The Idle American: A Trip Through the Bible

Two of the most remarkable new American tourist attractions are the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter just down the road from each other.

Umpteen years ago, I entitled a speech–ncleverly I thought at the time –n”From Adam’s Rib to Women’s Lib.”

I provided more details than audiences wanted to know, explaining that with such an expansive title, maybe I wouldn’t wander too far off track.

It was admittedly a weak joke, probably not warranting so much as a grin from women who were digging in heels on matters relative to equality. Surely a half-century hasn’t passed since the first of many “speaking fumbles,” but calendars don’t lie….

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   Anyways, such thoughts came to mind recently during visits to two of the most remarkable new American tourist attractions. They are much discussed, awash in remarks like, “We’ve got to go back!”

I reference The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, and a sister attraction forty miles away in Williamstown, Kentucky. The latter is called The Ark Encounter, its centerpiece a life-size replica of the one Noah built to provide the “start-over” deliverance God provided humankind that hinged on Noah’s obedience.

That Noah took on such a serious task to construct a huge boat to accommodate “two-by-two” boardings before the Great Flood was itself remarkable. That he persevered during ridicule extended daily by others added to the miracle. Laughter faded on board, of course, as the craft successfully stayed afloat for 40 days before a dove returned with an olive branch in its beak.

Its return was more welcome than discoveries in the 1849 gold rush….

Don Newbury

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   Enough of my observations about “then;” I’m determined to focus on “now.” My wife and I spent a total of three days at the two attractions, realizing too late that each one provides information, displays, lifelike biblical figures and other features meriting much longer visits.

The Creation Museum is near the Cincinnati Airport, just across the state line in Kentucky. It was built fifteen years ago, and when The Ark opened about seven years later, attendance doubled.

Many details and photos are available online….

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   The Ark – located just off Interstate Highway 75 – looms in the largest sense of the word. Huge against the horizon, it spellbinds. I’ll spare you the cubits – units of measure Noah followed–but insist on providing numbers that impress. The replica weighs 2,500 tons. It is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and fifty-one feet tall (five stories.) It will hold 5,000 people.

The whole facility is well-planned, with buses at the ready to deliver visitors from parking lots to The Ark. There are numerous vendors with food and soft drinks, strategically-placed benches and even electric-powered carts for folks who may not be up to walking. (Yes, The Ark has elevators.)

Special attractions are planned throughout the year. During our visit, there were “40 Days and 40 Nights of Gospel Music.” Come Oct. 4-6, a conference for pastors and church leaders (open to all) is scheduled….

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   There’s far too little space to describe The Ark’s interior. Suffice it to say that it is a work of art, staffed by folks who are knowledgeable and helpful, determined to make everyone feel welcome.

A few days prior to our arrival, floods struck several regions of Kentucky, and word was out that environs at The Ark were flooded.  Ark communicators had to interrupt usual tasks to get the word out that the rumor mill should grind to a stop concerning the attraction. Had it been true, the replica may well have risen to the occasion.

We hear often about tourist destinations being “for the whole family.” The Creation Museum and The Ark Encounter “measure up,” in cubits or otherwise. And so does the Cincinnati Airport Hilton where we lodged.

Earlier, I urged consideration of visits to these Kentucky points for automobile vacations. It is a point worth repeating. It is notable that the Cincinnati Airport is within an hour’s flight of sixty percent of folks living in the USA….

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   Dr. Newbury was a longtime university president. He continues to write weekly and speak regularly throughout Texas. Contact information: Phone: 817-447-3872. Email: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Facebook: Don Newbury.

  Please click HERE to find Don’s a collection of Don’s wonderful stories in When the Porch Light’s on, found on Amazon.

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