Monday, June 6, 2016

Kentucky - Sassafras


It seems that there is some confusion as to where we really were, depending on what source you are looking at we were in Sassafras, or Litt Carr, or maybe Hindman. Whatever city it is we know for sure we stayed at the Litt Carr Campground. It is an Army Corp of Engineer property which makes it a federal park. This means we were able to use our National Parks Senior Pass to get the campsite at half price. The cost for four nights was only $56.00, we like it when that happens.
We settled in on May 30, 2016. The campground is really nice, very well maintained. The sites are extremely wide and most are angled so that you are not right next to your neighbor, each trailer is off set so one is farther back than another. Each site has a picnic table as well as a taller prep table, a charcoal grill and a fire pit. There is a pole with a hook to hang garbage or your food if you are tent camping to keep it away from critters. 
There are spots along the
river to sit and relax

Some of the sites are right on the river, there is not a bad site in the whole park. There are three playground areas, one in each section of the park and two restroom/shower buildings. The bathrooms, showers and laundry room were all very clean. We would definitely stay here again. 

When we arrived and started setting up we discovered that we had some stowaways, it seems we picked up some mice while the RV was at the repair shop. This was not a happy moment. We vacuumed and cleaned everything, once again. We hadn't seen or heard any and the dog wasn't acting like we had them so we thought maybe they had come in to search for food and nesting materials and then stayed behind in Louisville. No such luck, two days later more droppings were found in some cupboards, drawers, and the underneath storage, so back to cleaning. We got poison pellets that we put in under the drawers and the underneath storage and behind vents, places the dog can't get to, but the package says it could take 15-days. Nancy may lose her mind by then! Steel wool now blocks all of the holes that wires and pipes come through so we hope we have solved the problem. Stay tuned and we will let you know in the next blog. 

The Red River Gorge is in the Daniel Boone National Forest. One entrance is through a stone tunnel. It was quite amazing, unfortunately the picture didn't turn out to great, but hopefully good enough to get the idea.
A UPS truck was behind us and it took him a long time to get through, he drove very slowly as there is not much leeway on either side of your vehicle. 

The park offers at least 40-hiking trails, most under 5-miles, we did three short ones. 

Angel Windows was the first hike of the day.

The window from the back side
It is a fairly easy .5-mile round trip trail, there were some roots and rocks to watch out for and one section where a tree had fallen was a little tricky. 

We ventured past the "window" a short ways, through a cave like area and found an interesting drip hole. It never ceases to amaze us the power of water over time.  

Mielikki of course had a blast exploring everywhere and everything. 

The hike to the Princess Arch was a .25 mile loop trail, again overall fairly easy but with branches and tree roots to look out for. There were a few steeper spots on this trail.
The path takes you over the top of the arch and then wraps back around so you go under it. 

The arch offers some much welcomed shade on a hot sunny day. There are some very interesting "holes" in the arch, not sure if they were created by mother nature or humans. 

Once you cross over the top of the arch you get a nice view of the gorge. 

The Chimney Top trail head shares the same parking lot as the Princess Arch, so it was very convenient. This is an easy .3-mile hike, as most of the trail is paved with asphalt until you get almost to the end. 

The trail takes you to an overlook of the gorge area. It is filled with trees that makes one want to come back in the fall, as the color show would be amazing.

As you enter the trail there are warning signs and also memorial plaques for those who have fallen from the rocks. 

Additional signs along the trail keep reminding you of the dangers. 

We do not laugh in the face of danger! Although Les is a little braver than Nancy

You walk over a short wooden bridge to get to the overlook, it really isn't for the faint of heart, and no Nancy didn't faint, but while taking this picture she was a tad scared. 

The rock is pretty soft so of course people have carved their initials in it along with important numbers, the future petroglyphs.

Getting shade
 anyway she can
You can see small sections of the river through the trees, and we could hear people playing on the river but couldn't see them. Across from the over look is a large rock outcropping and we could see people standing on top of it, and just as we were leaving they starting rappelling down the face. Much braver than we are. As we were hiking the skies were getting darker and starting to rumble, luckily we made it to the car with just moments to spare before the clouds opened up.

On all three trails we found lots of nature to "love".
Hearts everywhere
Hindman and Hazard are the two closet towns. Both are very small, it appears that they both were thriving at one point. We are in coal mine country and as the mines disappear so do some of the towns. 
Hindman has a number of Appalachian Art Centers filled with beautiful pieces of work. There is one that holds workshops where you can make guitars, dulcimers and ukuleles. We had the most interesting conversation with the instructor. Love it when we can connect with local people. 

Virginia is up next, Fort Chiswell will be home for a few days. 

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way
~ When staying in State or National parks, and sometimes private ones, you receive a tag to hang on your mirror to gain entry into the campground.
When you are out and about sightseeing or shopping remember to take it down. It is a great advertisement for anyone with evil intent, and lets them know your site number and that your campsite is probably unattended. 

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