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Hi, My name is Vickie and to tell you a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Kentucky and the majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a court house and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.View my complete profile

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Ferry, the Garden & the Cave

This post is about our day the 31st of May 2017, at Garden of the Gods, Cave-in-Rock and the ferry crossing which is located in Crittenden County, Kentucky and Hardin County, Illinois on the banks of the Ohio River. If you are driving down to Marion from Henderson, Kentucky you will come into Marion on Hwy 60 and when you get to the stop light by the court house you will make a right onto KY-91 and follow this road all the way to the river and the ferry which you will drive your car onto for the short ride across the river over to Cave-in-Rock.  The ferry ride is free and runs daily from 7 AM to 9:50 PM, seven days a week, unless the river is to high, in that case you will either have to drive up river to Shawneetown and cross the bridge over the river there or down river from the Cave, not sure where the bridge is that way, because I have only not been able to ride the ferry once in all these years, because the river was too high, so I crossed at Shawneetown instead.

By the way I was born in Crittenden County in 1958, in the old hospital in Marion and I still have tons of family that live in the area.  The following is an old postcard my Momma had in her scrapbook, of the hospital I was born in. The building is still standing and I have lots of pictures of what it looks like now, but can I find one to post right now, NO!!!!

For those who have never been there in Crittenden County before, there are lots of Amish, so make sure you don't drive to fast or you could hit a buggy or wagon carrying some of these fine folks.  The roads are small and winding with no shoulders to speak of and lots of blind corners and hills, so drive carefully throughout the county.  I was able to catch a picture of a Amish woman and young girl just in front of us, as they were turning down Ford's Ferry Road on our way to the ferry landing.  My Uncle George was just telling me when I visited with him a few days before, that our Beard's when they first came to Crittenden County in 1817 from South Carolina, had lived out on the Ford's Ferry Road. I wish he could have been with us to show me approximately where their place would have been located.  I know my Daddy probably showed us when I was a kid, but unfortunately that was a long time ago and my memory isn't what it use to be.  I need to see if I can find any kind of land records and then the next time I go back locate the land.  For your information in 1817 this would have been in Livingston County as Crittenden County was not formed until 1842 from parts of Livingston County.

Now on down to the ferry and the river, which is just beautiful on both sides. I took tons of pictures and even did a video when we were crossing. These first pictures are from the Kentucky side looking over to the Illinois side.  I won't post all of the pictures, because, well that would just be too much. 😉


The following is my little video clip of the ride on the ferry from KY over to IL. It is a little shaky every now and again, but I was on a boat after all.

After we rode over to the Illinois side of the river we went about 25 miles to the northwest of Cave-in-Rock and went to the Shawnee National Forest and the Garden of the Gods State Park.  As a kid we would go over there and have picnics and hike and climb all over the rock formations that are there. It is one of my favorites places to visit when I am back home, though I don't make it there very often.  Someone was kind enough to take our picture together, though I do hate to have my picture taken, I guess this one isn't to bad.  😏

I think this next one looks like someones face.

What kind of wind, water and time made the impressions in this rock????

Narrow walkway between the rocks.

Trees can grow anywhere!!!!

I can just see some old Indian or pioneer laying down up in there trying to stay dry in a rain storm....

Looking up through the tree canopy.

My little video clip from the Camel Rock area in the Garden of the Gods.  It was hot and I was having a little difficulty breathing. I have to wear oxygen at night, not during the day, but I was thinking I was going to need some there for a bit, so ignore the heavy breathing in the video.  😉

We were hot and sweating like crazy by the time we got back to the car, but we had a lovely walk through the rocks on a pretty decent trail.  When we were leaving the Garden, as we were coming down off the mountain and getting ready to turn onto Karber's Ridge Road, headed back to Cave-in-Rock, we saw Bigfoot, coming through the trees on the other side of the road.  We had heard that there have been numerous sightings in the area and we were lucky enough to see one.  It almost looked like he was stopping to make sure the road was clear before he ran across and into the woods on the other side.  Thankfully I had my camera still out and had not put it away yet!!!  The picture is a little blurry, but you can still make him out.  He wasn't as tall as I thought he would be, but maybe he is still young and not to his full height yet.  😄  👀  😄

When we got back to Cave-in-Rock we went over to the park and then headed down to the cave. Thankfully there are pretty good stairs all the way down to the bottom of the cliff and railings most of the way, so I didn't have to worry about falling.  They have even put in a concrete path over to the cave along the river there.  That was a lot better then getting mud all over our shoes, like I always did when I was a kid.  Here are some pictures from the park and the cave.

Back inside the cave looking out towards the river.

My little video of the inside of the cave and outside some as well, still having some breathing problems, but I made it anyway and I am still alive to tell the tale.  👻

Not one of the Ford's Ferry Gang, it's just my husband, Roy.

Birds nest made of mud and sticks stuck to the sides of the rocks, pretty cool.

Watching the ferry from the cave.

It looked like shells imbedded into the rocks.

Looking up from the river bank to the cliff above us.

The walkway up to the picnic grounds.

The ferry landing at Cave-in-Rock on our way back over to Kentucky.

We were the first ones on this time and are parked right at the gate in the middle.

Barge headed towards Shawneetown and on up river.

Large anchor

We had a wonderful day seeing all these sites and so many memories that just came flooding back. My Daddy and Momma, Mamaw and Papaw Fraley, Mama Jessie and Pa Corley.  The Loftis and Floyd family reunions at Audubon Park up in Henderson and down in Marion.  Making lye soap with Mama Jessie and picking up hickory nuts with her as well.  Bologna sandwiches with tomatoes and red onions on 4 square crackers, and picnics in cemeteries.  Swinging on grapevines and wading in the creeks with my cousins.  Fishing on the river with big fish frys done up outside in big iron kettles with some of Aunt Lucy's jambalaya.  Pa Corley's pot of beans and cornbread and anything my Mamaw made was delicious from her catfish, hushpuppies and coleslaw, her fried chicken was the bomb, to her coconut cake and raisin cream pies and everything in between.  Childhood memories I will cherish always and forever, just being here is special and though I will probably never live here again I will always call Kentucky home.

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