We have now been home from our Texas trip for about a week. Upon arriving home I got hit with a killer flu and was down and out for five days. Now that I have emerged from the world of the living dead it is time to wrap up the recordings of our travels with a recap of our final day on the road.
On our way back to Pennsylvania we traveled northeast through Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, with the intended purpose of visiting the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky.
I had seen pictures and read the reviews of this amazing structure, but nothing could have prepared me for the visual impact of seeing this massive boat sitting in the middle of the Kentucky countryside.
The 511-foot-long gorgeous, timber structure was awe-inspiring from the moment we arrived.
Upon arriving we found ourselves in the middle of a massive parking lot with a shuttle station situated in the center. It is here we purchased our tickets for the Ark. From our car we could see the Ark in the distance but to get to the Ark visitors are loaded onto shuttle buses and driven a mile to get to the Ark.
We arrived 20 minutes before opening and were among the first visitors taken into the park. Because we had to be back home by 4:00 for Gracie’s evening work shift, we only had 2 hours to explore the Ark. We made sure we arrived as early as possible to beat the crowds.
The bus dropped us off in front of the Ark, and there up close, we were able to really grasp the massive size of this ship.
The outside was beautifully landscaped and the Ark sat behind a reflective pond that created beautiful photo opportunities.
As we neared the Ark it seemed to increase in size. Standing at the base and looking up was incredible. Pictures simply don’t do it justice!
This life-size re-creation of Noah’s Ark, built to biblical specifications, is the largest timber framed structure in the world. The craftsmanship is amazing and completely impressive. It is hard to describe what you feel when you first see the Ark. Even before stepping a foot inside I would say that this sight alone would have made the trip worthwhile:
You just can’t fully grasp the enourmity of the task God that was placed before Noah until you are standing at the base of this structure.
Using the dimensions given in the Bible (in Genesis), the ark is built to be a full size Noah’s ark replica.
God gave Noah the dimensions for the Ark in cubits. “And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.” (Genesis 6:15)
How long is a cubit?
About this long…
The Ark was 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high!
The Ark had the same storage capacity as about 450 standard semi-trailers. A standard livestock trailer holds about 250 sheep, so the Ark had the capacity to hold at least 120,000 sheep.
The thing was HUGE!
So what is the Ark Encounter all about?
It is the opportunity to walk through the decks of this replicated Ark to experience how Noah, his family, and the animals might have lived during their time on the Ark.
The Ark Encounter helps you answer questions you have about the Noah’s ark story. How did Noah build the ark? Did he fit all the animals in the ark? What methods were used for Noah and his family to take care of all the animals? What was life like on the ark? Using Bible scriptures from the Old Testament, we got an idea of what life may have been like on the ark.
I will say that while much of the experience was biblically sound, there was some artistic license taken in their interpretation of what Noah’s sons and their wives were like and what life on the Ark would have been like. Signs throughout the Ark explain that because of limited information given in Genesis as to the details of everyday living, creative interpretation has been taken in the recreation of many scenes.
In addition, not all who visit will agree with the science behind some of the exhibits. While I found some of the renditions not fully in line with what I believe to be true, it did not diminish the experience for us. Overall, I found it to be an amazing experience.
Tyler loved the animals on the ark. As we walked through we enjoyed peeking in the many cages, filled with two of each animal. I loved the added touch of sounds as you passed by some of the cages. You may hear hissing to represent snakes and bears roaring.
The visual impact from the inside was as powerful as that from the outside. My carpenter husband appreciated the sheer artistry of the woodwork within the ark. It was all so beautifully done.
“Ark Encounter is the largest timber frame structure in the world, built from standing dead timber, in part by skilled Amish craftsmen.”
We found going to the Ark Encounter made us want to learn more about Noah and his life.
When Tyler was younger I remember him trying to explain to us what Bible story he learned about in church as we drove home one Sunday. He couldn’t remember any names or details. He finally summed up what he learned with: “You know, the one about the old man, with all the pets, who lived on a houseboat!”
Well touring Noah’s “houseboat” and seeing all his “pets” made me want to go back and study the story of Noah in more depth. 🙂
Life on the Ark would have been challenging…
Remember, it was just Noah and his family that had to feed ALL those animals! Have you ever thought about how they could have done that? The Ark Encounter gives examples of ways that all the animals may have been fed.
The visuals of food and water storage and the logistics of how that massive task might have been accomplished was fascinating to me. That was my favorite part of the experience.
Have you ever wondered about how Noah made sure all the animals had water to drink and their living area cleaned?
Maybe not…but the Ark Encounter answers questions of how it might have taken place. And many other questions you have not even thought of. Find out for yourself things like a possible ventilation system, jobs that needed to be done on the ark, and a possible light source! Theories are based on what is known from the Bible.
The family friendly Ark Encounter offered interactive displays, reading, and life-like visual exhibits. We found it to be very kid friendly and engaging.
Ever wondered what life was like on the Ark? Noah was told to build the Ark and how to do it. But, he wasn’t told how long he was going to be on it. The Ark Encounter gives examples using very detailed, life-like props!
It was fun to walk through the living quarters and imagine ourselves in the same scenario and what life would be like on a daily basis.
There were three floors (or decks) of exhibits available to explore! On the first floor we learned about why God caused the flood. The second floor explored how life may have been onboard the Ark. (This was my favorite part of the Ark experience.) The third floor answered questions about what happened when the floods receded.
We managed to see the entire Ark in the two hours we were there without feeling as though we were rushed through any part of it. If we had a full day to explore we would have stopped to watch some of the videos playing throughout the ark and explored the grounds outside where there is a petting zoo and other fun activities, but unfortunately we had to run.
It was an awesome thing to see. I’m glad we stopped.