Friday, October 26, 2012

Eastern Kentucky Trip . . . Day 2

On the second day of the trip, we headed to Carter County . . . which would be our destination for the rest of the trip.  The first three photos are of the only "on trail," or marked natural arch we visited.  It is the Carter Caves Natural Bridge.

 The skylight in the ceiling of Carter Caves Natural Bridge.

Technically, I guess Carter Caves Natural Bridge is more of a tunnel than an arch.  Some persnickety archers state that if the length is greater than the width, then it is a tunnel.  Still, it is a true natural bridge as it was formed over a body of water and a road is atop the formation.

 The rest of the photos are of off-trail arches, some of which are located on private property.  Above is the first arch we visited in the area.

 Arch #2 . . . back entrance.  Note Dudeboy's silhouette on the right side.

 Arch #2 . . . front entrance.  Note Uncle Vic and Dudeboy for scale. 

 Arch #3 . . . 

 Arch #4 . . .

 Arch #5 . . . 

Arch #6 . . . view of the front of a large complex.  Look for three figures.  Dudeboy stands on the far left side, in the entrance of a large arch/tunnel.  You access it by the dark area behind Larry in the foreground, and then by climbing through the passageway Uncle Vic is seen lying in (just left of the middle).  This is a "new" arch for us.  We came across it while looking for another nearby formation.

 Arch #6 . . . front entrance (where Dudeboy was standing in the above photo).

 Arch #6 . . . the rear entrance.

Uncle Vic back at the campsite . . . 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Eastern Kentucky Trip . . . Day 1

This past weekend (well, actually Friday through Monday) Dudeboy and I joined Uncle Vic on a trip  to eastern Kentucky to document a few natural arches in Martin and Carter counties.  The trip was especially satisfying for me, for I finally made a sojourn to Martin County . . . the last of the 120 counties in Kentucky for me to visit.  It only took me close to fifty years to accomplish this . . . little Dudeboy has 97 of them already!  The boy gets around.
Here is the map for Dudeboy . . . Blue indicates the counties he has visited, and Red is what he has remaining.

The first arch we visit was located just outside Inez on private property.  A couple of new friends led us on the hike on a beautiful fall day.  With an arch like this it is obvious there will be others to document in Martin County.  This one is about 47' wide.

While we were up on top of this mountain, we ran into the adjacent property owner who invited us to a nearby cookout.  It was fairly amusing, for when hiking in these remote places we are always wishing for a ice cream shop or burger shack to miraculously appear . . . well, this day it did!

It is humbling to be cognizant of the fact that there are so many significant arches still out there to be found in Kentucky.  Obviously many are known to locals, but most people have no interest in them, and therefore have not documented them.  I guess, over the last couple of years, I begrudgingly began coming to the realization that I am only going to visit a fraction of the total number of natural arches in the state.

The appropriately and wonderfully named "Big Pa's Britches" . . . located not far from the disastrous coal slurry spill that happened back in 2000.

It is a free standing arch that measures about 5' wide by 16' or so high.  It is located on private property.

Dudeboy flanked by a couple of fossilized trees located adjacent to Highway 645 near Inez.

Given the easy access, it is encouraging to note that these things are in such great shape.

Birthplace of Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson in Louisa, Lawrence County, Ky.  His father was the jailer and the home was adjacent to the jail.  It is now a museum/welcome center.  Unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there.   

Vinson is buried in Pinehill Cemetery, which overlooks Louisa.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mississinewa 1812 - 2012

This past weekend Screamin' Killer Davis joined Dudeboy and myself on a trip to witness the reenactment of the Battle of Mississinewa near Marion, Indiana.   

Mississinewa is the largest War of 1812 living history event in the United States, and this year commemorates the 200th anniversary of that battle.

The actual date of the battle was December 17-18, 1862.  I guess there is a limit as to how hardcore a  reenactor will go . . . in reality, some 300 of the US troops suffered from frostbite after the battle on the return march.

All of the above photos were from the first reenactment of the day.  While I am glad to have viewed the reenactment (Dudeboy was quite taken with all of the uniforms), I must say I am disappointed in the powers that be to not inform the spectators better about the real events that transpired at Mississinewa.  I guess a raid to attack and destroy Indian villages does not sound glorious.  Still, I imagine more than a few spectators left with a false impression of what happened two hundred years ago.    

The River Rouge Battle . . . this part of the reenactment took place upon the water and an island.  I never found out if they were portraying an actual event that took place near here, or if it was a general portrayal of events that transpired across the territory.
Not only was much of this part of the reenactment on water, but many of the reenactors portrayed civilians.

Fife and drums with bagpipes . . .

The remainder of the photos are of the last battle reenactment of the day.  In this portrayal, the US troops win the field.

Mississinewa was our first non-Civil War reenactment.  It was very encouraging to see the large turn-out of spectators.  I was beginning to feel like no one knew or cared that the War of 1812 took place.   Say what you will about the merits of reenacting, if Mississinewa 1812 can bring out those numbers on a raining day then I'd say it was a success.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Toynbee Tile, Fisher, Indiana

 Toynbee Tile located in Fishers, Indiana . . . in a McDonald's parking lot.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Commission of Clean"

When one is a new recruit in reenacting, usually after seeing the elephant for the first time, that lowly private is subjected to an ancient ceremony of having black powder smeared all about your person . . . to get the "new re-enactor smell right off you."   

Of course, the 9th Ky has to do it in an entirely original way.  Much to the consternation of Dudeboy, we were wiped abundantly with mud, an act which the boys in the 9th call the "Commission of Clean."  Our gunsmith explained the logic of foregoing the black powder in favor of mud in these simple terms, "We like mud, and it gives Harry opportunity to pontificate about mud being our friend." 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Battle of Perryville 150th Anniversary

October 8 marks the 150th anniversary of the largest and most significant battle fought during the Civil War in Kentucky.  This past weekend Dudeboy and I once again fell in with the 9th Kentucky for the reenactment of the Battle of Perryville, or Battle of Chaplin Hills.  A big thanks to Uncle John for documenting our experience with these photos.  Above . . . the 9th Ky. leaving camp to join the fray.

Marching to meet the enemy.  This part of the battle represented the "Fight for Webster's Hill."  This is the first time that a reenactment has taken place on this part of the actual battlefield.

 Know thy enemy . . .

While the actual 9th Ky was at Perryville, they did not see action as they were held in reserve.

In all there were three battle reenactment scenarios.  All of the photos are from "Fight for Webster's Hill."  On the 9th Ky. website, there is a neat photo showing Dudeboy and me in "The Fight for the Cornfield," which we portrayed on Sunday.  The actual battle only took place on October 8, 1862.

As the Civil War Trust website states:
The Battle of Perryville produced 7,621 total casualties (4,220 Union and 3,401 Confederate).  Of this number, 1,422 soldiers were killed in the battle and 5,534 were wounded.  When you add in the soldiers who died later of wounds suffered at Perryville, the number of men who lost their lives as a result of fighting at Perryville comes to 2,377.  This high casualty figure made Perryville the second bloodiest battle of the Western Theater (after Shiloh) in the Fall of 1862.
Many consider Perryville to be the high water mark of the Confederacy in the western theater.

In retreat . . .  

Back in camp . . .