Closing the roof, but not lowering the bridge

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

Zipping and swinging should have been enough to fill one day of vacation, but it apparently it wasn’t for Terry and I.

We celebrated our anniversary with a trip to Kentucky, starting with a day in Louisville.

That day started with ziplining under the city of Louisville, followed by a visit to the Louisville Slugger factory and museum, where we got a chance to get our pictures taken holding bats from actual baseball Hall-of-Famers.

The museum was also featuring a display of baseball-related sculptures made out of LEGOs – if we’d known that was there, we’d have brought our three LEGO-head grandsons along.

The main items were recreations of several major league baseball stadiums in LEGOs, including Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field and our own Miller Park – complete with a miniature motorized retractable roof.

We even got to see them close the roof on the LEGO Miller Park, which is more than I’ve ever gotten to see in more than a dozen trips to the real Miller Park.

The few times I’ve been at games where they’ve either closed or opened the roof while we were there, I’ve usually been in the bathroom and missed it entirely.

This time, I couldn’t miss it – mainly because I wouldn’t have fit in the miniature bathrooms in the LEGO Miller Park.

If we’d taken our grandson Ty with us, he’d probably have gone right home and tried to build his own Miller Park.

He’s already done that with the Titanic – not visited it, of course, but recreated it in LEGOs.

We finished at Louisville Slugger and it was still the middle of the afternoon, so we decided to drive around the city awhile to look at some of the sights.

Actually, we headed down to the riverfront, where the city has quite a nice, expansive little park.

On our way to the park we passed a full-size stadium, the home of the minor league baseball Louisville Bats, and no, it wasn’t built out of LEGOs – regular bricks, thank you.

I also discovered a quirky little street that ran past the stadium to the river which went from a two-way street to a one-way street after one intersection.

Unfortunately, I discovered the change after I was already through the intersection and found myself suddenly heading the wrong way on a one-way street – with a Louisville City Police car going the right direction down the same street a block or two away.

Fortunately, there was an entrance to the parking lot for the stadium right next to me, so I quickly turned into the parking lot and started looking for a street that went the same way we wanted to go.

Luckily, the cop must have seen our out-of-state license plates and cut me some slack for at least getting off the street as fast as possible, as he went on by and left me alone to try and find my way to the riverfront.

We finally got there and found a parking space so we can walk through the park for a little while.

After parking, we saw a new feature of the park that we hadn’t read about in any of the tourist brochures we’d pored through before we left.

Towering above was the Big Four Bridge, an abandoned railroad bridge across the Ohio River to Jeffersonville, Indiana, which had been reopened just a few months earlier as a pedestrian bridge.

So we figured what the heck, we’d never walked across the Ohio River before – not even in the middle of winter – or from Kentucky to Indiana, so we decided to go for a walk.

If you’ve ever seen any railroad bridges across major rivers like the Ohio River, then you know that they don’t cross at ground level – more like way up in the air, presumably to make room for big ships to get up and down the river underneath them.

It meant we had to climb up before we could hike across the bridge.

Fortunately, the ramp is a nice, long, circular ramp that makes the ascent a lot less steep, but it’s still an uphill climb to even get to the walkway – but we made it.

We did find a little snack cart at the top of the ramp, so we were able to buy some cold drinks to refresh ourselves before setting off across the river.

We also found out that, while Louisville and Kentucky had their end of the bridge all done, the same couldn’t be said for Jeffersonville and Indiana.

So we walked half a mile to the end of the bridge to find big barricades blocking the Indiana end of the bridge.

Given the way we had started the day, we could have zipped down from the Indiana end of the bridge, but we didn’t have a zipline with us, so we had to turn around and walk back.

It made a fitting end to a day that we started up in the air underground and ended back on the ground after being up in the air again.

NEXT WEEK: We finally did get to Churchill Downs – after two days on the Bourbon Trail.


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