Catch-up Post… Natural Bridge, Part II – Tue, July 8 to Sat, Jul 12, 2014

If  you missed Part I of this catch-up post, click HERE
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 – Stormy Day ;o((
Today, the weather was supposed to turn stormy. 
The campground had returned to a peaceful and quiet place ;o))
01 - Campground during the week
So we decided to enjoy the quiet and let the storms pass.
Early in the morning, we took a walk to the Lodge area. 
There is always a flock of geese and this one lone duck in the water there.02 - Confused Duck
The duck believes he is a goose and follows in line wherever they go ;o))
After lunchtime, the storms rolled through and we got some very heavy rain.
Good day to be inside and not up on some stone bridge!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 – One More Hike Up to Natural Bridge :o)
The storms passed through and brought us a much cooler day today!!
I was feeling better and we decided to do one more hike up to Natural Bridge;o)
00 - Natural Bridge State Park Hiking Trails Map
We decided to go up Battleship Rock Trail (#3) to Needle’s Eye.  Take the Neddle’s Eye Stairs up to Laurel Ridge (#6). Hike to Lover’s Leap at the end of Laurel Ridge.  Hike Laurel Ridge (#6) to Rock Garden Trailhead (#4) and hike down our favorite trail, Rock Garden Trail (#4) :o))
It’s possible to create so many different combinations of trails.
They do look different when hiked in different directions!!
So lets, get hiking…
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
You start almost every hike at the Original Trail and take that to your starting point. For us today, the starting point is Battleship Rock Trail and the trail shows washout damage from the heavy storms yesterday.
01 - Battleship Rock Trail Sign02 - Trail washout from heavy rains yesterday
A Little Wildlife ;o)
03 - Turtle
Up, Up, Up….
04 - Back up the steep steps we came down last time   05 - At the cliffs - Need to make a decision
Decision Time ???
Left, Devil’s Gulch Staircase       or      Right, Needle’s Eye Stairway05a - Devil's Gulch left - Needle's Eye right
We’re headed RIGHT !!!
06 - we chose right - Neddle's Eye
08 - Neddle's Eye Stairway - Up, Up, Up      07 -Neddle's Eye Stairway to Laurel Ridge
09 - Neddle's Eye Second Stairway - Up, Up, Up      09b - Neddle's Eye Second Stairway - Up, Up, Up
Made it to Laurel Ridge and headed to Lover’s Leap
10  - Arrived at Laurel Ridge - right to Lover's Leap
What IS he smiling about ?!?!!!
11 - Lover's Leap Why is this man smiling
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
The Views from Lover’s Leap
12a - Lover's Leap - View south12b - Lover's Leap - View north12c - Lover's Leap - View east
From Lover’s Leap, we hike Laurel Ridge (#6) to Lookout Point where we got one more photo of Natural Bridge.  Then back across Natural Bridge which still had lots of puddles from yesterday’s heavy rains!  Then another trip through Fat Man’s Squeeze to get under the bridge and find the Rock Garden Trailhead.
We’re head Down, Down, Down !!!
17a - down Rock Garden Trail
Amazing Rocks… but not sure I’d put my hand in there!!!
Now what is he doing ?!?!?
17f - down Rock Garden Trail - Now what is he doing
I believe we found the Rock Garden :o))
17g - down Rock Garden Trail - We found a Rock Garden17h - down Rock Garden Trail - GREEN!!!
We finally saw a deer !!
17i - down Rock Garden Trail - Deer
When we got back down to the washed out area,
the Trail Crew was already working on repairs!!
18 - Back on Battleship Rock Trail - Trail Crew working18b - Back on Battleship Rock Trail - Trail Crew working
OH, The Daylilies were blooming:o))
19 - Back at beginning - Daylily is blooming

Thursday, July 10, 2014 – Back to The Red River Gorge!!
Today, we decided to return to Red River Gorge to check out some of the areas we skipped on our driving tour a few days ago.  We would enter the RRG Scenic Byway from the south on Rt 715 and drive counter clockwise. 
00 - Today's Map
Our first stop was Angel Windows Trail.
The parking and trailhead were on the left side of the road.
01 - Angel Window's Trailhead Parking01a - Angel Window's Trailhead - .25 miles
Our map indicated this trail was .25 miles one way.  We went quite a bit further than that and never did find Angels Window;o((  It was a nice walk but we only found some rock overhangs.
01b - Angel Window's Trail - .25 miles 01c - Angels Window Trail - this is what we found
Our research said we should find a small double arched rock formation.
I pulled this photo from the Internet.
01d - Angels Window Trail - photo from internet
After Angel Windows, we headed back south on Rt 715 to Chimney Top Road.  Our next destination was Chimney Top Rock where we were going to check out two trails.
02 - Chimney Top Recreation Area - Right Turn02a - Chimney Top Recreation Area - 3 mile gravel road
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
It’s a 3 miles drive on a gravel road to the parking area.  You can access two trails from this parking area.  Our first trail is Chimney Rock Trail.  We found this Dangerous Place signs everywhere!!!
02b - Chimney Top Trailhead - .25 miles02c - Chimney Top Trailhead - warning sign
It was another .25 mile hike and this time we found our view!!!
02d - Chimney Top Trail - view along the trail      02e - Chimney Top Trail - approaching the viewpoint
02f - Chimney Top Trail - Bill was not getting near the edge
02g - Chimney Top Trail - Half Moon Arch above, Red River Below      02g - Chimney Top Trail - View of Half Moon Arch
Our next trail, from the same parking area, was Princess Arch Trail.  Again we found our destination,
but we did have to do a bit of scrambling to find a way down to really SEE the arch.
02h - Princess Arch Trailhead - trail02i - Princess Arch Trail - view of Princess Arch from above02j - Princess Arch Trail - looking for a way to get below02k - Princess Arch Trail - Princess Arch from Below
The view from above is certainly different than the view from below!!
As it got closer to mid-day, we headed further south to the entrance of the Scenic Byway. 
There is the very popular Rock Bridge Arch Trail.  This trail is a 1.5 mile loop trail.  It is also a down and up trail as you will be hiking to the the river and a waterfall.  Rock Bridge Arch is the only arch known as a Waterfall Arch in the Gorge.  That means it has water flowing through the arch.
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description.
03 - Rock Bridge Picnic Area - left turn 03a - Rock Bridge Picnic Area - 3 mile gravel road03a2 - Rock Bridge Picnic Area - Looks like we have company 03b - Rock Bridge Nature Trailhead03c - Rock Bridge Nature Trailhead - Sign
It was a beautiful hike to the Waterfall and Arch!!
03d - Rock Bridge Nature Trail - down through the Rhododendron 03d2 - Rock Bridge Nature Trail - down through the Rhododendron03e - Rock Bridge Nature Trail - arrive at Rock Creek
Once we got to the waterfall and arch, we found all the people whose vehicles we saw in the parking lot:o((  It appeared to be a large church group of children, perhaps a summer camp program.  Anyway, they were having a ball enjoying the cool waters but the ruckus sure detracted from our time there.  I managed to get a picture of the falls without people in the photo, but could not manage one of the arch.
03g - Rock Bridge Nature Trail - were not here alone
03f - Rock Bridge Nature Trail - Rock Creek Falls03i - Rock Bridge Nature Trail - Arch we were not here alone
So be sure an visit this spot first thing in the morning!!!

Fri & Sat, July 11 & 12, 2014 – Nancy’s Down For The Count ;o((
WELL………..   Here’s the low down on our health!! 
Bill is GREAT and I am NOT:o((
The bug that hit me last Sunday afternoon apparently was not done with me.  The last two days I felt fine and I was able to do some site seeing and hiking.  But in the middle of last evening, the bug returned with a vengeance and I am down for the count.  It’s not just the Big “D” but now I have watery eyes, runny noise and pounding head;o((.  Oh well, at least it decided to arrive for the weekend when all the people would be out on the trails;o)) I’ll just chill, get lots of fluids and rest so I am ready to move on Sunday to the Kentucky Horse Park.  Bill will stay busy cleaning Baby. Hope he doesn’t wear off all the paint over the next couple days;o((


  1. Oh gee and here I was so enjoying all your hikes among all those rocks and all the steps and up up and down down and then you tell me you are sick again. Was this last Sunday or next Sunday you are moving? Are you Ok now or still down for the count. Unfair I say for the same bug to bite you twice! Tell Bill Winnona needs some of that cleaning so he should give Baby a rest and come on up here.

  2. O man! Here I thought you were all better!! Get some rest and get better soon!!

  3. Take care of yourself Nancy. Bill needs you and so do we.
    Syl and Gin

  4. As I was reading, I thought you sure sprang back fast! Sorry to hear it didn't last. Hope by now it's run its course and you're back to yourself again. Take care!

  5. Feel better soon, Nancy! The hike pictures are wonderful! Miss you two!

  6. Feel better Nancy. Can't wait to see Horse Park, I'd like to stay there before heading to Amazon this fall.

  7. Ugh! No fair having that bug do a repeat visit on you. Hope you kick it out for good quickly.

    Impressive that the workers were repairing that trail so quickly. Such a beautiful area, I guess they don't want any bad trails to deter folks from getting through to enjoy the sights.

  8. Dang,, I'm all tuckered out after just reading your blog!!! Time for a nap, just kidding, nice update and looks like a great place. Hope you get feeling better soon.