Tuesday, February 12, 2013

From the Mixed-Up Files of Kim Fritzemeier

Rural Lexington, Kentucky
When I was a child, I loved the book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. (It was published in 1967 - when I was 10 - and received the annual Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1968.)

Anyway, since returning from visiting Brent in Morehead, Kentucky, I think Kim's County Line has had that mixed-up quality. It's not that this space is ever all about one subject. Still, I've written a couple of posts from our trip, but more timely things have crept into the forefront.

So, from the Mixed Up Files of Kim Fritzemeier (which won't win any Newbury Awards by the way), I thought I'd return to Kentucky and points in between. (But, just know that it may not be a straight line to the end of these travel posts.)

Though Kentucky is bluegrass country, you can't tell it in January. It was bitterly cold the week we were there. But even though the grasses were more brown than blue-green - just like home - it was still beautiful country.
Named for the color of its calcium- and phosphate-enriched grass, the bluegrass region was settled by Europeans in the 1780s. By the mid-nineteenth century, agrarian-based industries such as tobacco farming and bourbon distillation sprang up there, along with breeding and racing of prized horses.
The days were overcast, but there was beauty in the quiet. There's weren't many horses outside their fancy barns since it was unseasonably cold, but there was beauty in horse country just the same.
I had to use the telephoto lens to find any horses at all!
Historically, barns in Kentucky and other tobacco states are black, brown, or some other dark color to help heat the barn where tobacco was curing. The black fences aren't painted, but rather, covered with creosote, a black tar-like substance. One internet source said that the creosote keeps the horses from chewing on the fence. 
Kentucky also provided my first look at a covered bridge. There are 13 left in the state. Though a brochure said there are eight in the Morehead region and surrounding counties, we only found one before dusk and before we needed to be back to town for a Morehead State basketball game.
I loved how the old church was framed by looking through the bridge. You could still drive through this bridge on your way to this church and some houses.
The Goddard "White" Bridge in Fleming County is the only surviving example of the Ithiel Town Lattice design in Kentucky. The timbers are joined with wooden pegs (tree-nails).  The sign said that the date of its construction is unknown; however, a pamphlet we picked up in the Daniel Boone National Forest said it was built in 1820. It may be the oldest covered bridge in Kentucky still open to traffic. The 63-foot span was restored in 1968.
Just to the north of the bridge was this barn, a part of the Foothills Quilt Trail. Though we saw lots of quilt pieces on barns and other buildings, this is the only one I got a photo of, since we were already stopped. The Foothills Quilt Trail is a multi-county and multi-state project which honors both quilting and farming, two important aspects of Kentucky culture.
It was beautiful country, even in the cold of winter and even though my fingers got mighty chilly taking all the photos. The price for beauty, I guess.


  1. Wow I love your photo's it really makes me want to go to Kentucky!! I have always wanted to go but never really had a reason to. I just found your blog and I have enjoyed reading over some of your posts!! I look forward to following your blog!


    1. Glad to have you along for the trip! Thanks for stopping by and for taking time to leave a comment. I look forward to visiting you on your dirt road because I know I'll be right at home.

  2. You did a great job capturing a bit of my home state. Thanks for the tour. So glad you enjoyed your visit. :)

    1. Thanks, Patsy! Hope you enjoyed the "visit" home!