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You don’t have to be an American Idol to take a weird journey through the Bluegrass

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By Lorrie Kinkade

It's true. I could be the next American Idol.

But that’s only if Paula, Randy and Simon, the show’s celebrity judges, are willing to cruise around town in my SUV.

My singing voice leaves quite a bit to be desired, except when I’m driving. Prop me up behind the wheel of my Suzuki and I can belt out a few verses of "Bobby McGee" as well as Janis Joplin ever could. I also do a fine rendition of most James Taylor and Lenny Kravitz’s tunes.

Add in the occasional country ballad or pop song and I’d have to say I’m a well-rounded songstress – though some prefer the title “Equal-Opportunity Destroyer of Top 10 Hits.”

Say what you will, but I swear the chorus of howling dogs on Providence Road has nothing to do with the volume of my voice as I pass them on my way home from work.

And when you are stopped beside me at a traffic light and you hear a sound that could make your ears bleed, remember it's probably just a loose belt on my car’s engine. I may appear to be singing at the time, but that's purely coincidental.

Suffice to say, I have zero chance of making the grade later this month when the reality show folks visit Louisville in search of new American Idol contestants.

But maybe someone else in Trimble County will.

If you plan to audition for the Fox reality series, or you know someone who is, I want to hear about it. Whether you think you might be the next Carrie Underwood or maybe become as infamous as William Hung, tell me your aspirations for stardom. You may call (502) 255-3205 or send e-mail to lkinkade@mytrimblenews.com.

Take a journey to the weird side

There's a travel guide I recently discovered called "Weird Kentucky." It's a collection of photos and blurbs highlighting some of the state’s most unusual sights and legends. Written by Jeffrey Scott Holland and Troy Taylor, the book takes readers to all corners of the Bluegrass to prove, according to a news release, “there is more to do in Kentucky than stop in for some fried chicken and a bourbon.”

With the cost of gas at a premium, maybe you don't have the $50 per person required to spend a day at a nearby theme park. You're in luck: This book offers a variety of options for low-cost entertainment.

After browsing the book, I now have a couple of weekend and one-day journeys planned.

Though I don't usually stop for a snapshot near the World’s Largest Ball of Mud when on vacation to Florida, the most awesome close-to-home road trips must include stops at unusual places. What better souvenir is there than a series of photos of you and your friends standing near such Kentucky locations as the Bugtussle city limits sign in Monroe County or in front of the Rugless town building in Lewis County? And don’t forget to stop at the Ape Yard grocery store in Laurel County; just keep in mind that the Ape Yard Farm Supply and Ape Yard Baptist Church are no longer standing.

If you like a little mystery or fright, the book also offers stories behind such places as Crybaby Lane in Oldham County, Child’s Creek Bridge in Georgetown, Gates of Hell in Elizabethtown and Anti-Gravity Hill in Gallatin County.

Then there's the "extremely odd": the “small but amazing” Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington exhibits a hairball taken from a cow’s stomach, a two-headed calf (deceased and stuffed) and a shrunken head. Then there's a ventriloquism museum in Fort Mitchell sure to offer additional hours of unusual entertainment.

The book also includes stories of the state’s most famous and infamous residents, tales of bizarre beasts rumored to roam wooded areas, and unexplained phenomena such as barnyard mutilations and meat falling from the sky.

What more could you ask for in a travel guide?

So skip the conventional and shoot for the bizarre. Use a copy of "Weird Kentucky" to chart your next road trip.

And don’t forget to take a Trimble Banner with you. Send us a photo of yourself with the Banner while visiting a “weird” location, and we’ll print it in an upcoming issue.