Louisville turned out to be surprisingly awesome. My hopes were not that high. It’s a nice little city and I’m not sure what it’s reason for being is, but it had two thoroughly enjoyable tourist traps!

First, the Louisville Slugger museum and factory. They claim to have 60% of the market for MLB bats, and they produce 1.8 million bats each year. TIL that each MLB player has a specific contract and specifications for his bats, and in some cases even a specific lathe operator; each player uses 100-120 bats per season (each bat is good for about 4 games); bats cost between $50 and $80 depending on the wood used.

Second, quite an unusual thing. Sometime in the 30’s a highways company excavated a titanic underground limestone mine just outside downtown. Some private company took it over and rents it out as warehousing space, and also does tours. Sounds boring? It was really interesting though. Unlike natural caves, this place seemed to stretch out in every direction forever, and it seemed like a small percentage of the space had been built out (to store food, vehicles, documents etc). TIL the price of road salt has increased by 700% in the past year, and a truckload is now worth around $3,000; the company running this place has taken in 750,000 truckloads of fill (construction leftovers etc). and it is still “ginormous”.

Rob, if you are reading this… yes, I mean YOU, Dad of Rory; I think this is the kind of place you might have liked. I bet they have lots of interesting control design problems, and they have caverns full of boats on trailers 😉

One disappointment about Louisville: our campground was a bit icky so we switched to a new KOA which turned out to be a ‘parking lot KOA’, whereas most KOA’s are very greeny and parklike. Anyways, we are off to Indianapolis today, via Santa Claus, of which more later.


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