Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ol' Kentucky: Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace

We stayed with Forrest's dad and brothers for a couple of weeks in July last summer about 45 minutes outside of Louisville.

I'm just going to come right out and say it: if you're not really into horses, there's not a whole lot to do in Kentucky in the middle of summer. It's too hot to do anything outdoors except swim (for this PNW girl at least) and there aren't any clean rivers or lakes nearby (less than an hour drive). We did go to Kentucky Kingdom, a waterpark located right outside of Louisville, but the only day we could go ended up being one of the coldest days of our entire trip (~65-75).

Forrest had been promising me forever to go and see Abraham Lincoln's birthplace when we went to Kentucky. We somehow didn't get a chance when we were there six months before, but this time I was determined. We chose an extremely muggy day to go with even a few scattered showers. Notice that I am in jeans because it was even a little chilly that day! There weren't very many people there (maybe because of the weather) but I can't imagine that it's ever very crowded.

The cabin is protected inside a large mausoleum.
I couldn't actually get a picture of the whole cabin because I only brought my 50mm lens and it was pretty close quarters inside. But you get the idea.
Abraham is the baby.
"Here over the log cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born destined to preserve the union and to free the slave. A grateful people have dedicated this memorial to unity, peace, and brotherhood among these states."
There is a lovely grotto built around the old well or the Sinking Creek as it is called. Once you step down inside the walls, all you can hear is the trickling water. There are trees all around the top and it is very serene and gorgeously green.
It only takes an hour or so to watch the introductory video at the visitor's center (worth watching in my opinion), have a short chat/tour with a ranger up the trail, see the cabin, and walk the whole trail around which is about half a mile. Forrest and his brothers had already been to Lincoln's birthplace and warned me that it wasn't very exciting, but obviously I wanted to see it anyway. From there, we traveled the few miles to Abraham Lincoln's childhood home (which doesn't exist anymore). Basically it's a big field with another little cabin (below) that may have belonged to a neighbor which was moved to where the Lincolns' cabin was thought to have been.
This building above was some sort of historical tavern/visitors center that is no longer open. I think it had a renovation sign on the front and they are intending to fix the floors and the structural integrity of the beams, if I remember correctly.
And this is one of the fields belonging to the Lincoln's farm. 

The most interesting thing I learned from this expedition was that Abraham Lincoln's family was not destitute as we are all taught (born in poverty). Rather, his father was actually a semi-wealthy farmer belonging to the middle class! You had to have money to buy your own 300 acres of land (duh). This was a little bit of a shocker to me, but when I saw the cabin up close, it's really not that small, especially if there was a loft (the ceiling is really, really tall!). Seeing the cabin once is good enough for me, but I'm really glad I got the chance to visit.

If ever you're in Kentucky, this is a pretty good afternoon out!








Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Still Knitting

I've realized lately that I haven't done much documentation of my knitting. Given how much time I actually spend working on my projects, it's a little silly of me(irresponsible, some would say?) to not spend even a fraction of that time photographing them. I can think of at least three items right off the top of my head that I made over the holidays that I didn't even photograph once. It's really sad to not be able to see the progress I have made over the years and so I have taken a solemn oath to always, always, always take at least one picture of everything I knit from now until eternity.

I slowed down the needles a little bit when I started school again in the fall, but then I quickly realized that I would go crazy if I stopped knitting altogether. So, obviously, the smart thing to do was cast on two sweaters. At the same time. One is a sweater for Forrest (that I have been promising him ever since I first learned to knit) and one is for meeeee.

Forrest's sweater is made with a much finer weight wool than the sweater I chose for myself, so the progress on that one is much slower. I've probably put in a lot more time in on his and have much less to show for it. He's also a lot bigger than me, so there's that added bonus. I've so far finished the back panel of his sweater and still have the front panel, two side panels, and the sleeves to go. I'm about an inch into the front and I'm getting pretty excited to see the finished product.. whenever that is. I haven't really taken any pictures of it, but when I get a little more done, I'll be documenting it as I go.

My sweater is coming along quite nicely. I have most of the body finished and part of each sleeve. The way the sleeves are knit is starting to make my fingers sore, so I may have to take a break for a while. I'm more excited about this sweater than anything else I've ever made. This will be my third adult-sized sweater and it has a beautiful twisty texture. I can't wait to wear it and I'm really hoping I finish it before it gets too warm outside. That's the only trouble with 100% wool.


Also, I found that pristine 1970's Chronicles of Narnia box set at Value Village for $2 right after I told myself that I needed to reread them. Fate! (Currently reading The Horse and His Boy).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Isle of Skye: The Fairy Pools

I can't even tell you how excited I was to visit the Fairy Pools. (!!!!!!!!)<--- that excited.

There is surprisingly little information about them online, or there was a year ago. We asked some people on the Isle of Skye how to get there and some of them didn't even know what we were talking about. It came down to a B&B owner and some American tourists to get us pointed in the right direction.

All of that to say: It's really not that difficult to find; you just have to be looking for the itty bitty sign. I'm actually pretty sure that the sign is right off the main road and there's even a small gravel parking lot.

We got there around 11:00 on a Friday in the middle of summer and there were about two other people on the trail. As the day wore on (and we took our time), a few people passed us on the trail there and then back. I couldn't help but stop to take pictures of every single pool we passed.

It's a pretty easy trail; most of it is pretty flat or there are slight hills. We hiked it in rain boots and didn't have any problems. I saw some people in very impractical shoes (flats) and they seemed to be doing fine as well, although I would definitely recommend some type of water proof shoe or boot as you have to cross a small stream to get to the actual trail. If you're very adept at hopping across rivers, you may be able to make it over the rock trail without wet feet. I was wearing rain boots and feeling invincible, however,  so I walked right through the water.

There's also a U-shaped (or possibly it's a loop) trail that I'm fairly sure starts at the same place as the Fairy Pools trail, except it branches off at some point. It goes around and above the valley. We saw people hiking it the whole morning/afternoon. It looked really long but also fairly easy in that it looked they were at a pretty constant elevation. But what do I know, we didn't go on that trail!

There are so many pictures in this post. It took me forever to go through the 300+ I took of this location. I couldn't believe I had so many! Sorry, and also you're welcome because the Fairy Pools are so beautiful!

Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
I have no idea what that says in Scottish Gaelic but I'm assuming it is about the Fairy Pools. Or maybe it means parking. (Also, I am not the Fairy Pools. I know the sign is pointing toward me, but that's not what it means).
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Forrest is excited!
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
This is the small stream and waterfall we crossed before the fairy pools begin. 
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
The water was 10x bluer in real life and sometimes a gorgeous purple or green color depending on the rocks in each pool. I couldn't quite capture it, but I did my best!
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
The water looked so refreshing and I really wanted to go swimming except it was a little chilly out. As you can probably tell from that fact that I'm wearing layers and a wool headband.
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
The fog was perfect. It covered the entire valley and lifted slightly as the day wore on. It felt that much more like a fairy land.
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
The water was so clear and fresh and cold that we refilled out water bottles and Forrest drank straight from the stream (and also dunked his head).

Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
I would never have believed this was a real place if I didn't take the photo with my own hands!
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Also, I matched the heather (I love heather).
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
If it had been warmer, I would have jumped in.
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
The rocks were cut here, but I don't know why!
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
That's three different colors of heather that I photographed..
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
This place was almost tropical looking in some parts. I seriously couldn't get enough.
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
And then Forrest stepped off the path and promptly sank into the mud. Thank goodness for wellies!
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
Three First Names: Isle of Skye-Fairy Pools
My last picture is time stamped 2:00. So we spent three hours on a (probably) one-hour hike. If you ever go to the Isle of Skye, make sure you take some time to visit the Fairy Pools and go early. If you're lucky, it will be deliciously foggy as it was for us and nearly deserted, which is very convenient for when you want to take way too many pictures and ridiculous amounts of selfies without feeling self-concious. 

Thanks for taking the time to look through so many photos! These are probably one of my favorite sets of photos that I have ever taken.





P.S. Parts 123456 of our 2013 Scotland trip. 

A little more Isle of Skye is up next and then our trip to Oban and Fingal's Cave (which was awwwesommme).