Red River Gorge 2

A 4-day cabin trip with my dad to Red River Gorge in Slade, Kentucky with my Dad. We went hiking and kayaking and saw some unique geology. Gray’s Arch was the highlight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

  • Picked Dad up at the Columbus airport
  • Picked up dinner (Hot Head Burrito) & gas in Florence, KY
  • Grocery run in Winchester
  • Arrive at River Roost cabin in the Red River Gorge at 11:15pm
  • Fight off moths and enter a steaming hot cabin
  • Notice the cabin is absent an oven, insulation, food disposal, etc. but homely nevertheless

Thursday, June 9, 2011

  • Make a hearty helping of bacon & eggs after sleeping in
  • Meet the caretakers’ nephew, Kai
  • Drive to Gladie Visitor Center for advice on what to see & do
  • Hike Sky Bridge,
  • Drive to Whistling Arch and Dad make a nice 6 foot ascent using fixed ropes J
  • Drive up a gravel road to enjoy the views of the Gorge from Chimney Top
  • Walk over to Princess Arch and almost miss seeing it
  • Drive down Rock Bridge and eat a quick lunch before the mosquitoes discover us
  • Walk the 1.4 mile Rock Bridge trail and climb around the arch perched over the river.
  • Go back to town to pick up a few items missing at the cabin
  • Dine on steak, bake potatoes, pale ales, and a salad topped with an impromptu beer & mustard dressing (missed that one at the grocery store!)
  • Drank chocolate milk for dessert, the result of not having a freezer.
  • Heard the Dallas Mavericks bombard the Heat with 3-pointers in the 4th quarter to pull ahead 3 – 2 in the NBA finals over the car radio

Friday, June 10, 2011

  • Healthy breakfast of oatmeal & OJ
  • Drove down to Martin’s Fork to hike to Gray’s Arch
  • The hike started off under a dense canopy of trees and beside a small creek.
  • The flies and mosquitoes mugged every inch of visible skin until the trail climbed up.
  • Once above the trees, we though we found the arches and looked for a way over to them.
  • The trail instead lead us to an unexpected fork revealing the actual location of Gray’s arch was still a 1+ miles away.
  • Hike 2 miles and crisscrossed a backpacking couple, which confirmed to both parties that we had somehow missed Gray’s Arch.
  • Thanks to the help of their map, we retraced our path and found a very discrete trail leading off to Gray’s Arch
  • Marvel at the unique geology of the sandstone formations.
  • Continue to marvel while climbing around and taking action pictures
  • Low on water and food, we hike 2+ miles back to the car.
  • Our pace quickened as thunder shook the valley just ¼ mile from the car.
  • Run to the car just as it a major downpour rolls in
  • Eat lunch in the car along the highway and return to the cabin to take a much needed nap
  • Grill pork chops with broccoli and corn
  • Savor more chocolate milk over backgammon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

  • Stay with the oatmeal & OJ for breakfast with a few slices of bacon
  • Swat down the fifth consecutive spider web spun overnight across the driver’s side-view mirror.
  • Launch a couple kayaks into the Red River at the concrete bridge along Hwy 715 with the help of our caretaker.
  • Enjoy the scenery of the upper section of the river
  • Strategically guide the kayak over numerous shallow water sections – lots of bumps
  • Rock skipping contest
  • “Cliff” jumping from 20 feet up
  • Grinded out the lower section which was characterized by slow current, fallen trees from a recent tornado, and less interesting scenery.
  • Hooked the kayaks together using the bow and stern handles and the forward kayaker supplied all the power over the last mile
  • Ate lunch back at the cabin and took a power nap
  • Drove over to Natural Bridge and started hiking to the Sky Walk just as thunder struck
  • Our calves burned after quickly gaining 300 – 500 feet elevation
  • Reach the Sky Walk just as the rain starts to pour
  • Decide to take the ski lift down, which leaves us more vulnerable to the rain than originally planned
  • We arrive to the car 30 minutes sooner than if we hiked down, but soaking wet.
  • A quick run over to the grocery store to pickup that salad dressing
  • Last supper of delicious leftovers
  • Drink more chocolate milk

Sunday, June 12, 2011

  • Take a scenic detour through rural Kentucky
  • Learned Dad’s flight was cancelled and now departed ~3 hours later
  • Cross the “Ohio” River – which is nearly all in Kentucky.
  • Reroute after discovering that flying out of Cincinnati is quicker than Columbus
  • Say goodbye after a splendid Father / Son trip.

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