The Ark Encounter – What a Thrill!
It’s “back to school” time, everyone!
This is the traditional season of the school-year when teachers request a “What exciting things did you do during your summer vacation?” paper from their returning students. So this blog post is my summer vacation paper!
My Vacation This Year
I didn’t have a lot of vacation time this year. I have a full life! I work full-time at Systems Engineering, Inc. in Greensboro, NC as a Project Manager/Software Development. Most of my after-hours time and other resources is spent on The Pfeifferberg Chronicles trilogy production and marketing. So this year I decided to take several short vacations. Next year, Lord willing, I’m going to Europe to visit missionary friends!
My first week of vacation was a low-budget, “stay-cation.” You see, last summer I purchased a precious 1922 craftsman-like bungalow house on West Academy Street in the West Salem Historical District in Winston Salem, a few blocks from Old Salem. Living is such close proximity to the 250-year-old Moravian gardens of Salem beside their Cobblestone Farmer’s Market, nearly every one of my historic district has a beautiful, curb-appealing flower garden in the front yard and an over-productive organic vegetable garden out back. West Salem also maintains a verdant community garden. So I spent the 1st week of my 3-week vacation building 4 raised beds for planting a Celtic, 12-inch garden. (Perhaps a future blog post?)
My last week of vacation will be in Knoxville, TN, for our annual sibling’s week. Being the BABY brother, I have four adoring, older sisters who still love to spoil me! Last year our sibling’s week was spent in Williamsburg, VA; this year it will be spent in Pigeon Forge, TN. We all look forward to our get-together each year to experience needful, deep belly laughs and catch up on life.
Deciding to See the Art Encounter
So between the “stay-cation” and the sibling’s week, I decided to venture off to visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum just north of Lexington, KY. On my way to Lexington, I briefly stopped in Roanoke, VA for lunch with my youngest daughter, Hollie, and two of my eight grandchildren. It was short, but sweet! On my return from Lexington, I visited my youngest sister, Pam, and her husband for lunch in Knoxville, TN, and afterwards, continued on to Ashville, NC to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of my forever friends, Jim and Hope Ashburn.
Prior to my Ark Encounter experience, I spent months anticipating the visit. I was on Facebook nearly every day reading Ken Ham’s informative posts. I “followed” Ken Ham and his Answers in Genesis organization for decades before the flood of social media sites. This was during the wonder years in the mid-eighties when we homeschooled our children who are now forty-ish. How time flies! As an author writing about the days of Noah in Descent from White Mountains, I was extremely interested in visiting the Ark as soon as it launched. So I purchased my combo ticket for entrance into the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum.
I arrived exactly one week after the much anticipated launch date. Every step on this adventure gave me goosies! My first encounters reminded me of visiting Disney World in Orlando. After passing through the gigantic Ark Encounter welcome tower (pictured), I drove into a huge parking lot with several busy attendants directing traffic. After presenting my ticket, I walked to a line of colorfully painted buses (pictured), and boarded. When the bus turned the corner and gazed at the replica of Noah’s Ark (pictured) in the distance, I sat completely awestruck!
Every exhibit on display during my 4-hour trek through Noah’s Ark was top notch! I felt like I was living in my novel! Except for a few minor details, the Ark Encounter and Descent from White Mountains seemed like a collaborative project! I was especially impressed with the exhibits featuring Jabal, the Father of Ranching, Jubal, the Father of String and Wind Instruments (pictured), and Tubal-cain, the Father of Metallurgy. I dedicated an entire chapter to these creative inventors and industry pioneers.
I strongly encourage everyone to visit The Arc Encounter!