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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

Ark Encounter

We had 2 big events to pay for on this adventure. The first was the Silverwood theme park in Idaho. The second was the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY. After we were done with everything in Michigan, we headed south to Kentucky. We were originally planning on going to the Ark on the weekend, but the weather was too hot. Abe looked around until he found a park half an hour away and we stayed there for two nights so we could go on Monday when the temperature was only supposed to be in the 60s.

We got to talk to two couples while we were there. The first was Randy and his wife. I really wish I could recall her name. They were also going to the Ark Encounter on Monday. The other couple was James and Rayelle, who have been travelling since about the same time as us, but have gone back home a few times. Sunday evening we joined James and Rayelle at a campfire to visit for a while. Abe had talked to James earlier when he saw the front of his RV. James had made a brush guard in case any deer decided to jump in front of him, and he included two spots to put flag poles and a center section that holds a rack to dry clothes. It was definitely practical, but it's also always good have something to make your RV look a little more bad-ass.

Rayelle told us about an old church and cemetery a quarter mile down the road, at the top of a steep hill. I had to see it, so Abe and I hiked up to it. The church was a Baptist Predestinarian, which I've never heard of, but a sign said they still meet every Sunday. The cemetery was...old. A lot of the headstones had fallen down with age but at least one looked like it had been pushed over because it was too big to have fallen. What kind of a person would do that? We went around reading the headstones. I love the inscriptions, but many were too worn and covered with lichen to be legible. Every time I go to an old cemetery I wish I'd brought paper and a pencil to rub over the inscriptions. Maybe someday I'll remember. The saddest was a group of four children's headstones in a small fenced in area. All had died in 1890. I can't imagine the heartbreak.

After we finished looking around, we went back to the campfire. Rayelle had a packet of powder that she sprinkled on the fire to change the color. I was surprised that it worked, and for a several minutes we got to look at beautiful bright blue and green flames licking the air. They also lit a Chinese lantern. I've seen a few in the distance, but have never before had the pleasure of watching one be released.

The next morning we woke up to our alarms (we've both grown to hate alarms in the morning) so we could get to the Ark Encounter as soon as it opened. It was going to be 73 degrees instead of in the 60s, but cloudy and rainy so we opened windows and didn't need to worry about the dogs in the RV in the parking lot. Wow. The ship was massive from the outside. If you ever go, plan on staying the entire day. There's a lot to see. We got to do most of it, but we missed some videos they showed, and we didn't get to see the camel because of the rain. But what a perfect day for rain.

After seeing the size from the outside, we still weren't prepared for the size inside. It was built to biblical dimensions, 510 feet long by 85 feet wide by 51 feet high, with three levels inside. My mind never really grasped how that could hold every kind (not species) of animal along with their food, but I figured they were just crammed in tight. After seeing the model of the original ark with cages inside, many of which had models of animals inside, I came to realize that it would have been not only possible, but possibly quite roomy. It was incredible.

When we went to the restaurant, Randy and his wife saw us and joined us at the table, so we got to visit with them while we ate. I was surprised at how good the food was. I was expecting the cheapest deep fried, pre-packaged food they could get, but it was actually really good. Instead of tons of cheap choices, they had fewer choices (but still plenty for pretty much every dietary restriction) but good quality. It was good seeing the new friends we'd made and visit for a while. When everyone was beyond full, we parted ways again to finish seeing things.

Abe and I still had the third level (living quarters) to see, and after that we went to the zoo. Animals are always a hit, and the goat pen was open for people so we spent some time in there petting goats. One very pregnant mama was standing on a short wall trying to reach some tree leaves. Abe grabbed a branch and pulled it down for her. You should have seen the look she gave him when he let go and she couldn't reach it any more! He pulled it down one more time for her before we moved on. I've always loved goats. They have so much personality.

I know the Ark Encounter and other creation based museums draw a lot of controversy, but for those of us that believe the Genesis account of the world, it's a breath of fresh air to see all of the evidence backing up the Bible, and there is a lot of evidence. If you don't agree with the Genesis account, it's still an impressive structure, and you can never go wrong with a zoo.

Now we're heading northeast to Maine. I can't wait to see the trees in full color before going back south to warmth for the winter.

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