I realized as we were making our way to the park this time, and following the instructions from our gps, that I had turned left where I should have turned right on our previous trip. It's amazing what a difference that can make. ;)
When you turn the correct way, Big Bone Lick is not hard to find at all. And, I actually really enjoyed the drive. We traveled along US 127 in Boone County, a lovely road lined with beautiful houses and old-fashioned farms. I enjoyed seeing the cows and horses grazing in the fields as we drove along.
We made our way to the park, and were greeted at the entrance by a sign that included a picture of a mammoth, a clue to how the park got its unusual name. Apparently, the name comes from the Pleistocene megafauna fossils, or very big bones, that were found there.
In prehistoric times, mammoths and other creatures were drawn to the area because of a salt lick. Once I learned all this, the name of the park made perfect sense.
It was an absolutely gorgeous morning when Clancy and I visited, with a dense morning fog that quickly burned away in the bright sun. We drove into the park, and stopped at the visitor center, where we found a boardwalk that circles around a re-creation of a prehistoric marsh bog. The bog includes a mammoth, a mastodon, and a ground sloth, among other creatures.
I have a soft spot for elephants, so I found this interesting.
I also learned something, as I always thought that mammoths and mastodons were pretty much the same thing. Now I know better.
Clancy did not share my interest in the elephants, and was in a hurry to get going, so we headed off down the Big Bone Creek trail.
At this point, I was really wishing I had thought to wear my gloves, as the temperature was downright cold. I also kind of wondered where the creek was, as we seemed to be going quite a ways without a creek in sight. I didn't have to wonder long though, as the trail led us right to the edge of this creek.
Clancy liked the area.
The creek was intriguing to me as the water seemed almost completely still, and I loved the huge old trees along the banks.
I couldn't help but be mad at myself for my inability to follow directions a few weeks ago, as I know the foliage at the park would have been gorgeous at that time. By the time of our visit, most of the leaves were on the ground. While I would rather have seen them on the trees, we still enjoyed crunching through them as we walked along the path.
We followed the trail back to the visitor center, where I remembered that one of the main reasons I had wanted to visit the park was because of the herd of bison that live there. I hadn't seen any sign of the bison, but fortunately came upon this sign on the opposite side of the visitor center.
I was sure that even I could follow the arrow and find the bison.
I started to worry that I may have been overconfident, as it seemed like Clancy and I walked a heck of a lot farther than .2 miles. But to our relief, we came upon yet another sign.
At long last, we made it to the bison area.
This was the first time I'd ever actually seen bison, so that was pretty cool. But I have to say that the reality didn't quite match my expectations, as once we got to the fence, there wasn't much to keep our interest, as the herd seemed to be completely focused on eating their breakfast.
None of them would even look in our direction. Clancy tried to paw at the fence and get their attention, but they wouldn't give him the time of day.
He made it clear he found the herd boring, and wanted to get back to the car as he'd had enough. I couldn't really disagree.
As we were driving out, we passed a line of twenty or thirty corvettes, clearly heading to a meeting of corvette enthusiasts. The line of cars reminded me of one of my favorite childhood books, Go, Dog. Go! I loved that book, and used to read it over and over again with my mom.
I asked Clancy, "where are all those dogs going?," but he didn't get the reference. He once again looked at me like I was nuts, and settled into his navigator position for the drive home.
I'm glad we finally made it to Big Bone, and I enjoyed our travels around Northern Kentucky. I'm also glad I brought the gps with me this time, and I've no doubt Clancy agreed!