Welcome to my playground.
I present to you: the Red River Gorge National Geological Area. Only an hour away from me in eastern Kentucky, this sprawling, forested canyon system of almost 50 square miles is simply… amazing. Geologists and rock climbers alike look at this place and drool. The Gorge is, in fact, the premiere climbing destination for the whole region, drawing climbers from a dozen surrounding states during the spring and fall. Backpackers like myself are equally drawn by the gorgeous landscape and scenery of the Gorge. I make of point of heading out there at least three or four times a year, and by now I practically have the whole trail system memorized. Yet despite my familiarity with the place, every once in a while… I’ll crest a ridge, turn around, and be struck dumb by the sunrise bursting through the wispy fog, bathing the whole valley below me in a heavenly glow. Your heart skips a beat, man. The Red River Gorge does that to you, and it is literally my favorite place in the whole goddamn world.