The Bluegrass State – Week 1 done

aviation, Flying Is Fun, photo, Travel

Half way through this long trip to Lexington Kentucky.  It was a brutal week at work – I don’t perform well in a fishbowl.  Too many people, too many problems, too much stress.  We ended off further along the project than we started so I guess it should be considered a successful week.

Yesterday(Saturday) I needed to blow off some steam so it was off to “Thunder Over Louisville” the annual kick-off to the Derby Festival which culminates with the Kentucky Derby.  Thunder Over Louisville is 1/2 airshow and 1/2 fireworks display.  I only stayed for the airshow because I didn’t relish the thought of trying to get out of town at the same time that 1/2 million people have the same idea. 

I left the hotel in Lexington at about 8:30 and took the 1 1/2 hour drive to Louisville.  Beautiful country on the way and a very pleasant trip.  Downtown Louisville is very pretty and it was a short walk from the parking lot to the Ohio River where the event takes place.

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I thought I had arrived too early (5 hours before the show started) but the locals know better.  Prime real estate on the riverfront along the flight line was already taken by tens of thousands of people and they kept coming all day.  Whole families had staked out their areas with chairs, tents, BBQs, coolers, toys, flags, etc., etc., etc.

These are dedicated folks who stay in the same place from, probably, 7 o’clock in the morning until 10 that night.  Everyone was in great spirits even though the temperature had fallen from the 80’s on Friday to the low to mid 60’s yesterday.

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With plenty of time to kill, I wandered up and down the river checking things out and enjoying a lovely Saturday morning.  Hunger caught up with me so I stopped in to Joe’s Crab Shack which occupies a high vantage point to see the action.  Unfortunately, a ticket costs $200 in advance!  Was able to get in for lunch which was Bloody Marys’ and crab dip. I found out that they did have a slightly cheaper deal.  Underneath the restaurant, they had a fenced off area that you could access for $5 with bar and food service and dedicated Port-A-Potties which seemed like a great idea given the size of the crowd outside and the conspicuous lack of toilet facilities.  A wrist band insured that I would be able to come and go as I pleased.

Finally, the show started.  With all the good spots long gone, I had to make do with a spot right beside the massive speaker system that boomed out rock and roll all day.  It gave me a good view as the aircraft started their runs.  I’ve got about 200 pictures to go through but here’s a few of my favourites so far.

tol_b52_02  My first B52!  This showed up late in the show but I was glad I had a chance to catch this cold-warrior that is still going strong.  Majestic and pretty dam quiet considering the size.  She made 2 quick passes and was off.

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The KC-10 “Extender”.  Air-to-air refuelling.  Another old bird that first went into service in 1979.

I could post photos all day but it’s time to get ready to go to the Kentucky Aviation Museum near the Lexington airport.  Then it’s back to the hotel to do homework and get ready to have my spirit crushed for another week.  Oh, well at least I get to go home on Friday.