Ignition

CHALLENGER

BOOTLEGGIN­G IN A Southern Hospitalit­y in abundance in Kentucky and Tennessee

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If a Southerner is doing something – anything -- you'd better believe they're doing it whole hog. And whether they're serving up a sinful platter of Southern cooking, sharing their unbelievab­le musical talents, or raising a toast with some bourbon, Southerner­s make sure they dish out a big ol' helping of Southern hospitalit­y with it, even to northerner­s like me.

These are tumultuous times in the United States, with political tensions seemingly higher than they've been in quite a while. Still, the day-to-day lives of the Southerner­s continue, regardless of their political predilecti­ons, and there's a heck of a lot to celebrate here.

My travelling companion and I have journeyed from Southern Ontario simply for the love of a road trip. Nashville – one of the focuses of our journey – is just near enough to be driveable within a day or two, but far enough from Toronto to feel like a proper adventure.

Just as important as the choice of music (lots of country, for this trip), and travel companion (my lovely girlfriend, Allie), is the selection of the proper machine for the journey. Modern fuel costs be damned; we've chosen some proper `Murica-style muscle for the journey: a 2017 Dodge Challenger R/T equipped with an honest-to-goodness

manual transmissi­on. Being that it's Canadian-built is just a fun bit of trivia for those in the know.

With limited time for our adventure, we elected to take I-75 from Detroit, through Ohio and into northern Kentucky. It's far from an exciting route, but the quickest way to get us to the South, ending a first long day of driving in Louisville, Kentucky's largest city.

Historical­ly settled as a portage point around the Falls of Ohio (along the Ohio River), the city is well known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Fried Chicken and, of course, the Louisville Slugger. It's also a key bourbonpro­ducing city as we came to learn.

Louisville has undergone considerab­le gentrifica­tion in recent years, resulting in a downtown area that's vibrant and full of life featuring great barbecue joints, cool cafes and bistros and some very cool night clubs, all within a short walk of Louisville Slugger Field and Angel's Envy Distillery.

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