A few days ago I told you about Rough River Dam State Resort Park’s 50th Anniversary celebration (click the link for lodge specials for September and October, 2012). I gave you the dates (September 21 & 22, 2012) along with details of the buffet and boat tours of the lake. I did all but grab you by the hand and lead the way. If you went, good for you! If you didn’t make it… where were you?!
We enjoyed the buffet before the AWESOME boat tour, then returned to the lodge for pie and coffee after the boat tour. The food was delicious, as always.
Before heading home, we chatted a while with the lovely and friendly young woman, Dana, at the front desk. I love the state parks we’re so fortunate to have here in Kentucky and, personally, I wish there were a Dana at each of them.
I also wish the coconut pie at Grayson’s Landing (the restaurant in Rough River’s lodge) was in each of the Kentucky State Resort Park restaurants. No… wait… maybe I don’t. I’d soon be unable to fit into my Dodge.
Lady of the Lake II Boat Tour
We’ve taken the boat tour of Rough River Lake before, so I knew it’d be as wonderful as always. The colorful “Captain Bill” is a lot of fun. He’s been at Rough River for over 20 years, so he knows the lake like he knows his own name. The knowledge he shares about old caves, the dam, the “winter pool” (when they let a significant amount of water in the lake out for winter), birds, and the area in general is fascinating. As we listened to him talk about “Snake Head Point” (named for the shape of a rock formation), I realized that this would be great conversation around a dinner table – the fact that it was taking place while taking a relaxing boat trip only added to the moment.
I also realized that with Autumn right upon us, the scenery would be extra special. Some trees were beginning to turn, as you’ll see in the pictures, and the views were breathtaking.
We also so a lot of Osprey activity. They were all over the place, doing a little evening fishing.
In an earlier boat tour, “Captain Bill” said his group saw eagles! I wouldn’t have missed the evening tour (trust me, a sunset over a lake is something it’ll make you weak in your knees), but I wish we’d taken both trips.
Several times I thought, “If I had a thermos filled with coffee, they’d have to drag me off this lake.” At one point I even thought that boat tours must be what Heaven’s like.
Dinner Buffet at Grayson’s Landing, Rough River’s Restaurant
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary, the buffet was half price. Actually, it may have been even less than half price. Truth be told, I never pay attention to the cost of meals… I’m just there for the food. And what food it was!
Let’s do this with bullet points, okay? They usually keep from rambling. Usually.
- I’ve told you before how much I love Rough River’s salad bar. If you’re familiar with salad bars, you know that, somehow, some are just better than others. The options are always fantastic, and I’m all kinds of wild about their beets.
- Baked chicken. YUM! I’m a fried chicken kind of girl and, I have to admit, when I saw that the chicken was baked instead of fried, my bottom lip may have pooched out. Okay, it DID pooch out. But, since the catfish on the buffet wasn’t filleted, I had to go with the chicken. (Years ago, I once choked so badly on a fish bone that I’ve sworn off non-filleted fish for life.) I threw a few baked chicken leg on my plate, mumbling something to them along the lines of, “Why aren’t you fried like good little chicken legs?” Little did I know they’d be go darn good! The baked chicken was delicious – juicy and ridiculously flavorful. They tasted wonderful and were actually healthier than their fried counterparts.
- Fried clams with seafood sauce. Let’s just say I could have eaten every fried clam in the entire place all by myself. These little guys are so delicious it isn’t even fair.
- Barbecued pork. Again, I didn’t know what to expect. Barbecued pork isn’t something you see on a lot of buffets, so my hopes weren’t exactly soaring. But it was amazing! If I’d had some bread, I’d have had a BBQ sandwich worth writing home about. Then again, the bread would have been calories that were best saved for dessert… which I know I’ll always, always, always have at Rough River.
- Rounding out the pork and chicken were scalloped potatoes, Lima beans, clam chowder, and other vegetables. Everything I had was great.
- Dessert. Grayson’s Landing knows their dessert. The pies are always just incredible, as are the cobblers and banana pudding. It leaves you kind of in a dilemma, where do you start?! I had a suspicion that we’d be returning to the restaurant after the boat tour – and that suspicion had coconut pie written all over it. So I decided to have their delicious blackberry cobbler and ice cream. It’s always just perfect. There’s really no more to say – how do you “flesh out” the word perfect?!
- The coffee and coconut pie we returned for were also perfect. Excellent perfection.
The autumn leaves, the gorgeous lake, the birds, the coconut pie, the coffee, the ospreys, Dana, Captain Bill, the gracious park manager Mike, our adorable and sweet server, the wonderful women who work in the restaurant, “Snake Head Point. the boats, sunset on the lake….” everything was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
While the boat tour was “extra” special with the turning of the leaves and the beautiful sunset that God painted in the sky (its reflection on the lake was something that caused me to put my camera down and just stare) – I have to admit, the feeling I had wasn’t really so different from the feeling I get any time I’m at Rough River. The feeling is summed up with 10 words: I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
—-> See the pictures from the beautiful day: Rough River Lake – Pictures can never compare to seeing Rough River Lake or Rough River Dam State Resort Park in person… so plan your trip immediately after seeing the pictures. Act fast, you simply can’t miss the Autumn colors on the lake!
Rough River is on KY 79 near Leitchfield. From the Western Kentucky Parkway, exit on KY 79 north from Caneyville or exit on KY 259 N at Leitchfield and travel to the park via KY 54 from Leitchfield. Driving south, take KY 79 south from Hardinsburg and U.S. 60.