Last Friday, Chet and I strapped on our new trailrunners, packed up lunch and hit the road for a quick half hour drive to Frankfort, KY to visit the Salato Wildlife Center. I can not recommend this place enough. Their grounds include free fishing lakes and hiking trails. For just $4 for adults you can see a bunch of sweet animals, interactive exhibits and educational material about indigenous plants and wildlife. We arrived a little after 11am and decided to pay to check out all the animals first thing. We spent about 2 hours wandering around amongst fish, turtles, deer, bobcats, eagles and all sorts of critters native to the state. There were animals and exhibits both indoors and out, as well as a really cool “living stream” complete with a waterfall and a view of what was going on “under the sea” from indoors. My favorite animals were the bison; Chet’s favorite were all the fish. Since we had our lunch in our backpacks we decided to forgo exiting the paid part of the park to eat in the picnic area and instead find a bench to dine with a view of the animals. We found a covered bench overlooking the bison grounds and feasted on sandwiches, carrots and spicy dried chickpeas. We also downed a ton of water because it was pretty hot out and we were both feeling a little sunshine cray and sweaty. We had seen a sign saying the days free educational program was at the bobcat area so we swung by to check it out. We learned the zoological term “enrichment” basically means yoking up the animals to promote species-specific behaviors. The gal leading the program yoked the bobcats up in a variety of manners, my favorite of which involved giving the cats big ice cubes to play with because, funnily enough, this is Wink’s FAVORITE enrichment. We have now taken to calling it enrichment whenever we are playing with Wink. After the bobcat program, which provided ample time for our food to settle, we hit the trails. This was a super fun 4.5 mile hike, no steep inclines (Franklin Co. is by no means mountainous) just lots of switchbacks and ruins to explore. We walked through some fire nettle which provided an interesting 20 minutes or so of feeling like my legs were on fire and got our fair share of chigger bites…welcome to Kentucky! Once we got off trail we rested at a picnic table in the shade to chug more water, eat a little snack and hang out with some geese and duckies. We also walked down to the fishing lake to scope out a good spot for a future trip to cast out (Salato will loan you fishing poles for free! You just have to bring your own bait. Score!). We headed home sweaty and blissed-out from an awesome day outside in the sun in plenty of time to cook dinner. Here are some snaps from our day!
What adventures have you been embarking on lately? I’d love to hear.