|Image via KentuckyRoads.com|
It has become a bit of a joke among me and my friends. How far does it actually take to drive Paducah from Louisville? 5 hours, right? 5 and a half?
NO. It does not.
Driving west for five and half hours will land you somewhere in the Ozarks, not Paducah. It's about a three hour drive if you don't stop. Four if you drive slow and stop A LOT.
But this isn't post isn't sponsored by Google Maps. It's sponsored by the Western Kentucky Appreciation Society and I'm the dang President. I'm stinking tired of being forgotten, mocked, and downright ignored.
Don't get me wrong. Louisville is lovely. I lived in Lexington for four years and it will always hold a special place in my heart. The rolling green hills and horse farms of Central Kentucky are truly beautiful but they are not the entirety of what Kentucky has to offer.
Even eastern Kentucky gets a certain amount of specialized press. Sure, it's not exactly positive all the time but they have that whole Appalachian thing going. No one will ever deny that the mountains of eastern Kentucky aren't some of the most beautiful in the nation or that the culture is distinctive and intriguing.
But hello! There is a whole other section of the state with some things to offer.
For example, when the Kentucky Bucket List came out only EIGHT items on the list come from Western Kentucky. EIGHT. No mention of Land between the Lakes? Seriously? What about the National Quilt Museum in Paducah? Or Col. Bill Newsom's Aged Country Ham in Princeton? Patti's 1880s Settlement? I mean those things are WORLD famous.
I realize I'm starting to sound a bit like Jan Brady but I promise you I'm not the only one. We western Kentuckians get really tired of being treated like the red-headed stepchildren (which as a redheaded stepchild myself I REALLY resent) of the state. Dinner parties are rife with complaints about the state meetings always held in Louisville or the glassy eyed stares returned when someone suggests Paducah as a convention site.
Well, I'm here to tell you western Kentucky is fantastic. We might not be as showy as some other parts of the state but WE are the birthplace of Bill Monroe and bluegrass music and WE have the best damn barbecue in the entire state - nay, NATION - AND we've got Bubbleland. So, there.
But don't take my word for it, take a trip down the Western Kentucky Parkway and find out for yourself sometime!