Kentucky Horse Park and Red River Gorge

One day we drove to Lexington. Known as the horse capital of the world, there were many statues of horses.

Just outside Lexington is the Kentucky Horse Park,

with two museums; the International Museum of the Horse

and American Saddlebred Museum, as well as Arabian Horse gallery.

We took the trolly ride around the park to see the barns and buildings

There was even a horse cemetery!

It is also the “retirement home” of several champion race horses. Some were featured in the Hall of Champion show, including: .

Be a Bono, World Champion 2004

Da Hoss, recordsetting Breeders Cup

Funny Cide, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner

Cigar, winningest horse, Dubai World Cup and voted “Racehorse of the Decade”

Doesn’t Be a Bono look like he is wanting to get out and race again?!

We also saw another show, Horses of the World

These Fresian horses danced to music, and was so fun to watch.

I even got a picture of Paul on a horse!!

Other famous race horses honored by statues included Secretariat

and Man o War.

Located closer to the college, we visited the Red River Gorge Geological Area. There are more than 100 arches in the park. The entrance has a 900 ft. narrow one-way tunnel.

Paul let me hike some of the trails and I enjoyed every minute!!

This is where I saw the cute little moss head…. ever hear the saying a rolling stone gathers no moss? this one hasn’t moved much….

These are the other wonderful rock formations I saw on my hikes….

Whistling Arch

Angel windows

Princess Arch

Chimney Rock Overlook

The road follows along the beautiful Red River

There is so much more to see at the Red River Gorge area, but we ran out of time. One more rock…….
Doesn’t this rock look like two heads cuddling?

Adjacent to the college was a farm with several horses and colts…. yep, it is horse country, and it is spring!

The other two MMAP couples left Friday, but Paul wanted to finish up a couple of jobs that were started. One of the couples, the Newman’s, had a problem loading their car onto their tow trailer, going over the front of the trailer. Ooops!

So Paul got to “play” with the jeep and was able to pull the car back!
We said goodbye again, and they left for home in Delaware.

There is still so much to see in the area…. so glad it is close enough, we hope to come back!
We left Sunday and stopped in Bardstown, KY, to spend a few days on the way to Indiana…. more later on our stay here.

KY Natural Bridge State Park, country roads

The first weekend here was our 40th wedding anniversary, so to celebrate the day, we went out for dinner at the Natural Bridge State Park. The park was founded in 1895 by the Lexington and Eastern Railroad, a subsidiary of Kentucky Lumber Company. At the time, the only way to reach the park was with a ticket on the railroad. It was donated to the state in 1926.

The noon dinner was the Easter buffet and it was a fantastic meal.
After dinner, we hiked up to the Natural Bridge…. it was really quite a sight! Larger than I had expected.

There were no railings at the top!

When we got to the top, I showed Paul the alternative route……

but we had more fun the way we went! The trail up and back was a delight.

(including Lover’s Leap)

On another weekends while working in Kentucky, we did a bit of “meandering” on some back roads

Saw swinging bridges

and other funky stuff!

We ended up at an Elk Viewing area, but only saw wild horses.

In spite of the ladies working 55 hours during this project, we were able to plan two ladies days out. The first one we shopped at a couple of thrift stores and had lunch out in Jackson, and as usual had a great time of fun.

The second day out was more adventurous; we tried to find a craft store that was out in the country….

but when we couldn’t find it, we were told it had moved to town.

I talked to a local, who was working at the church next to where the store used to be located.

He was there to catch groundhogs that had been destroying the flowers. He only kills what he can eat… and was surprised I had not eaten groundhog. It is the best meal you can have if you can find one of the old ladies around that know how to cook it right!

We learned later the store had actually closed. We did find another craft store in Boonesville to visit. But we saw more interesting things as we drove through the countryside; a bed of flowers,

and a little pioneer village

and stopping in Boonesville to eat at Mel’s Diner for lunch!

One weekend the school had an open house for potential students, with Courage as the theme. There was a variety show that night, with cute skits.

and Kentucky band.

Wouldn’t you be surprised if you thought this was a ball and it was a real person’s head?

as well as games

But also became serious when they showcased their singing groups

and showed the movie “Courage”.

The college has an impressive 80% rate for graduates going into ministry, which is the primary purpose of the students. It is a privilege to support the work at such an organization.

MMAP Kentucky Mountain Bible College, Vancleve, KY

We have been at Kentucky Mountain Bible College for more than two weeks now. Between lack of free time, intermittent internet service, and the new blog format, it has taken me a while to get a blog up!

It has been a wonderful experience to work here! We are so blessed to be able to serve our Lord in this way!

There is so much work to do here, so we feel very needed, and they are so appreciative. The students are really friendly, and it is like a family. The oldest staff member is 97 years young who came here for a year in 1939 and never left!!

There is a house on campus that is being remodeled, which is the focus of the project for the men. There are two other couples, and lots of work! They have been installing insulation

and removing

and replacing windows

They were going to have the team repair multiple leaks, but at the last minute they decided to have Paul completely replumb the house. This included removing all of the galvanized and cast iron piping and installing all new Pex plumbing for the water and PVC plumbing for the sewage system. Consequently, Paul spent most of the time working on the new project. He added new valves, shut off, black flow and pressure regulators.

One of the MMAP couples are caretakers for her 51 year old brother who has Downs Syndrome. He was a delight and always ready to help.

The ladies worked a lot harder than usual, putting in over 20 hours a week in an old three story apartment building.
We were tasked with painting two apartments on the third floor that will be used for married student housing next fall.

It took at least two coats of Kilz plus three coats of paint for each of the rooms!!
Although we are working hard, we enjoyed ourselves!

and in the evening after supper, we played games a couple of nights and even had a singalong!

We ladies treated ourselves to an opportunity offered at the college when the Martin family, of Biblical Discipleship Ministries came for a mini-conference, and we all took advantage of a Radio Revival meeting which was broadcast live for the college-run radio station.

We even took time off and gave blood when the bloodmobile came to the college~

The college also runs a farm to help the college be partially self-supported with meat.

Paul was exited there was a place to take the jeep on a 4WD road to tour the former open-pit coal mine on the property!

We look forward to coming back here in the future. We will be here for the remainder of this week, then on to Indiana. The next blog will be on our weekend outtings while here in Kentucky.

North and South Carolina Beaches

Normally between projects, we choose to do some sightseeing, but this time, I think we were still tired from the Israel trip! Since we had two weeks between, we decided to go home for about ten days. Paul was able to fix several small maintenance items as well as waxing one side and cleaning the roof and the carpet in the motor home (as well as carpet in a couple of rooms in the house)!

Confirmation from the Lord on several fronts… by going home, we found out our doctor was changing medical offices and when Paul got his blood work done, he was able to talk to the doctor and find out where he was going to go. We got a surprise loaf of bread in the mail that would have gone bad by the time we got it (that would have been a very sad thing), and we were able to see three of our grandchildren, David, Hailey and Tegan

and go to an Easter egg hunt with the girls,

and got to watch one of Hailey’s (our 4-year old granddaughter) soccer games (a delightful experience!)

She is on far right in the picture.
Makes us miss our CA grandkids!!!

We did not realize how much we missed the ocean! We were about an hour away, so after the first week of work, we headed to the beach! A little different from the Pacific, but it is fun to just enjoy the sound of the waves and feel the salt air!

We stopped at Oak Island to see the lighthouse

Then took the ferry

to Fort Fisher, a key supply route during the Civil War for blockade runners supplying the Confederate armies.

The following week we decided to go to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. We were only a little over an hour away, so we left Saturday morning and found they were having a St. Patrick’s Day Festival

After spending some time walking around, we enjoyed sitting on the beach for a while,

and then decided we wanted to spend the night. Because spring break, the festival, and a car show were all going on, we didn’t know if we would find a place, but we did, at a reasonable cost, and it was right on the beach. We did not have an ocean view, but if we looked toward the beach we could see it!

We ventured out again after resting, and took a ride on the skywheel and got a great view from the top!

It was lit up in green after dark

And enjoyed the Myrtle Beach Pipe Band playing

We had a great, relaxing time before heading back for our last week of work at Camp Grace.

MMAP Camp Grace, Fairmont, NC

Our Israel trip took so many blogs, I am now a month behind! We arrived home on Thursday, the first of March and left again on Saturday morning! We had committed to go on a MMAP trip to North Carolina, which started on Friday; but since the work itself did not start until Monday, it worked out fine.

It was a rocky start for our whole group. When we arrived, we found out the intended coordinator had come down ill and would not be there. Another couple had a death in their extended family, so they had left and were gone for a few days.

Remember the thousands of bugs we talked about getting in PA last September? They are still with us….they are coming out of hibernation….we are picking up or killing at least a dozen a day!! We are leaving them in TN, GA, now NC!! I now understand how pests spread!! They travel via campers!!

For the month of March, Camp Grace was home. It is so totally kid focused and oriented!

Not only does their ministry include camps, but also release-time education at schools

and children’s mail-in Bible courses, which are corrected and sent back with input and personal comments.

The facility included lots of choices for physical activities, including the swimming hole!

We were the second group to use the new campsite.

Lake Blue is named for one of the early workers, although it reflected the blue sky as well.

The first project of the month was to strip and resurface the floor in the 7000 square foot dining/multipurpose room and kitchen.

In steps, the first step was to apply the stripping chemical,

then machine buff

and vacuum up the chemical

then rinse a minimum of 5 times!

The guys decided MMAP stood for Men Mops and Pails!

The end result….it came out beautiful!

Another project was the caulking between cement floor squares in the cabins.

The following week, one of the staff homes was painted.

And the ladies helped with a mailout of a staff newsletter to churches but I didn’t have my camera!

I did take some time off during the second week because I had either caught the crud our tour guide and a few others had on the Israel trip, or allergies. It wiped me out for a few days, so I took Sudafed and slept! During this time, I missed the official ladies day out…. but they all wanted to go back to this one store, the Clothes and Such, to see if there was anything new, then we went antiquing and out for lunch. I felt like I did not miss out on the social event of the month after all!

The camp got 24 bunk beds that need to be sanded down, stained and reassembled,

and rails were built for the top bunks

By the end of the third week all had been stained, and those that were needed for the next camp were reassembled.
The rest were put into storage to be assembled after the new cabin has been built.

Paul even made a new friend……

The last morning there, we woke up early, and we saw this beautiful, foggy sunrise over the lake…..It was just such a different look than the bright blue sky, but in its own way, just as beautiful and stunning.

Israel! Elat and Timna Park

After leaving Petra, we had another great Jordanian meal,

We left Jordan and passed through the border at Aqaba, the site of the 1994 peace treaty signing.

Transporting automobiles are a big business in Elat. It is strategically located at the southern tip of Israel on the Red Sea.
Cars are shipped from Japan to avoid going through the Suez Canal, to avoid the per car charge.
Israel ships magnesium, phosphate and dates back to Japan.

Our hotel in Elat had a fantastic view of the Red Sea.

with another great buffet!

and had one of my favorite Israeli desserts!
a cupcake that melted in my mouth; a cross between a cupcake and mousse and topped with a chocolate meringue!

The area had a tropical beach feel

with cafes along the seashore.

This was our last night in Israel, and we left in the morning to go
north through the Aravat Valley to Timna Park, on the way to the airport. This park is the site of the world’s oldest copper mines dating back more than 6000 years ago, when men first learned how to produce copper and other metals.

When we entered the park we watched a multimedia presentation first, giving the history of the Egyptian ventures.

Spiral Hill, one of the hills formed by the forces of climate.

Solomon’s Pillars formed as a result of erosion along the cracks of the red sandstone.

The highlight of the park is a built-to-scale model of the tabernacle.

We saw another model while in Pennsylvania, but unlike that model, we were able to take pictures inside, as well as enter the holiest of holies.

This model seemed so much more real to me. I think the setting, in the middle of the Israel desert, with the wind and sand, gave a feel of how the Israelites lived and worshipped.

The dust storm we drove through made everything hazy.
As we continued north, we passed the Dead Sea, at the southern tip. The road was lined with a towering mountain of salt, which was the former site of Sodom and Gomorrah!

And this is the traditional statute of Lot’s wife

We got to Tel Aviv early enough to have a farewell dinner, and say goodbye to our driver and guide before getting to the airport and leaving at midnight! When we got to Nashville, our granddaughter, Tegan, was there to greet us (along with her mommy, daughter, Karyn!)

Food and safety seems to be a hinderance for people when they consider traveling to Israel. From my blogs, you can tell the food was fantastic! Our safety did not seem to be a concern. I think they like the tourist dollars, so wherever we were, we felt safe. Even in Jordan when we had a guard on the bus, we did not feel threatened. Our host, Rick Hill, is in the process of putting together another trip in 2014…..We would highly recommend considering it!!

I never thought I would ever get to go to Israel or Petra……I have enjoyed sharing it with all of you, (but did not show you the entire 2800 pictures I took) and encourage you to make that trip!! If asked what was my favorite place, I could not tell you. Each place was a highlight, had a wonderful meaning, and such a beauty of its own. I am soooo thankful and blessed to have had this wonderful experience.