Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Our First 5th Wheel Road Trip (part 2 Ark Encounter)

The goal of our very first solo RV road trip was to get to Ohio for a memorial service, and do some sight seeing while we were in the area.  With that goal in mind, our route to and from was planned so that we would stay overnight in KOA campgrounds that had pull through sites. That way, we could remain hitched to the truck and be hooked up to water, sewer, and electric.  The next morning, we could just unhook from utilities, dump tanks, and head on our way.  For the most part, it was a good plan for our first trip. Eventually, we want to be comfortable enough to just start driving and find places to stay when we are ready to stop for the night. That thought still intimidates me a bit! But, we'll get there... right???

Since my previous post was about the memorial service and spending time with family, this post is intended to record some of the experiences we had while visiting in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Several years ago, I had read an article about an organization that was building a life-sized ark somewhere in Kentucky.  When planning this trip, it was at the top of our must see list.

The ark is located in Williamstown, Kentucky, which is between Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky  We drove for about 2 1/2 hours from our campsite in Argillite to get to the ark. My cousin, John, had told me you could see it from the road if you knew what you were looking for. Unfortunately, I can't do a lot of "looking" while I drive; and, Ron is almost as blind as a bat so he never saw it either.

Ark Encounter is located right off an interstate so getting to there is really easy. We went on a Monday morning in the early spring so there were no crowds.  The entire facility in simply fascinating; regardless of whether or not you believe in the Bible.  Many, many exhibits have scientific facts to substantiate the events that took place, and prove that what Noah did was NOT impossible by man's standards. I highly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go, to make the trip.  Nearby, there is a Creation Museum, which Ron and I chose to skip because I didn't know if his knees would handle so much walking.

At the entrance to the ark, there is an attendant that
will take your picture for you! We haven't mastered

There are several life-sized topiary animals as you enter the

The patina of the wood has started to change due to the weather.
It looks almost silver where the sun hits it.
The interior is still a more natural wood color.

There are no stairs inside the ark. You walk from one
level to another on wide ramps with a slight incline. 
This is one example of the feeding crates.
Small animals would be placed inside the crates. Food and
water were provided through the clay pots and
wooden boxes on the exterior.

Fresh water, oils, and grains were stored in large,
clay pots. There were also cisterns on the top
for collecting rain water.

Many scenes were built throughout the ark
to tell the story from the Bible; and, some
depicted daily life on the ark.

The center of the ark was open to allow light
to travel to each level.  

However, the passage ways were still very dim.
There were electric lights on the walls
built to look like oil lamps.

There is a LOT of reading to do. Most areas had
large diagrams and typed information to read. At first,
I thought it would have been nicer to have small
computer screens and audio to listen to. But,
after being in the ark for a while, listening to the whispered
voices with background music, I realized audio presentations
would have interfered with the reverent atmosphere.

Another shot of the ramps that take you from
one floor to the next.

Another depiction of daily chores that
kept Noah and his family busy each day.

One of the cages that represented where the
animals traveled. One interesting note: the animals
were modeled after fossilized remains that
are believed to have come from the time frame of
the actual flood. Thus, there were many unusual
looking animals that are now extinct.

The builders created separate living areas for each
of Noah's sons' families.

This is a depiction of Noah releasing the dove each
day to see if the waters had receded.
In addition to the displays, there is a theater at the end of each level. The films tell the story of how the developer funded and built the encounter. There are also numerous benches so anyone with mobility issues had plenty of places to rest.

When we left the ark, we discovered that there are several attractions on the grounds. They have a zip line set up on one side. There is also a petting zoo, vendors market, and monument walk. Because we were there during the off season and on a week day, many things weren't open. We did go to the all you can eat, buffet/cafeteria for lunch. The food was absolutely abundant and so good! The price is very reasonable as well. Ron and I ate for less than $30.

There was every salad you could imagine available.
None of it tasted like it was mass produced. It was
all fresh and delicious.

Ron stuck to his meat and potatoes favorites. He
said it was great; but, the man likes Spam so.....

I'm so glad we were able to make it to the Ark Encounter. We would love to take the grands so maybe we will add it to a family road trip itinerary one day.

No comments: