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7/12/96 - T+11
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7/12/96 - T+11 - Bourbon, Tanks and Gold

Greetings from Michigan! You will all be glad to know that I've made it out of Kentucky alive. Unfortunately, not all of us made it out today. My trusty assistant Sancho has shown up missing. When I arose this morning I realized that he had not come home from his own adventures last night. While I stayed in and finished chores, Sancho decided to go forth for an evening of drinking and wenching. I sincerely hope that he hasn't meet up with an unsavory giant or dragon. He, not being a knight of old like myself, may not be able to dispatch such a foe. I know that a lot of you out there are Sancho fans so I pray that you will be thinking of him and praying for his safe return.

All morning I made discreet inquires at the local dens of iniquities, road houses, and other unsavory locations. Many of then remember a scruffy character looking like Sancho last night, but the leads seem to go in circles. Apparently our buddy really got around last night. After a final check at the police station and the hospital turned up nothing, I had to write of my assistance as part of the missing. Our prime objective continues to call us onward, even in the face of the loss of one of our comrades. I left word with at the inn for Sancho to meet up with us further on down the road, in case he returns.

With Sancho missing, I was forced to perform the outfitting and loading of Rozinante myself. Now I remember why knights of old have assistants. Once loaded and mounted up, I turned my steed northward to Lorretto Kentucky and our first adventure of the day, the Maker's Mark Distillery.

This distillery has the destination of being the oldest working distillery in America. In fact, it is recognized as a national historic landmark by the federal government. It is the only distillery to receive this honor.

Putting it's pedigree aside, Maker's Mark is one of, if not the finest, bourbon whiskey available in the world. It's easily recognized by it's unique red wax seal around the bottle cap and the fact that it's very hard to find. Their production is very limited with the focus being on a smaller quantity, and extremely high quality product. I was fortunate to arrive on a day where they were bottling whiskey. Their bottling operation works part time, about 2 or 3 days a week, depending on production needs. The picture that you see is at the end of the bottling line where the filled bottles are being loaded into cartons for shipping. This was a very interesting tour because the small size of the distillery makes it easy to see the process from beginning to end.

Having savored one of the more gentile facets of Kentucky life style, it was time to turn north to Radcliff Kentucky and a visit to Kentucky's marshal side, the General George S. Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor. Located inside the grounds of Fort Knox, this museum chronicles both George Patton's life and the evolution of armored cavalry warfare. We find that these two are extremely intertwined with General Patton's involvement with modern armor development during the World War I and World War II. On display were tanks of all major types from the earliest W.W.I versions to a T-72 captured from the Iraqis in the Gulf War. For anyone interested in the history of warfare, this is a great tour.

As a side note, I didn't know that Fort Knox is the headquarters of all of our armored divisions. In fact they call it the Home of Armor. I thought they just kept gold here. Speaking of gold, that's the next stop on today's tours. Time to stop by the repository and do a little banking, hehehehe. Yea right, I wasn't allowed within a quarter mile of the building, let alone where the gold is located. In the picture you can see the building in the background. This was the best shot I could get from the main gate. There was a much better view of it from the highway, but I didn't want to get run over in the process. We always hear the security of things being compared to Fort Knox. We let me tell you, this place is secure. It site's on a hill surrounded with at least four sets of barb wire fences. Down the slopes of the hill are killing fields that are at least 300 yards deep. Gun emplacements can be seen build into the perimeter of the building and oh, by the way, the home of all of our tank divisions is it's next door neighbor. I don't think I'd like to try and take this place by force. I think my portion of our gold is safe!

After a full day of sight seeing, it was time to turn north and begin today's travel. The evening hours were spend traveling north out of Kentucky and diagonally across Indiana until I arrived in Michigan. I'm currently bedding down in a wonderful country house owned by a friend of my sister and brother in law. They are coming up tomorrow morning from Chicago to begin their vacation and they have so kindly invited my to stay with the for a couple of days.

Well it's another late night here. Mickey just pointed out that it's 3:00 AM and I need to get some sleep. Have a great week end and stay tuned for any updates on the where abouts of our comrade Sancho.



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