Thursday, July 11, 2013

Red River Gorge Anniversary Weekend


In the middle of June, Nathan and I ventured down to Kentucky to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary.  On Friday afternoon we set up camp at Carter Caves park and went on a flashlight cave tour at Cascade Cave.  It was a pretty cool tour... obviously, taking pictures in a cave lit only by flashlights was tricky, so this is all you get. There were cool rock formations, bats, and even an underground waterfall!


Midway, part of the cave had collapsed, so there was a short trail outside to the rest of the cave.  It was so beautiful!


That night, we ate at a wonderful Italian restaurant, Melini Cuzina Italiana. Really. It was great. I wish we could go back!!

 
On Saturday, we ate lunch at a restaurant called Red River Rockhouse, and then did some browsing at the touristy shops. We wanted to get our camp set up, but we had a really tough time finding a place to stay. The Natural Bridge Park campgrounds were all full, so we found another (and much prettier!) campground, Koomer Ridge.


Then, once we got set up, we attempted to go kayaking. The place we were planning to rent from had just sent out their last group when we got there. We went down the road to another place that had a kayak displayed out front, and were able to rent our boats for MUCH cheaper with a much more relaxed schedule. It was mostly really fun, except for when we got separated for a while... which was NOT fun. But when we found each other again, we paddled the rest of the way to "jumping rock," which is a boulder the size of a house that you can jump off of into the water. We jumped off once (fun but scary!!), then decided we'd better head back. The trip back was uneventful and much more relaxing (with the current working with instead of against us!).


 The route to and from kayaking took us through Nada tunnel. It's a rough-cut, narrow tunnel through the mountain. It was really cool!!

We ordered pizza from Miguel's Pizza, a hippie establishment that sells pizza and rock climbing gear, and allows you to pitch a tent in their back yard for $2 a person. We were starving, and the pizza was good... we ate it at a picnic table in a park.



Our GPS was really dumb the whole trip... it took us all kinds of weird routes and places. One of the wrong ways it took us actually ended up being really pretty, so we went back there to eat breakfast on Sunday morning. It overlooked the Red River Gorge. So beautiful!!

 Our last stop in the gorge was Natural Bridge. We decided to take the sky lift, which was a really pretty ride!


The view from the bridge...


The path down to below the bridge...


Under the bridge! This was my favorite view.


The Natural Bridge is in the background. It was cool to see it from far away.


We weren't in a rush to get home, so when we saw a sign for a Civil War fort, we decided to stop. It was really just a few mounds at the top of a hill, but there was a phone tour that had recordings of historical info to listen to along the way which was really cool.

On the way back to the highway, we drove along miles and miles of stone fences. They were really really pretty and a nice surprise find. I found a brochure about them here.

Finally, we stopped to see "Man of Steel" at a nice theater with a gift card on the way home, which was very enjoyable!

It was a very full, very fun trip! Nathan is a fun vacation buddy... I think I'll keep him.
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