Take Time for Louisville

Did Paul Bunyan hike south from Canada to leave his baseball bat beside the Louisville Slugger Museum? It’s not unlikely because there, standing beside the wall is a 31,000 kg bat standing 36 metres high. It’s actually higher than the five storey building, and that would be Paul’s size. The museum sees over 200,000 visitors a year many coming to see the Louisville Slugger bat, a bat made by the same family that has been active in woodworking for over a century. The museum features all things baseball and you can get a guided tour of the factory.  Outside you can walk along the Louisville Slugger Walk of Fame and see bronze representations of some famous hitters and their Louisville Slugger bat.

Louisville is on one of the Snow Bird routes south and visitors passing through as the Christmas Season nears will enjoy the efforts that go into ‘Light up Louisville’.  Apparently Santa will be leaving Canada, from the North Pole,  making a special trip to Louisville where he helps the Mayor pick up a big electrical plug which when placed in the socket illuminates holiday lighting in a large section of down town Louisville. There is also a huge parade with over 100 entries, and lots of lights, fireworks, and fun for all in down town Jefferson Square Park.

Louisville is well known for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs and is a show that is attended by huge crowds. Other people like to take a slow river boat cruise or just go shopping.

Louisville RV Trade Show

Louisville has many shows such as the Boat, RV and Sportshow in January at the Kentucky Exposition Centre. The town also hosts the massive National RV Trade Show, also in the Exposition Centre. This event in early December will see more than 1000 exhibitors and dealers of RV related items.


RV Lifestyle Booth at Louisville



While this event is not for the general public it is a show that presents new and exciting products to the most important people in the RV business, the dealers. If they aren’t up to date, it’s hard for them to tell their customers what is new.





Louisville South KOA

If you are driving  an RV the Louisville South KOA is located just out of town at Shepherdsville which is south on I-65 and east on Hwy 44. This location makes it easy to keep out of the rush, and then drive into town to do your touring, eating, and shopping. This KOA isn’t only a handy place to stop, it is made for family pleasure.

Great Camping at Lousiville South KOA

Kids will enjoy the mini-golf and other outside games, and the pools. The whole family can enjoy walking along the river or relaxing in the big hot tub.

Whether you are heading south for the winter, or touring the country in the summer, Louisville has a lot of reasons for you to visit.

Happy RVing !

For more than four decades James Stoness has travelled the roads of North America, photographing and writing about what he has seen. His travel articles and beautiful pictures have been published in several magazines and newspapers. He is also the author of five western novels.

Visit his website at:  www.stonesstravelguides.com

La Cite de L’Or

Our fascination with gold is endless and enduring. Capitalizing on this interest, the city of Val D’Or has established the site at the old Lamaque Gold Mine as an industrial mining

The Mine's Headframes

heritage. Funds, along with Federal Government grants are rapidly turning this abandoned gold mine into an exciting day trip into the past to see how the gold mine operated during its active years.


Here, you will have the opportunity to visit the mine, mine buildings, and the preserved home of the miners, and experience the ambiance of a real gold mine.

A visit to the Administration office shows you real samples of the gold ore, taken from the gold veins. Sometimes after viewing the samples you wonder what was it that looked so

Ore Samples

rich that it led to one of the richest mines in the area. In here are also a few of the old tools used by the miners and the geologists.


The Winch room shows the winch that acted as an elevator to carry miners down the shaft into the mine, and to lift out the tons of ore that the miners had wrenched from the solid rock. The shaft descended 1200 metres and the hoistman was in full command of the operation. He had to follow cage with the men, and know where the tunnels on each level were so he could let men off to go to work.

The Analytical building kept statistics on the ore’s quality. Samples of ore would be pulverized and melted and analysed to find how much gold was present. A technician shows the tour group how the ore was treated and you can see a casting being prepared from an ore sample.

When it’s time to enter the mine you are taken to a clothing room and suited up.

Suit-up Room

You see how your suit is lowered from a hook, you get your hard-hat, and a lantern and battery and taken to a mine vehicle to climb aboard. This odd looking vehicle has the driver sitting sideways to his direction of travel, which looks very strange, and must be difficult to do. There isn’t much time to think about it because you soon enter the mine portal and begin to descend 91 metres to an old working level of the mine. In this old working level you see the drills that drilled  the rock, and the strange power shovel that loaded the broken ore onto the ore carts. Here, too, you wander along the darkened mine wall and perhaps ponder on the profession of a miner.

Mine Portal

Once back on the surface you can tour Bourlamque’s Mining Village using an portable tape player that tells stories about the various buildings. These are still occupied home and are painted nicely and look very well cared for.

After your tour of the mine’s facilities you will understand what goes on beneath some of the strange mining buildings you see as you travel the north country. There are a small number of electrically service RV sites so it’s a convenient place to visit, and see the town.


Happy RVing!

For more than four decades James Stoness has travelled the roads of North America, photographing and writing about what he has seen. His travel articles and beautiful pictures have been published in several magazines and newspapers. He is also the author of five western novels.  Visit his website at:  www.stonesstravelguides.com

The Magnificent Desert

Desert View

More and more of the snowbirds who have been frequenting the coasts of Florida and Texas are spending their winters farther west. They have discovered the beauty of the desert. Low humidity, sunny skies, and long picturesque views have won them over. Of course, winter is the best time to visit the deserts. Temperatures range from cool to comfortably warm. Most crawly creatures are sleeping away their ‘winter’ and the weather is great for visitors to get out and walk among the strange desert vegetation.
One of the very scenic drives is found in eastern California passing from Death Valley NP south through the Mojave Preserve to Joshua Tree NP. It’s a drive filled with a variety of desert scenery.

Desert Dunes
Desert Dunes

The bajada is a feature not observed where there is a lot of vegetation. It is a broad apron of debris accumulated around the cliffs and the resulting view is that of a sea of small mountains surrounded by sloping oceans of sand.
This route roams across desolate flat lands and up and down numerous small mountains. There are always mountains in view and as you approach the tops of the ridges you never know when you will be entranced by a wonderful jumble of blue mountains and hidden valleys where you can see wave upon wave of purple ridges rolling to the horizon.
Normally, we would take this trip south from Furnace Creek, in Death Valley NP but the summer of 2004 arrived with deadly floods that have closed many of the roads in the south of the park. Instead I suggest going west from Las Vegas to Shoshone and heading south from there.
Many highways do not have installed culverts. Instead there is a dip in the road where the water crosses. Most have warning signs that tell you not to enter when water is flowing. You might wonder if water ever flows there but a careful look at the erosion at the end of the dip, or at the sand and stones strewn across the pavement might change your mind. Cars do get carried right off the highway from the force of the water in these flooded dips.

Salt Beds

The Amargosa River drains a vast area to the east and eventually the highway crosses the several branches of the river. It’s strange to see so many culverts in a row under the highway with not a drop of water in sight. After the river rounds the southern end of a mountain range it then swings north to drain into Death Valley where it forms a lake for a while, and eventually evaporates leaving the white salt pans that are first to catch the eye of the visitor to the park.
In the Mojave Preserve, a long descent through cacti and creosote bushes takes you to Kelso Station, an old railway station of beautiful Spanish architecture that is the new park

Kelso Depot Visitor Centre

visitor centre for the vast Mojave National Preserve. The nearby Kelso Sand Dunes rise to over 600 feet above the desert floor in a profusion of shapely curves that extend far down the valley. Although difficult to climb it might be worth the effort just to slide down one of the steeper faces, or to listen to the music of the sliding sand.
Eventually, you make another winding climb before rolling down another long slope to Amboy where the flow from an ancient volcanic cinder cone left a streak of black lava across the dry sands toward dry Bristol Lake. On the lake, sand dikes surround evaporation ponds used to collect salt.
For miles the vegetation changes from lowland desert plants to highland varieties and back again as the roller coaster ride continues, taking you to the top of the Granite Mountains where erosion is creating strangely sculptured pillars and scattered piles of massive boulders.

Sunset in Joshua Tree NP

In the town of Twentynine Palms artists have painted beautiful murals with western themes onto the sides of buildings. In nearby Yucca Valley, Hollywood has captured the beauty of the surrounding area on film in ‘It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World’.
For more desert scenery head south into Joshua Tree NP which has a fantastic variety of eroded mountains, huge boulders, and a couple of cactus patches.

Happy RVing!

For more than four decades James Stoness has travelled the roads of North America, photographing and writing about what he has seen. His travel articles and beautiful pictures have been published in several magazines and newspapers. He is also the author of five western novels.  Visit his website at:  www.stonesstravelguides.com