Confederate Cemetery More Catch up: The entire reason for our trip to the South was to celebrate the wedding of Lee's longtime friend Cristina and her now-wife Kailen. Kailen is from the middle of nowhere Kentucky. A teency tiny town outside of Campbellsville that literally straddles both Central and Eastern Time Zones. Or as they affectionately call it, Slow Time and Fast Time. Our phones (when we had service) literally bounced between the time zones depending on where we were on the property. It was so strange!
We pulled into Campbellsville in time for a late dinner on Friday night before getting situated at the Best Western. We then had most of Saturday to explore the area before heading out for the ceremony. That morning on our run I was reminded so much of Indiana! The small town, the sense of fall, the houses, the terrain... And as I was sharing my nostalgia with Lee I said, "the only thing these houses are missing are Hoosier Geese and Hoosier Balls and we may as well be in Indiana". What do you know but the next few houses had one or the other! I felt like I had returned to my mission. Chrstina and Kailen's Wedding We even saw a set of Elders biking by. I felt right at home. After our run we found breakfast at Best Donuts (not many options in Campbellsville), went shopping for the essentials we needed to round out our upcoming days on the trail in Smoky Mountains, and then visited the nearby sites affiliated with the Civil War Battle at Tebb's Bend.
The ceremony was at Kailen's dad's house late Saturday afternoon. It was small, casual and perfect for them. Their vows were actually Madlibs style (and hysterical) and the guests sat on hay bales. Once the brief ceremony was over, the ribs and BBQ came out and we spent the next several hours hanging our around the bonfire and enjoying a few laughs before calling it a night. We were so glad we had the opportunity to support them in their union.
Cumberland Falls On Sunday we went to the local branch for church. They were very disappointed to learn we were just passing through and not moving to the area. After church we took the long way to Gatlinburg, TN stopping at both Cumberland Falls and the Cumberland Gap. Both came highly rated by the locals at the wedding. They claimed Cumberland Falls is the Niagra of the south. So of course we had to stop in. It was a pretty stop as was the drive to the falls, and we could imagine how it would be Kentucky's largest falls during the spring. From there we went a little out of our way to visit the Cumberland Gap and got another stamp in our National Park passport. Tri State Peak We drove out to Pinnacle Overlook for some beautiful views of the area and then did a short hike to Tri State Peak. I have always wanted to go to the Four Corners and was so excited to learn there was a near equivalent in Cumberland Historic park! We stood in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia all at the same time!
We found a funky little coffee shop just outside the park where we had dinner and made our way to Gatlinburg to our VRBO rental. It was a late night that included laundry, a little shopping, and preparing for the following morning's departure on our 3-day pack trip into the Smokies. We certainly enjoyed our first week in the south, the history, the countryside and national parks! Pictures are here.