Look who is first on the list, visit Louisville!

And here I was wanting to move to the PNW.

Portland hasn’t been much of a destination city since the 24 hour Church of Elvis closed. Congratulations to Louisville.

Louisville is pretty awesome. Between the revitalized NuLu district and the college district there is plenty to do at night, and downtown has some interesting daytime destinations like the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Arms and Armor Museum. Of course, if you really want to maximize your experience, you should visit during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival (officially held in Bardstown, but it’s not that far outside Louisville). Holy crap…bourbon, great food, bourbon, tours of all the distilleries, bourbon, crafts, bourbon, music, bourbon and I’m sure there was other stuff but I don’t remember it all clearly…

Louisville, like Austin, is a friendly little oasis in a scorching red desert.

What, no Fresno?

Yay, more hipster bars.

Touche, but that pretty much describes any bar where 20-somethings hang out these days. There are dives aplenty.

Freddie’s!

Still remember going in there at about 1am the night of the Derby back in 1997. There was a dude with a Gandalf beard passed out at the bar, a bartender who looked like someone had pulled him from central casting for “bad assed bartender in his 50’s for anti-hippie movie” and a decor that felt like the place where 1965 had gone to die. “Das Boot” was playing on the televisions, with subtitles.

We ordered 12 shots of Makers and 3 bottles of Bud and laughed out loud when the bartender said: “Thirty bucks”.

Jukebox laden with Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, and Patsy Cline.

It has changed: zero. I’m good friends with one of the former bartenders, he almost bought the place from Freddie a few years back.

I guess this means the City of Louisville is going to kick out The First 48 for making it seem like it’s a murder town.

— Alan

Any port city was a murder town back in the day. After the railroads and interstate took away most of the river traffic downtown withered and died, several times. This is the first time it’s been successfully revitalized, and it looks like it will remain so.

Philadelphia? Seriously? Philadelphia?

Hey, the eastern Sierra Nevada range made the list! That’s awesome. Lots of very solid camping, fishing, hiking and above all scenic destinations all up and down the 395 corridor back in there.

I have done the eastern Sierra, all the way from the start near Mojave up through Lee Vining. It’s extremely interesting with lots of small stops along the way–practically desert ski towns in the summer, if that makes sense, like Lone Pine and the nice resort at Mammoth. It’s kinda funky, but hella interesting.

Well worth a look.

— Alan

When I was living in Columbus, OH and driving down to parts of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina to do some outdoorsy things I truly enjoyed the Kentucky part of the drive. Sadly, I only went through Louisville on the interstate when I was going back to Texas to visit family.

The list of places I want to see seems grow ever larger every year. I love it.

If you like desert/arid landscapes, the eastern Sierras are pretty incredible. Seeing storms blow over the Sierras from the perspective of the White Mountains (the mountain range that parallels the Sierras on the east) at sunset with only the desolate, flat Owen’s Valley in between has been an image that has stuck in my mind for more than a decade now.

I grew up in LA, and we always did Mammoth in both summer and winter, although I haven’t been back in, wow, almost a decade now. Summer for hiking, fishing, golf, winter for skiing. As the guide mentions, the surrounding areas like Devil’s Postpile and Mono Lake are pretty cool too. I really love the scrub desert out there, and think it’s beautiful, although I can understand why some people disagree.

I always liked some of the shitty little towns on the drive up. Bishop, the last town before the mountain starts is a cool place, and home to a pretty fantastic photographer, and still has a showroom of his work.

It’s kind of amazing and depressing to see towns like Lancaster from basically empty desert to the suburban sprawl it is now. We had some really cool audio tours that narrated the history of the whole drive from the city limits. Unfortunately, they’re a) on cassette and b) clocked for 55 mph, so they’re useless now.

As I recall, Mammoth has continually threatened to expand into a major resort town, like Tahoe, but (besides the resistance from some of the old timers) because it’s surrounded by national parks, there’s a hard cap on how large it can grow.

Good. I hope it never does. Still a favorite haunt when I’m in Luhvuhl for Oaks and Derby. If David Lynch ever made a movie about early 1960’s street thugs, Freddie’s would be the bar they’d be hanging out at.

True, though in reality it’s Trump’s out in Hike’s Point. Do not go to Trump’s, there is nothing to see there but old bookies and their crews.