Many photos below.
Arriving at school at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, May 20th, we began by putting our spatial awareness skills to the test by fitting a week’s worth of belongings for 11 people into 2 cars (that we all had to fit into as well). It was 40 degrees and raining as we pulled out of the school’s gravel drive and headed toward the 90-degree sunshine of Kentucky. The five hour drive was a musical education for adults and students, alike! We arrived at our Airbnb in the St. Matthew’s District of Louisville in the early evening and settled right in, all taking turns participating in the cooking and cleaning.
So as not to let the students get out of practice, we started our week with a visit to the Waldorf School of Louisville. Arriving at the start of their school day, we sang with the 7th and 8th grade choir, got to know the 8th graders and share a bit about our Waldorf Journey, acted as audience for their rehearsal of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and received a custom woodworking lesson—all before lunch. We ended the day with a massive game of capture the flag in the woods adjoining the school. We then made our way to Mega Cavern, the world’s only underground zip line. With lighted helmets, gloves, and climbing harnesses on we tackled the Mega Quest. We were all gloriously sore the next day! Since no one felt up to cooking that night we took in some local barbecue and got schooled on how to speak like we were from Kentucky.
On Tuesday we donned some gloves and tools again and headed out with the Olmstead Park Conservancy to remove invasive Asian honeysuckle. This troublesome plant would be pointed out by the students along roadsides and throughout the national park for the rest of our journey. Having seen the distant skyscrapers we decided to explore downtown Louisville in search of lunch. We happened upon a restaurant called Toast which the students so enjoyed that they sent a thank you note to the restaurant upon our return. The Kentucky Science Center was or next stop. It was very gratifying to see the enthusiasm and inquisitiveness that poured out of the students as they explored the many activities and exhibits.
Wednesday we packed up and departed our Louisville home and headed toward the Ohio River and the Farnsley-Moreman house. A historic plantation with an active archaeological dig, this site offered many new experiences. On a private, guided tour we learned the history of not only the house but also the plantation way of life in this area. Additionally, we were invited to participate in the archaeological dig by carefully removing soil from precisely gridded locations and sifting through in search of artifacts from the people who had lived and died on this land. This not only included the families who had lived at the house but also the enslaved people who had worked there and the Native Americans who had come before them. We ended our time there by making our own artifact, a clay brick, in the same way that the thousands of bricks used throughout the plantation had been made more than a hundred years earlier.
When we arrived at Mammoth Cave National Park we discovered that we needed to be ferried across the river to get to our campsite. This was a pleasant surprise for most. Once across the river we made camp and rested up for our grand a adventure through Mammoth Cave to come the following morning. The caves were blissfully cool after the blazing heat of Kentucky. Our guides were humorous and extremely knowledgeable which made the four mile trek up and down inclines and through narrow passes an enjoyable if exhausting experience. Ice cream and one last trip to the gift shop completed our day. All that was left of our trip was the six hour drive home.