With a B-E-A-U-tiful Saturday on tap (and no soccer games finally!), Dad and the kids decided to brave the Memorial Day weekend crowds and get out in nature at Red River Gorge. (Mom had to work, so no fun for her.) We got an early start, much to AJ's chagrin, in order to miss the hotter afternoon temps and crowds. (When we got back to our truck, the parking lot was full and cars were parked for a couple hundred yards along the side of the road.)
Our trail for today: the two Auxier Ridge trails. Over 7 miles of hiking...a little ambitious? Yes, but we can do it!
Pausing along the ridge for a view
Stopping for a picture along a dizzying cliff near Haystack Rock. (Seriously, Dad had to walk away because his head was swimming.) Over AJ's right shoulder you can see Courthouse Rock, one of the points of interest along the way.
Off in the distance across the gorge you can see Double Arch, another point of interest on our itinerary.
Chloe & Essie by Haystack Rock
Panoramic view from the ridge
Chloe discovered a Chloe-sized rock stool
Chloe really wanted to see how deep the crevasse went.
AJ: "Hey! It's the Olympic torch!"
Courthouse Rock from below
Arriving at Double Arch, though from this angle you can't see why it's called that.
Here's a better view of the reason for the name "Double Arch". About this time of day, the trail was beginning to get pretty crowded.
Descending the carved staircase from the top of Double Arch
View from Double Arch
Three very tired kids at Double Arch. Only 2.5 miles back to the truck! Seriously, they did great, going over 7 miles in just over 3 hours (with only a little whining in the last mile).
I failed to get a picture, because we were all so tired and hungry, but there is a new Sam's Hot Dog Stand on the Natural Bridge side of the parkway. It was a big hit with some famished kids. Essie said, "That hot dog place was pretty good, Dad. Thanks." (This is a big endorsement from Essie, who has a bit of a negativity problem.)