Our reason for stopping in Bowling Green on our way to Louisville, Kentucky was to take the recommendation of our friend Max and tour the Corvette factory. We had heard from other friends, too, that this was a must-see tour, even though cameras or other electronic devices are not allowed for photography.
Instead, I did things the old-fashioned way. I brought my spiral notebook and pen with me, and I took notes during the 1-hour tour of the one million square foot factory (250,000 square feet of which are devoted to painting those gorgeous Corvettes).
We aren’t car buffs, and neither of us aspire to own a Corvette, but watching the assembly of these sleek sports cars was fascinating. It’s the only Corvette factory in the world, and an entire Corvette Stingray or Z06 is built in this plant in 3-1/2 days. On average, 170 ‘vettes come off the assembly line each day, and it takes 900 employees to make this factory hum.
Make that 901, if you cough up an extra $5,000 and assist in the assembly of your very own Corvette. It’s a new program that just started this spring, and you get to follow your car every step of the way and help get it built. There is even a photographer that hovers around you throughout the entire process, documenting you in action. At the end, you are presented with a “Baby Book” on the day your baby is born. There is even a plaque that gets mounted on the engine documenting your name and those who helped in building your car. And, of course, the born-on date is prominently engraved on the plaque as well.
When your baby is completed, you get to be the first one to start the engine and hear “Vrooom!”
All that for an extra $5,000!
For us $7 per person folks, it really was an interesting tour. At the end of the assembly line, it was fun to watch a ‘vette roll off and be driven into a booth where it was tested for 800 different quality-control checks in 3 minutes. (It was all computerized, of course, and Corvettes currently have a 99% pass rate.)
At the completion of the tour, we had a long walk back to our Toyota Prius that was forced to park with other non-GM cars in the furthest lot at the plant. (GM’s got to park in the close parking lot.)
From cutting edge 2015, we drove back in time 200 years to visit the South Union Shaker Village Museum, the southernmost and westernmost Shaker Village. It was quite a shock from the high-tech, fast-paced cutting edge Corvette plant to the quiet, simple life of the Shakers.
Along the way, the drive through country roads was gorgeous; so lush and green.
The Shaker village we visited existed until 1922 when the community had dwindled to only nine members, and they sold their property, buildings, and furniture.
Branching off from the Quakers, the Shaker religion began in America near the end of the 18th century. Originally known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, they eventually became known as Shakers because of their unique “dance” in worship.
Eleven Shaker communities flourished in New England and New York by 1805 when missionaries were sent to America. They are known for their celibate and simple communal lifestyle, pacifism, and their model of equality of sexes.
Learning about their culture was fascinating, and we enjoyed roaming through the buildings and seeing displays of the largest collection of Shaker furniture in existence.
Our day ended by opting for another back roads drive to our hotel rather than the faster route of the freeway. We did make one stop though at Chaney’s Dairy Barn, rated by USA Today as the best ice cream in Kentucky. We shared a scoop of yummy “Wow Now Brown Cow.”