get back home tomorrow.

It's been a fun trip. Almost there! (Well, 375 more miles...)

Posted by ljh at January 7, 2006 12:26 AM