Globetrotting Day # 2- Bad Branch Falls and Whitesberg, Kentucky

Here it is one month since flying to Kentucky and I never completed my blog on the second day of our trip.  It’s strange how fast time can fly; between work, my business, training for a 1/2 marathon, trying out new recipes, plus just enjoying life, it seems as though there is never enough hours in the day.  I try not to beat myself up for things not getting done as quickly as I like, but just try to get to them when I can.  So it’s back to reminiscing about my time in Kentucky and the second day of our trip…

We were in no hurry to get started the next morning after a long day of walking around Hillbilly Days the day before.  Jessica wanted to take us on a 3-mile hike to a waterfall she had visited that winter.  The last time she was there the waterfall was frozen, she wanted a chance to see it when the water was flowing full force. I’ve actually never seen a frozen waterfall but the pictures Jessica shared with me are breaking, don’t you think?


The next morning we took off from our hotel and swung by to pick up Jessica and Christian and check out her apartment. After a quick visit of her home (she basically lives in a hotel room, so the tour didn’t take very long) we were back on the road.  The drive to Bad Branch Falls was about 45 minutes from Pikeville near the town of Whitesburg. Not everyone in the group felt like hiking so once we arrived to our destination we separated and while some of us hiked, the others checked out places in town for lunch.

We were blessed with a gorgeous day, not too warm or cold, just perfect.  Most of the hike was easy, only a few parts of the trail were more of an intermediate level, calling for bigger steps up and a bit more use of our lungs.   Once we made it to the end of the hike, we were greeted with a big beautiful waterfall cascading into a few small beautiful pools. 


The falls were beautiful but I have to admit that the frozen waterfall looked even cooler.  What do you think?

The way back to the car was all downhill so of course it seemed like it took about half the time to get back.  But isn’t that always the case?  Doesn’t it always seem like it takes forever to get to your destination, but half the time to get back home?  

My Mom and my cousin Wendy had scouted out a great place in town for us to eat lunch called The Thirsty Heifer.  It was an quaint restaurant with the most awesome bartender/server.  She spent so much time talking with us and telling us about things to do in the area.  One of the most amazing things about our trip to Kentucky was the people. When people talk about Southern Hospitality they aren’t exaggerating.  We got a warm welcome everywhere we went and no one held it against us that we are from California (trust me that happens…alot).  

The other huge difference I noticed on my travels was the pace at which people from Kentucky live.  Californians are always moving at a very rapid pace, probably because we waste so much time in our cars, we have to make it up somewhere.  At home if I go out to dinner, I shoo away the waitress several times because I usually want sit and relax while enjoying a cocktail.  I know if I order the first time the server asks, my food will arrive in 10 minutes and I’m not at all ready to eat yet.  I learned in Kentucky to go ahead and place your food order at the same time you place your drink order because that food isn’t coming for at least 45 minutes.  But the truth is that’s the way it should be, we all need to slow down a little bit.  So I respect that pace and could definitely get used to it.  So yes, it took about 2 hours to eat lunch at the The Thirsty Heifer, but that just gave us all more time to talk, relax and catch up. 

Our next stop, and honestly the other main reason for stopping in Whitesberg, was to visit Kentucky Mist Moonshine .  I just want to be clear that we are obsessed with alcohol at our house but we are not normally day drinkers and we don’t drink everyday.  But my husband and I have a great deal of respect for the art of making wine and alcohol.  Naturally when you are in moonshine country, you have to try some good quality moonshine!  Kentucky Mist was a great space with a huge counter for us to saddle up for the tasting.  They offered a shot glass and 8 tasting tickets for $6 or $8 depending on the glass your chose.  But let me tell you trying to pick only 8 of them was quite a challenge!  There were over 13 flavors including strawberry, apple pie, lemonade, peach, and cherry just to name a few.  Luckily our hostess and resident moonshine expert, slipped in a few extra tastings, so we pretty much got to try them all.  We picked out a Charred Moonshine, Strawberry Infused Moonshine and also their oak barrel-aged Vodka to take home.  It was finally time to bid farewell to Kentucky Mist Moonshine but not before we got a tutorial on the turkey callers that we on display, it was after all turkey hunting season, some might consider this to be very vital information.

The day went by way to fast and there were so many other things I would loved to have seen, but it was time to get back to the hotel and pack up for our departure the next day.  We had to get up and hit the road by 3:00 am in order to get to the airport in time for our flight.  I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to make a quick trip to part of the country I might never have considered visiting if it hadn’t been for my niece.  The next time we head back will be for my niece’s graduation from KYCO in 2021.  During my next trip I’ll stay for longer, try more moonshine, enjoy even more amazing local people and order my dinner right when I sit down.

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