Day 16 – Bourbon Country.

This morning we woke up to the dull light of the sun not yet over the horizon. As we packed up our tent, we watched as a beautiful sunrise unfolded over the Kansas fields.

We made our last camp breakfast of the trip (we’ll be staying in a hotel tonight, so bagels and coffee are likely tomorrow!), and made it a complete meal with eggs, bacon, and English muffins. We were able to get on out on the road by 7:30 AM.

Today was a drive that brought us through many states. Nearly immediately, we were into Missouri as we passed through Kansas City.

We drove through Ferguson, MO (though we didn’t notice it at the time) on our way into St. Louis—but took part in no the rioting. Before we left the city, we were able to catch a glimpse of the Gateway Arch.

Then, we were into Illinois!

Around this time, we realized it was lunchtime and just how hungry we were. Seeing signs for a “Steak ‘n Shake,” we decided to stop and try it out. (Patrick remembered having delicious milkshakes from here when his dad spent some time working in Rockford, IL.) The milkshake was wonderful and the burgers were dynamite, too!

The drive continued for a long ways before we got to Indiana.

Then, after just a few more hours, we were finally in Kentucky!

Louisville is right on the border so we were able to quickly find our hotel, check in, and then figure out dinner plans. Patrick’s friend from school, April, went to University of Louisville, so she gave some suggestions for the area (sorry April, Huskies > Cardinals!).

We ended up walking to Against the Grain Brewery for some local beer and BBQ. The place is nestled in a corner of Louisville Slugger Park, and although there wasn’t a game going on at the time, it was still a pretty neat atmosphere. The brewery smokes all their food in-house, and prepares their own BBQ sauces, too, so it was nice to get some authentic flavors paired with the tasty beer.

Once we were done enjoying our Pulled Pork sandwich, and finished dipping the scraps in the flight of different BBQ sauces we got, our night shifted to a bourbon bar closer to our hotel, Down One. Ally ordered a Kentucky Mule on the menu while Patrick checked out some new flavors, too. (Ally immediately fell in love with her order, a combination of local whiskey, blackberries, basil, and ginger beer.)

By this point in the night, we were thankful that we only had to walk back across the street to reach our hotel. We enjoyed a comfortable hotel bed before we head out on the longest drive of the trip.

Tomorrow’s our last day, with a final push to Rhode Island. Narragansett or bust!


– Ally and Patrick

Lawrence, KS to Louisville, KY – 569 miles

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