For the last three years, I have volunteered at the Ark Encounter booth at the Iowa State Fair. I have read a lot about it, watched videos, and talked with people who have been there. However, I hadn't ever visited myself. Since Dave's church is about 90 minutes away from the Ark, we took the Monday of our trip to finally see it in person.
My caregiver that came along to help at night also wanted to see the boat with us. Therefore, my parents took over in the morning while she tried to sleep for a few hours. Dave met us at the hotel along with another camp friend who wasn't able to come Sunday.
Our group left the hotel around 11:00 and started the commute east. I'm used to rural Iowa roads, but Kentucky has some very twisty, bumpy, and scenic back roads that make for an almost uncomfortable experience. Fortunately, we all arrived in one piece and navigated the expansive parking lot to the ticket booth.
Parking is at the bottom of a hill with all guests boarding buses to get up to the Ark. I wasn't sure both mom with her scooter and I could use the same bus, but it was an easy fit for everyone. I somewhat knew what to expect on the ride, but experiencing it in person was much more amazing. Seeing the full size of the massive ship was impressive and larger than I thought.
After a quick lunch, our group made it inside the vessel by 1:00, leaving about five hours for exploration. When I heard the attraction was built with wood floors, I was expecting a rough ride with lots of seams. However, getting off the elevator I found very smooth driving that was easy to navigate.
Going through each deck and seeing everything how Noah may have had arranged was educational and fun to think through everything. Ramps between floors made easy transition as we started during the storm that wiped out the earth and ended with Noah seeing a freshly plucked branch.
One blog post can't cover everything, but I was very glad to be able to see it in person. With time constraints, we didn't see everything, but did get most of the Ark covered. On our trip home Tuesday, it was again new scenery going through St. Louis and stopping to watch trains in Missouri.
I'm more aware each year how quickly time passes and it did again with this four-day trip. Traveling with the quad life has challenges, but I'm thankful that I was able to preach God's Word and see part of the Bible's history in person.