I rolled into Lexington in the early evening and of course told my friend Kevin, who is from a family of “avid” (an understatement) UK fans, that I was on their turf. He strongly suggested I stay until the next men’s basketball game and get a ticket. I looked this up and the cheapest was over $150, so that was not gonna happen. But as I walked around town I discovered that the women’s team was playing their last home game that night, and with a price tag of $10 that was more my speed. Not being familiar with the lady Cats I was unsure whether to be angry about the price gap, different smaller arena, and half-filled seats as an indication of gender disparity, or if this was just a byproduct of the men’s team being consistently good. I have a feeling now that it was the latter, but I retain my potential for grumpiness at a later date if I find it was the former.

Anyway, the game was fun considering I a) know very little about basketball, b) have no allegiance to the team aside from the subtle indoctrination that comes from years of watching games with my friend, and c) there was a small snack selection available. Regardless, it was inside while it was very cold outside, and I had a lovely time chatting with the older lady next to me who gave me all she had to suggest I should move there to teach. She should really work for the chamber of commerce, but that said she lives now in Louisville so her money is not where her mouth is (or however that applies here).

I spent a chilly night in a Cabela’s parking lot, during which I had to move in the middle of the night to another parking space since an RV near me was running its loud heater and my half asleep brain wondered if it was spewing carbon monoxide my way. For one reason or another I slept much better after that.

My roadside attractions list showed that a stuffed bear famous for eating a lot of cocaine was in a shop not far away, so I went by there only to be disappointed to find the cocaine bear had gone on loan just that morning to Rupp Arena for a concert and the basketball game, so that was a bummer, but I bought some ridiculous items anyway. After moving on downtown and grabbing some coffee and a sandwich from a cute spot, I walked across the street to Thoroughbred Park and saw the sculptures and read up on horse people until I glazed over and lost interest (I admit it was only like 5 minutes in).

From Lexington I went south into the Red River Gorge area, and stopped in at a Reptile Zoo where they milk venomous snakes to make vaccines and drugs. In retrospect this was not a stop worth paying for, but snake milking sounds crazy. And now I have an arsenal of snake pics to frighten my friends at any opportune moment.

I did a short hike around the gorge which perked me up. A lot of the roads in the area parks were closed for winter unfortunately, and my GPS sent me to the top of a tunnel I hoped to drive through rather than the actual tunnel part, but it was a fun adventure, aside from the bumpy state of the dirt road which bounced my poor tiny snake plant out of its pot and all over my van. I think I saved it, and moved it to the cupholder up front instead, but we shall see.

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