Home » 2002 Cross Country Road Trip

Friends Driveway in Western KY / Land Between the Lakes, KY

Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 11:30am by Lolo
400 miles and 7 hours from our last stop - 2 night stay


After a long drive, we arrived at the home of some very good friends that had moved to western Kentucky several years ago. Ed had been Herb's rock climbing buddy for close to 10 years, spending every weekend together climbing the Shawnagunk Mountains in New Paltz, New York. Then, to our dismay, he moved with his family to Kentucky to take a position as a biology professor at Murray State University.

Kids with Kentucky HorseKids with Kentucky HorseWhat a different lifestyle from New Jersey--14 acres of land, horse farms next door, no traffic. They loved it and I can see why. We found a level spot in their driveway and parked our "house on wheels" (as Ed's kids called it). We spent two wonderful nights visiting and catching up on old times.

Ed, who is a biology professor at Murray State University, gave us a tour of the college. The kids' favorite part of the tour by far was Ed's lab where they were enthralled by his vast collection of snakes and lizards. Ed promised to send them a baby corn snake when the one in his lab had its babies--great! I'll have to have a little talk with Ed.

The next day, Ed took us on an outing to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, which is only about a 30 minutes drive from his home. This peninsula of land between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barclay is a recreational mecca with great fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, and much more. After a refreshing swim in Lake Barclay, we decided to visit the Elk and Bison Range within the park. After paying our $3 a carload, we entered the gates of this restored habitat hoping to see a bison. We were not disappointed--almost immediately, one planted itself on the road in front of us and settled down for a rest. After patiently waiting for about 10 minutes for it to move, Ed told us he would use his vast knowledge of the animal kingdom to deal with the situation (after all, he has a PhD in Biology). We watched in awe as he rolled down his window, stuck his head out, and spoke to the bison--"You're ugly!" I think I could have done that without the eight years of schooling. The taunt had absolutely no effect, so we settled back to wait him out. After a few minutes and on its own terms, the bison slowly got up and walked off the road.


Herb tossing Tommy in Lake BarclayHerb tossing Tommy in Lake BarclayThe Land Between Lakes (known locally as LBL) is a 170,000 acre National Recreation Area that lies on a narrow strip of land between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake in Trigg and Lyon Counties in Kentucky and Stewart County in Tennessee. The park was created in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy with the intent that it be used by the Tennessee Valley Authority as a demonstration in resource development. Today, the park is wholly owned by the federal government. The last private residents left in 1970.

There is much recreational activity to enjoy in the park. Besides the boating, fishing, and watersports available on the lakes, there are over 200 miles of hiking, mountain biking, horseback, and off-highway vehicle trails that are open year round. Other popular outdoor activities include camping, hunting, wildlife viewing, and photography. In addition to the wildlife native to the area, LBL maintains herds of bison and elk in a 750-acre habitat restoration area that visitors can drive through.

Other interpretive facilities include the Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory, which offers planetarium shows and telescope viewing sessions; the Homeplace-1850, a living history farm demonstrating the life of an 1850s farm family; and the Nature Station, an environmental education center which leads wildlife viewing hikes.

Friends Driveway in Western KY / Land Between the Lakes location map in "high definition"

Javascript is required to view this map.