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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rainy Days and Mondays (and Mud) Never Get Us Down

You know, I debated what order to post all those hikes we did in one day on Monday.

Steps down near beginning of Rock Bridge trail

I considered posting them from smallest arch to biggest arch or in order that we hiked them, but in the end I went with posting whichever one I felt like writing about on any given day.

We'll call this one Happy Gals Overhang

After slogging around in the rain today and struggling with achy knees due to the chilly damp I decided I wanted to post about the first one we tackled which was Rock Bridge Trail.  It sprinkled off and on during our hike, but not enough for us to get out our rain gear.

under the overhang

It's really kind of crazy how excited we were to get out on the trail.  I don't know what it is about Kentucky that I love so much.  The trail system in the Smokies is excellent, but there is just something about Kentucky that speaks to me.  It's got the rhododendren, the hills, the hikes, but it's closer to home for me than the Smokies.  All that's nice but it's not the why.

Is it that it's a little less well-traveled?  A little more untamed?

We didn't even realize that Creation Falls was on the same 1.5 mile loop as Rock Bridge.  Two for the price of one!  Nothing wrong with a bargain.  Every guide I've read on this area mentions this hike as a "if you've got time" due to its "length" mostly.  I think it's incredibly manageable even for those who don't hike often and it was the prettiest hike with the best features we did that day.  And we had it all to ourselves the whole time.

Creation Falls

Of course I crossed the stream on the slippery rock above the falls instead of being patient and seeing if there was another access point.  But if I hadn't I wouldn't have seen this footprint in the mud.  Anyone know what it is?  Small bear?  Large coyote?

Thanks to that stiff Kentucky mud it was pretty well defined.  By the way, the sticky clay-like mud here is the only drawback in my opinion.  Don't wear shoes you need to worry about keeping nice when you come to eastern Kentucky.

best I could do without a tripod

I think I might finally be convinced I need to invest in a lightweight tripod to add to my ever growing must-have list.  I've deleted a lot of photos on this trip due to longer shutter times in the dim conditions.

Lip of the falls

Rock Bridge may not be huge, but it was very photogenic.  I've seen some other shots with a sprinkling of snow that were just gorgeous.  As a matter of fact I've seen quite a few pictures of the area with a sprinkling of snow and they were all fantastic.  Hmmmm....

This is where I got really muddy.  Turns out what looked like mostly sand on the shoreline was sticky and icky.

But when I got the shot below the shape was so beautiful that I suddenly could care less about a little bit of sticky mud.  There were deer prints in the mud too, so I wasn't the only one who came down to check out the view.

What goes down must go back up, so up we went.  Looks like the CCC probably carved these stairs into the rock many years ago.  That sandstone is soft and the stairs have rounded and smoothed out quite a bit.

There's quite a bit of lichen to be seen on the trees, the ground and the rock too.  All I've been thinking about (besides a sprinkling of snow to perk up my pictures) is how pretty it must all look in the spring.  I wonder when I'll be back again first, winter or spring?


  1. You make a mighty good case for Eastern Kentucky. Your photographs are really lovely. The falls don't need a tripod, they were beautiful. Really loved the happy gals overhang and the shot of the walking shoes. There is definitely a lot to be said about places less traveled. I can connect much better to nature without so many people. This looks like a great day.

  2. Now that we are near the end of our time in Red River Gorge, I think this first hike we did is likely my favorite. I could do it again and again!

  3. I'm really not an eastern hiker but this is a hike I would really enjoy. You had lots of interesting features besides trees. I love the rock bridge. So nice of you to get muddy so we could see all of this beautiful bridge.

  4. That rock bridge is pretty! Yes, if you want to photograph waterfalls, a tripod is a must. Glad you ladies are having such a good time.

  5. Wow that is some really nice scenery you visited there. Thought you would have had the gorillapod with you but have a look at the lightweight tripods before getting one. I made a mistake getting the one I have