Creation Museum, Petersburg, Kentucky

Day 1764

     NOTICE: Anyone offended by criticism of God, religion, or Christ, probably should skip this blog.

     Kenneth Alfred Ham was born October 20, 1951 in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. He is a Christian fundamentalist, and apologist. He is the founder of Answers in Genesis, a Christian apologetics organization, and the creator of the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. I had previously visited the Ark Encounter (see Day 787).

     Tidbit of Information: I originally thought Christian apologetics were apologizing for their beliefs, but learned Apologetics is from the Greek word ἀπολογία, which means “speaking in defense”. Therefore Christian apologetics is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through argumentation and discourse. I apologize.

     Forty authors writing 66 books over a span of 2,000 years wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit what we know today as the Bible. The Question is: is the Bible just a collection of moral stories or is it full of true, historical accounts? The Creation Museum takes us through Genesis 1–11 in an attempt to answer that question. 

     The 75,000-square-foot museum cost $27 million dollars, raised through private donations, and opened on May 28, 2007.

     Most of their secrets are behind this locked door.

     Realizing the purpose of the museum is to “exalt Jesus Christ and dispute the theory of evolution”, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. That being said, the museum is very well done. Throughout the museum, Ham looks at a piece of the world and attempts to give the Naturalistic Evolutionary view and the Biblical view. For example here he compares thoughts on abortion.

     Ham advocates biblical literalism, accepting the Book of Genesis creation narrative as historical fact and believing the universe and the Earth were created together approximately 6,000 years ago, contrary to the scientific consensus that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old and the universe is about 13.8 billion years old. (In physical cosmology, the age of the universe is the time elapsed since the Big Bang.)

     The Bible states that God made the land animals, including dinosaurs, on Day Six, so they date from around 6,000 years ago, according to Ham. On day 6 he also made Adam and Eve. Therefore the dinosaurs and man lived together. The Bible teaches that God created a paradise.

     Adam and Eve soon corrupted paradise with sin. Suffering and death was the penalty. As a result, sin, suffering, and death came upon Adam and upon all the world he ruled. So, the First Adam had dominion and control over the world. There was only 1 rule (by Moses’ time there were ten), don’t eat from this tree. But Adam was morally weak, and he broke that one rule. As a result, all mankind must now suffer. It appears to me that God made Adam flawed. He could not help himself. Therefore it is God’s fault. Jesus Christ, as the Last Adam died to remove all our sins. But that did not happen. The day after Christ died, sinning was still going on, and goes on till this day.

     It appears that the dinosaurs were fairly intelligent

     According to Genesis, God made everything in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. What did he do on the 8th day? What is he doing today? He doesn’t call, he doesn’t write, does he still care?

     We know him as Jesus Christ, but back in the day he was Yehōshu’a Ben Yosef, Jeshua to his friends. I was just curious, when he stubbed his toe, or hit a hammer on his thumb, what did he exclaim?

     Even as a child in Hebrew School, this thinking made no sense. How about the millions of people in darkest Africa who never heard of Christ? All religions say the same thing, if you don’t believe as we do, you will not go to Heaven. 

     The inevitable truth appears to be we are the product of Walt Disney’s imagination.

     Surrounding the museum were numerous gardens and a petting zoo. With babbling brooks,

Wild flowers

and the animals

Ok, The End

Rising Sun, Indiana

Day 1761

     We are staying at Rising Star Casino Resort which is a riverboat casino and hotel perched on the Ohio River in Rising Sun, Indiana. Originally called the Grand Victoria Casino when it opened in October 1996. 

     Hyatt Hotels, the owner, decided in 2006 to sell the Grand Victoria. Full House Resorts purchased the property on Aug 19, 2011 and renamed it the Rising Star Casino Resort. An RV park with 50 full hook up sites was added in 2017.

     The city of Rising Sun is another of those small towns that sprang up along the Ohio River.

     Settlers prior to 1798 are difficult to document because of the “Indian menace.” Until the Northwest Ordinance was official, there were no troops to protect settlers in the area.

    Col. Benjamin Chambers was commissioned under the John Adams administration in 1799 to survey the lands west of the Great Miami River, a tributary of the Ohio River approximately 160 miles long, named for the Indian Tribe that lived in the area. 

     John Fulton, relative of Robert Fulton the inventor of the steamboat, moved here from Lancaster Co., PA. in 1798. The story goes the party was headed downriver, apparently without a destination, and a pregnant woman was among them. For her comfort, they anchored along the bank for the night. Daybreak was so beautiful, the site was named Rising Sun and the group decided to make the place its home.

     John James, originally of Frederick County, Maryland, arrived in 1814 and purchased 776 acres of land. John platted the town of Rising Sun. The town was registered in 1816. While he wasn’t the first settler, James is known as the city’s founder.

     In walking the town we came across a number of old buildings, such as Heritage Hall. Built in 1832, it is the oldest standing building on Main St. 

     This building, built in 1902, housed a number of business over the years, including a dance hall on the second floor, which was also used by the KKK as their meeting place. 

     We stopped at the Ohio County Historical Society. Mostly a collection of old junk, they did have 2 interesting pieces: This instrument of Death, a new and improved electric chair, made in March, 1928 by the local blacksmith.

And this two headed calf born in 1989:


Technical Stuff:

Bowling Green, Kentucky to Rising Sun, Indiana: 203.7 miles

4 hours 36 minutes

11.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.70

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Day 1758

     We were delayed in leaving Hartselle, Alabama because a small bird refused to fly off our hitch.

     We have previously visited Bowling Green for the Corvette Museum. See Day 793.

     The first Europeans reached what is now Bowling Green in 1775. By 1778 settlers established McFadden’s Station on the north bank of the Barren River. The Barren River is a 135-mile-long river in western Kentucky. It is the largest tributary of the Green River, which drains more of Kentucky than any other river. The Barren River was the historic route for westward traveling pioneers. They would travel down the River to a trading post at present-day Bowling Green, where their journey would proceed by land. The Barren River was named by early pioneers for its treeless fields. The open fields were actually created by the Cherokee Indians, who burned sections of woodland forming grasslands to attract grazing buffalo.

     TIDBIT OF INFORMATION: There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Kentucky today. Most of them were forced to leave Kentucky during the Indian Removals of the 1800’s.

    The centerpiece of Bowling Green is Fountain Square. On this site in 1797 a log courthouse was erected. After the Civil war, county citizens made demands for a new courthouse. It is unclear why it was not erected on this site, but the city purchased a lot not far from here and traded that property for the old square. A consensus was reached to create a park out of the old square. In April 1872 a fountain was placed in the park, and on April 23 the water was turned on. The city’s trustees officially christen the area “Fountain Park”.

     Within less than ten years, the fountain had deteriorated to the point that it had to be replace. In May, 1881 the city trustees purchased this 6,000 pound precast fountain.


     The statues surrounding the fountain represent the mythological figures of Ceres (goddess of grain), Pomona (goddess of fruit), Melpomene (goddess of tragedy) and Flora (goddess of flowers.)

     The fountain had Lilly pads, but alas, no frogs.

     At the north and south entrances to the park are two arched memorial entries of Bowling Green limestone. The park is filled with lush greenery.

     I took time out to be a pointer for George Lundeen. It is nice to know I am still employable. 

     Many of the original buildings are still standing around the Square,

for example the Princess Theatre, Bowling Greens’s movie house, built in 1914, was the first structure built in Kentucky for the expressed purpose of showing motion pictures. 

     Constructed in 1893, this building got it’s current name from Dentist Edward T. Barr, who occupied the upper story in the 1930’s.

     On July 18, 1921, Standard Oil of Kentucky built Residential filling Station No. 1. It was the first filling Station in the area. The station continued to operate until 1956.  

     If you remember free air at a gas station, you are really old.

     It is hard to believe that an attendant would pump your gas for you, clean your windshield, and ask to check your  oil.

     Four bridges have spanned the Barren River at this site.

     The center pylon dates from the first bridge, built in 1838.

     The Confederate army burned that wooden bridge when evacuating Bowling Green in 1862. This current bridge was built in 1915. 

     While we were here, the President of the United States dropped in.

     I said, “Joe, you can’t just drop in. I’m a busy man. You have to call first.”

Technical Stuff:

Hartselle, Alabama to Bowling Green, Kentucky: 192.2 miles

4 hours 2 minutes

11.3 MPG

Diesel: $3.06

Hartselle, Alabama

Day 1757

     “Hartselle, Alabama, was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. It takes its name from George Hartsell, one of the railroad’s owners. The post office opened in 1873. It was formally incorporated on March 1, 1875. Most of the oldest buildings were destroyed by fire in 1916.”

     Since we are camping in Hartselle only tonight, and not unhooking the truck from the Sphinx, I am not able to walk the town and talk to the townspeople about their history. I am therefore relying on the above quote from Wikipedia.

     It has been my experience that the information on Wikipedia differs from what the locals tell me, which is why I do not rely on it much.

     Okay, Okay, I couldn’t resist. How many noticed that the city name has an extra “e” at the end? My curiosity got the best of me, so I did some research (It’s amazing what you can do with some time and a computer). The answer was in an obscure booklet by David Burleson, Hartsell before the ‘E“,  who wrote that George Hartsell was born May 7, 1802 in North Carolina and married Delany Morgan in 1822. They moved here in 1834 and were the first real settlers of the property that wound up being incorporated in the city of Hartselle. After starting with 40 acres, they eventually owned as much as 800 acres. 

     George Hartsell’s property became one of the places in the county “where people came together,” Burleson writes, and by 1853 George Hartsell’s home was used as a gathering and voting place. The general area eventually was referred to as Hartsell’s — even though Scott L. Rountree and John Brown Stuart had more to do with developing what became the downtown business center of the future Hartselle. “George didn’t really found the town; he was just the namesake.” The city was founded in 1870 and was officially incorporated by the state as Hartsell’s in 1875. Around 1891 the federal government dropped the use of apostrophes in place names, and that made the name “Hartsells” show up on official documents, even though residents had started replacing the s on the end with an e. By 1920, the spelling Hartselle had become accepted for the city. So, a bureaucrat in the federal government decided to not use apostrophes, and that changed a city’s name. 

     TIDBIT OF INFORMATION:  President Benjamin Harrison signed executive order 28 on September 4, 1890, establishing the Board on Geographical Names“To this Board shall be referred all unsettled questions concerning geographic names. The decisions of the Board are to be accepted by federal departments as the standard authority for such matters.” Decisions of the board were accepted as binding by all departments and agencies of the federal government.

     An interesting note: Burleson’s booklet indicates Hartsell was a merchant and businessman, with no mention of him as an owner of the South and North Alabama Railroad. A search of the railroad does not list Hartsell as an investor. I think Wikipedia is wrong again. 

     Sorry, no pictures, unless you want to see the view outside my window of another RV.

Technical Stuff:

Montgomery, Alabama to Hartselle, Alabama: 158.9 miles

3 hours 14 minutes

10.8 MPG

Diesel: $3.06

Montgomery, Alabama, Again

Day 1756

     We have now been traveling around the Country for 4.8109589 years. Since we are traveling back home for our granddaughter’s wedding (another good man bites the dust) we are bound to repeat states we have already been (see Day 535).

     We are only spending one night in Montgomery, Alabama, as well as our next stop, Hartselle, Alabama, and therefore we will not unhook the truck from the Sphinx, and obviously not go sightseeing. 

Technical Stuff:

Pensacola, Florida to Montgomery, Alabama: 170.5 miles

3 hours 34 minutes

11.1 MPG

Diesel: $3.06

Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach, Florida

Day 1751

     Hidden beneath this vegetation is Battery Langdon, Ft. Pickens. Its 12-inch gun could propel a projectile 17 miles out to sea. This massive gun bunker, begun in 1917 and competed in 1923, was covered with soil during WWII to camouflage it from enemy aircraft.

     In 1816, the United States began constructing Third System forts along its coastline to protect important waterways and seaports. Five years later, the federal government began fortifying areas along Florida’s 3,500 mile seaboard. Pensacola Bay was one such area.

     Tidbit of Information: Unlike First and Second system forts built between 1794–1812, Third System forts had durable construction materials and uniformity. Brick and stone forts were more resilient to time, nature, and battles. Maryland’s Ft. McHenry is a third system fort. The Third System came to an end around 1867. More powerful weapons technology, like steel breech-loading rifled cannon and steel steam-powered warships, made the forts obsolete.

     European powers had long considered Pensacola Bay one of the most important on the northern Gulf Coast. With depths ranging between 20–65 feet and a length of about 13 miles, the bay afforded excellent anchorage and protection for ships. After the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, in which Spain ceded East and West Florida to the US, Pensacola Bay became a US territory. In 1825 President James Monroe signed a law establishing a new navy yard and depot on the bay. Forts were needed to protect the natural bay and navy yard, and thus Fort Pickens was conceived. In May 1828, the federal government acquired 998 acres on Santa Rosa Island to build Fort Pickens. The fort is named for Brigadier General Andrew Pickens, who fought in South Carolina during the American Revolution.

     The fort would be built on the western end of Santa Rosa Island, a low-lying barrier island that provides natural protection to the bay and mainland Florida. From this location, Fort Pickens would command the approaches to the channel, control access into and out of the bay, work with forts built around the channel, and prevent an enemy force from using the island to launch attacks against the navy yard. With five walls, cannons installed at Fort Pickens could fire at all points of the compass. During times of peace, a garrison of 60 soldiers could occupy Fort Pickens, increasing to 500 during times of war and up to 1,000 soldiers during a siege.

     Another Tidbit of Information: At the time of its completion, Fort Pickens was the largest brick structure on the Gulf of Mexico. It exhibited the latest theories in coastal defense design, construction, and weaponry. The fort illustrated the growing power of the US, and as a part of the Third System, it helped make the nation virtually impregnable.

     While the fort was a formidable force, it really only saw actual action during the Civil War. Fort Pickens was only one of four seacoast forts in the south that remained under Union control. When the confederates, who were holding the mainland, took on the Union soldiers at Fort Pickens they were met with a fierce battle that lasted two months. The Confederate soldiers were finally forced to retreat.

     And yet another Tidbit of Information: On October 25, 1886 the Fort was used as a prison to house Geronimo and his braves. Now, everyone knows Geronimo, but how about the 14 braves that survived with him? They are:  Natchez, Porcio, Fenn, Abnandria, Mahi, Yahenza, Fishnoith, Touze, Bishi, Chona, Lazalyah, Molzos, Nulthigal, Sophonne and Louah.

Pensacola Beach, Florida

Day 1750

     Pensacola Beach, (known as “Ochuse” since the expeditions of Hernando de Soto in 1541) is an unincorporated community located on Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island, on the Florida’s Emerald Coast.

     Tristán de Luna y Arellano was born 1510 in Borobia, Spain. A Spanish explorer and Conquistador, he came to New Spain (now Mexico) and was sent in 1559 on an expedition to colonize Florida. Luna established a colony called Santa Maria de Ochuse at modern-day Pensacola, the earliest multi-year European settlement in the continental United States.

     “CIG” is a 3ft. sea turtle made from 1238 cigarette butts from the Pensacola Beach. Bet you didn’t know cigarette butts grew on the beach.

     We went out in search of the Eighth Methodist Church. We never found it. We did find the First Methodist Church. Not as exciting as the Eighth, but you work with what you are dealt.

    The First United Methodist Church of Pensacola was founded December 7, 1821 and is the oldest Methodist congregation in Florida. This is actually the fifth building the Church has occupied and dates back to October 14, 1908.

     This house was built in 1867 for Danish sea captain Charles F. Boysen. It was constructed using materials from wrecked buildings along the street. Boysen was the Norwegian Vice-Consul, and during his tenure the home served as a Consulate of Sweden and Norway. In 1882 the house was acquired by Edward Aylesworth Perry, who served as Governor of Florida from 1885-1889 and lived here until 1900. The house is now owned by First United Methodist Church of Pensacola.

Technical Stuff:

Pensacola, Fl. to Pensacola Beach, Florida: 22.4 miles

1 hour 7 minutes

9.7 MPG

Diesel: $3.08