LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — It was a good year to avoid crowds and the founders of a Facebook group called Kentucky Waterfalls, Arches and Landscapes led me off the beaten path.

Their site has attracted nearly 200,000 like-minded people, looking for safe ways to explore the state during a pandemic.

“When everything shut down, there were 1,500 people joining a day. it was pretty insane.” Bill Fulz, Admin of the Facebook group.

I found a lot of neat places this year where you could have some space like Kentucky’s own version of Stonehenge in Munfordville or the Garden of Hope in Covington, a once-popular replica of Holy Land sites.

You don’t have to get out of your car to see a unique piece of art in Nelson County. I discovered these buried John Deere tractors were the idea of Linda Bruckheimer, wife of famed Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

She wants people to get a surprise as they drive past their Kentucky Farm.

I enjoyed a walk in the woods with a Shelby County man who taps his trees for Maple Syrup and took a wild ride with 88-year-old Bill Grider of Somerset, who has covered his 1995 Tercel with toys and trinkets.

He wants to make people smile, although one recent bystander wasn’t so complimentary.

“She cussed and said how do you see to drive that crazy-looking trap? And I said, ‘Lady, I can’t, I can’t see, but I live here and pretty well know where I’m going,'” Grider said.

I knew where I was going when I went to Dinosaur World in Hart County and the birthplace of Bluegrass Music in Ohio County.

And a visit with the marble champs of Monroe County was more than I could’ve hoped for.

For decades, grown men have played in the dirt

“We like for people to come and watch us. We’re proud of our game,” Billy Emberton, a regular player.

I met people with big hearts who help families dealing with cancer.

There was music, adventure, ghost stories, and more ups than downs.

Fake fights in the park and fun times on farms.

MORE SPIRIT OF THE BLUEGRASS:


The most shared story of the year was one about a house. Frank and Kerry Paden are restoring a 130-year-old mansion in Harrodsburg that was on the verge of collapse.

“It’s very rewarding to take something in such bad shape and bring her back to life,” Frank Paden.

There are many more things on my bucket list. The search for the Spirit of the Bluegrass will continue in 2022.