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August 30, 2018
Paducah, Kentucky: Southern Hospitality

Today’s port was our third and final detour from the Mississippi River – the town of Paducah, Kentucky, at the confluence of the Ohio River and Tennessee Rivers.

We did not have any tours planned for today. Instead, we were going to have lunch with two locals we had never met before – “friends of a friend” through our longtime friend Jayne.

Since we were here for the full day, we had time to visit the town before lunch. We did not need the hop-on hop-off bus, as downtown Paducah is right next to the dock. We stopped in at the National Quilt Museum. We originally thought it would be rather touristy, but it turned out to be very impressive.

Downtown Paducah

The National Quilt Museum

Russell’s favorite quilt was “Chasing Bubbles.” It looked like a photograph!

Gail’s favorite quilt was “The Value of Gears.” Not only did it have a completely reversed image on the backside, it also had embedded gearworks!

At 11:30, Todd and Adrienne Holloman met us at the boat. American Queen allows cruisers to bring visitors aboard, and we gave our new friends a tour of the boat and had lunch in the J.M. White Dining Room.

Todd and Adrienne are both into film, theater and the performing arts. In fact, their group won multiple awards at this year’s 48-Hour Film Festival, where teams have 48 hours to write, cast, produce and edit a short film. Todd also performs stand-up comedy throughout Paducah. We had a great but short visit before Todd and Adrienne had to get back to work.

With the entire afternoon still ahead of us, we took out a couple of bicycles. Our first stop was The Moonshine Company, where we were able to sample several different varieties of moonshine. (The official definition of “moonshine” is “whiskey that has not been aged” – in other words, it’s fresh out of the still.)

The Moonshine Company

On Todd and Adrienne’s recommendation, we also bicycled through the Lowertown Arts District. Lowertown was once an unsafe part of town, frequented by drug users. Several years ago, the city bought up the entire neighborhood and invited artists to come and renovate the houses. Today, Lowertown is a picturesque and attractive little neighborhood.

Lowertown Arts District

As we were bicycling by, a woman sitting on her porch greeted us, so we stopped. Milinda ended up inviting us to sit and chat with her, offered us refreshments and gave us a tour of her home. We are happy to report that southern hospitality continues to follow us even as we journey further north on our adventure!

Visiting with Milinda

Melinda’s next-door neighbor is the “Stranded Cow House,” famous from the 1937 Paducah Flood


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