For the first several years I went to the Mecum auction, the sold cars were left outside for people to see. Then at some other Mecum auction in some other city someone stole one of the sold cars. That was that: the sold cars were no longer accessible to the public.
It really bummed me out. The for-sale cars were all inside under bright direct lighting. I made much more pleasing photographs of the sold cars outside, like of this 1951 Chevrolet. I love how the camera rendered the sunlight falling across the car’s hood.
The other day I looked back through my many photos from the Mecum classic car auctions I used to go to. What fun those auctions were for me.
I used to take all of my digital cameras, plus all of my extra battery packs. That was one camera at first, then two, then three, all point-and-shoots. I also always brought one film camera. I was loaded down with gear!
This 1961 Chevrolet Parkwood station wagon was such a lovely color. I tended to shoot my Canon PowerShot S80 at 28mm, its default setting, which let me bring in lots of this wagon’s flank.
Shadow play on the old truss bridge Canon PowerShot S80 2010
I love driving under a truss bridge on a sunny day. You can almost feel the truss shadows as you move through them.
Indiana has done a very nice job of reusing many of its obsolete highway truss bridges. This is one of them. You’ll find it on a country road in Carroll County, Indiana. At the time I came upon it, it had clearly recently been restored.
Our last stop on our Kentucky weekend was to Bernheim Forest. We wouldn’t have known about it had several locals not told us about it. One of them all but implored us to go, just to see the giants.
Danish artist Thomas Dambo likes to make big things out of wood. His signature work has become giants like these, which he’s built in forests around the world.
This is Little Nis, who is considering his reflection.
Danmbo built three giants at Bernheim, but spread them out in the forest so you’d have to hike a while to see them. This is Little Nis’s mother Mama Loumari, who’s expecting another baby giant.
Deep in the forest you finally find Little Elina, who’s playing marbles with boulders she found lying around. Dambo builds his giants out of local wood. Unsurprisingly, given that this is bourbon country, the Bernheim giants are made in part from barrel staves.
I photographed these giants with both my Canon PowerShot S80 and my Nikon FA and 35-70mm Zoom Nikkor on Agfa Vista 200. I found the giants challenging to photograph. I couldn’t find good compositions that fully communicated their size and charm, and the reflecting sun played havoc with even exposures. If I spent more time with the giants, however, I’m sure I’d start to feel at one with them and better photographic compositions would follow.
Bernheim Forest is a gem, and it’s a little south of Louisville just off I-65. We went straight home to Zionsville from here, and the trip took us just 2½ hours. You can visit for free on weekdays, and there’s an affordable charge to visit on the weekends.
We went to Heaven Hill Distilleries and found no distillery there.
There used to be one there, until Nov. 7, 1996, when one of Heaven Hill’s warehouses caught fire. It is thought that lightning struck it. The resulting inferno destroyed it and several other warehouses, consuming 90,000 barrels of bourbon. The fire also destroyed the distillery.
Heaven Hill bought the Bernheim distillery in Louisville and now distills all of their whiskeys there. They then truck the distillate to this facility, just outside Bardstown, where it is barreled and aged.
On our visit we got to walk through their visitor center and their bonded warehouse. If you’ve ever seen a bourbon labeled “Bottled in Bond,” it was made at a single distillery by one distiller in one distillation season, it was aged for at least four years in a bonded (government supervised) warehouse, was bottled at 100 proof, and its label tells where it was distilled and where it was aged. This 1897 law was meant to protect consumers from adulterated whiskeys, cut with iodine or rust — which was a problem at that time.
Heaven Hill makes a couple dozen different whiskeys spanning price ranges from the bottomest of the bottom shelf to some mighty tasty and expensive stuff. We sampled five of them before we left, all delicious in their own ways.
Heaven Hill, by the way, is the largest independent, family-owned distiller of spirits in the United States. The other large distilleries are owned by national and global corporations. Heaven Hill remains headquartered in Kentucky.