8 Hours Down, Then Straight Up

Erin, Nina and I took a weekend trip from Chicago down to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky to go rock climbing, rappelling and explore their Via Ferrata. That gully was a dreamy adult jungle gym. We learned from our guide the distinct difference between climbers and recreational folks: climbers just climb and don’t dabble in canyoneering or the like.

Post-climb, we visited their newest hot spot, Rockhouse, and soon after stopped at the oldest, The Beer Trailer. After driving through the darkness, up a couple switchbacks, we saw the Milky Way. Nina swore the haze was from her expired contacts—it was the clearest night sky I have seen. In this reclusive part of the Kentucky wilderness, we laid on gravel and stared at stars. Luke, a guide dog who failed the service test because shyness is seen as a form of aggression, occasionally sniffed our faces to ensure we were still alive.


Featured image: Southern Living

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