Lost World: Red River Gorge

Sorry about my absence in adventure blogging.  Time to do some catching up!  This past July, my son and I had some bonding time on a three day excursion into the Red River Gorge, part of the Daniel Boone National Forest, in east central Kentucky.

Chimney Top
Chimney Top

We set up camp just off of Tunnel Ridge Road, near the Gray’s Arch area.  There was a forecast for storms in the area that evening, so as they moved in, we decided to go for a scenic drive instead of waiting it out in the tent.  Little did we know it was actually a derecho with immense straight line winds!  It hit full force as we were driving around the scenic byway 715, when trees literally started crashing down around us.  We turned around to try to get back out, only to find our way back was blocked by more trees across the road, so we quickly parked at a trailhead parking space with no trees overhead to wait it out.   A truck came by shortly later, a family also trapped in the byway, so we followed them after the main storm subsided.  Once a signal was found, 911 was called and road crews were sent out.  We sat out in the dark for nearly 3 hours as road crews cut up trees and pushed them off the road.  In the meantime, my son Kaden dealt with the delay and destruction by imagining it was all the result of us going through a time portal and dinosaurs causing the mayhem.  This became the theme for our entire three day trip!

Trees across 715
Trees across 715

The next day, we were up bright and early to start our hike.  We had planned to hike near the Red River and up Sheltowee Trace, but the road was closed due to power lines down, and the alternate trail to reach our destination was washed out by flash flooding.  So we went back to our camp, and then hiked sections of Pinch-em-Tight, Rough Trail, and Rush Ridge.  Also hiked down to the Daniel Boone Hut.  We actually set a record for steps taken that day (only to be beaten later by another trip to the Red).  The entire time, we hiked with the theme that we were being chased by dinosaurs.  It kept Kaden interested and going.

On Pinch-em-Tight trail
On Pinch-em-Tight trail

The following day, we went back to our original destination to hike Sheltowee Trace up to Cloud Splitter.  What an amazing jungle atmosphere, with lots of small streams, waterfalls, and huge rock walls.  We found our way up to Cloud Splitter, even crawled into the crack that “splits” the rock, but couldn’t quite make the rope climb to the top.  Still an amazing hike.  Afterward, we crossed the suspension bridge over the flooded Red River just to say we did, and then drove to Chimney Tops and hiked out there for some amazing views, and then out to Princess Arch.  Another great day, again with dinosaurs chasing us.

Princess Arch
Princess Arch

Each night, we sat around the campfire, relaxed in the hammock, and made Dubsmash videos that we sent to mom.
Great adventure, check out the movie we made if you have the time:


3 thoughts on “Lost World: Red River Gorge

  1. This was just amazing!!! What an awesome Dad you are to do all that to help Kaden through what would be a scarey storm even for me. Then, to make this sooooo cool movie for the enjoyment of anyone lucky enough to watch it. Thank you for not letting a dino eat the deer. I love how Kaden seems to be fairly fearless on the hikes, yet I noticed the time you reached out to steady him, keeping him safe. The swinging bridge would not have gone over very well with me. So, let me know when the dino egg hatches and we can meet the little guy!!!!

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