Monday, August, 28

Sky Bridge Station is a great place to hang out.  
Three dart boards, twelve beers on tap, and a bar menu of gourmet hot dogs and appetizers make this a fantastic stop to get some drinks or dinner.  Located on the far side of the Red River Gorge, they cater to outdoor enthusiasts….climbers and hikers.  That does not mean they are not welcoming to the rest of us:)  Many Saturday nights feature live music.  There are actually a few beds upstairs, hostel style.  Also, the owners double as climbing guides.  
Look them up when you’re in the Gorge.  You might see me there some rainy Monday afternoon.

August 24, 2017

One of the things I love best about the Red River Gorge is the large variety of hiking options.  Within 15 minutes of any of our cabins...and often much closer, there is a network of over 100 miles of official trails.  That does not include the 150 miles of “user trails”.  These trails are not maintained by the Natural Bridge State Park or the Forest Service.  However, they remain viable because of their use by nature lovers and animals.  One of the great things about the network of trails is their range of difficulty.  You could choose an eighth of a mile paved, ridgetop hike to a view (like Chimney Top Rock).  You also could decide on a 15 or 20 mile hike with thousands of feet of elevation change as you cross through valleys and up to the ridge line.  I can’t tell you a favorite hike as there such variety.  Low down in the valleys, you follow along creeks.  Climbing up the hillsides, you walk by huge rock formations.  Once on the ridges, you can see for miles around, often with opposing cliff lines looming in the distance.  We provide free maps to all of our renters that show the network of trails.  This is a very adequate guide if you want a hike or two.  We also are happy to advise on an adventure suitable to your group’s ability and desire.  
There are also a few books sold in the area stores that give detailed descriptions of the area’s hikes.  Two that are sitting on my bookshelf are Hinterlands and the Red River Gorge Trail Guide.  Stop in at the Daniel Boone Trading Post to pick up a copy.  You can also find the books online.

August 6, 2017

Our family moved  to the Red River Gorge seven years ago with three kids, ages five to 10.  In the meantime we’ve added another.  Originally, we planned to stay just six months and then move on to greener pastures.  After a few months, we realized that are hearts had already found a home, and we decided this beautiful corner of Kentucky would be the place we would put down roots and raise our family.

Our first house that we stayed in had a rainwater supply for the water system.  Statistics show that we get around 80 inches of rain a year, which puts us just below the rainforest category.  

Water wasn’t a problem...but getting it from the cistern into the taps was.  The previous winter had been very cold and icy.  The electrical lines went out for two weeks in February and the pump and filter components froze.  Being city slickers, we were befuddled by the fairly simple system and it took about four months of hauling water from the spring before we figured out how to patch the system back together.  I can’t explain how wonderful that first shower felt in that little cabin once the water was back on.  

That experience parallels many of our stories since then.  We are incrementally learning how to live more simply and fix things ourselves and make due.  Some lessons are easy, many hard, and some we still haven’t learned.  I like life with a challenge (within reason) and this keeps me on my toes.  Hopefully, each year  finds a wiser, more patient me, moving forward and using the skills I have gained to grapple with each new challenge.