Thank you for your prayers and kind words. I’m grateful…
Worth the hype? Well, the short answer is YES.
Of course I had heard about the Ark Encounter – Ken Ham’s massive recreation of the original Boat of Noah – but when I was told it was in Kentucky, I translated that into “twelve hours away from me.” Last summer, I suddenly realized that the Ark is tucked into Kentucky’s upper corner, a stone’s throw from Cincinnati, leaving it only six hours from my house.
My husband and I quickly planned a family camping trip to the area in June of last year.
We found a very nice campground nearly, Big Bone Lick State Park, a place to tent and swim and relax and cook over a fire and walk nature trails. And we booked two days for sightseeing: one for the Ark and one for its sister attraction, the Creation Museum.
I’ll tell you the bad news first: I wasn’t crazy about the Creation Museum. I can tell already that this paragraph will turn out too critical (actually I added this comment later when my own criticism surprised me – gotcha), but I found the Museum heavy on evangelism and short on artifacts. What would you artifact? Instead of putting money into buying real antiques and ancient books or bones, the Museum showcased wax works of Adam and Eve, fossil replicas, original comedic movie clips, and so on. There was a ton of reading, if you are the kind of person who likes reading wall plaques. But the worst was that although we were told there were “exits along the way” if we needed to step out of the self-guided tour, we didn’t find any. We had to blitz our way through the labyrinth with a fussy baby, through many hallways threatening the imminent judgment of sin. It felt like “trap your audience and then preach to the captives.” Forgive me for laughing.
ANYWAY. Some good effort and worthy aspects for sure, especially petting zoo and the wonderful botanical gardens outside – but otherwise, not really my thing. Maybe you went there and loved it.
But the Ark! we thoroughly enjoyed. First of all, the sheer size is breathtaking.
And then the delight of realizing how possible it all is – how much room there is (even extra room), and how a giant boat to save the earth could really have been built, and by an ancient man – which was Mr. Ham’s point in the whole project. Maybe some income too, I don’t know.
Point being that I’ll admit the Ark has always been the Bible story I’ve fought the most private skepticism about. And I loved walking through a replica, however imperfect.
It was less talky than the Creation Museum, and far more experiential: listen to the tapping of rain and the rumble of thunder as the storm begins, walk up the mighty ramp to get inside the boat, view the hundreds of crates and barrels and cages and storage stations, tour the living quarters of the family, pet real goats and sheep indoors. See how the Ark could have gotten light and air. Notice the huge timbers and the rough-hewn wooden pegs. Walk through all three floors. Take a picture against the massive Door.
Behind the Ark is a great little zoo, with a surprising number of animals to see and touch.
And incidentally, where did last summer’s babies go?
My children loved the Ark, and so did Ryan and I. If you get a chance, please go.
Worth the hype? I believe it is.
Have you been to the Ark Encounter? What was your favorite part?