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Monday, November 7, 2016

Natural Bridge State Park, Kentucky 10/24/16

Four fantastic friends together:  Neal, Patti,  Betsy,  George
As we have done for several years in October,  George and I meet our good friends,  Neal and Patti,  from Indiana for a few days of hiking,  and enjoying each other's company.  This year  (October 24-27), we went to Kentucky.

We stayed at a gorgeous lodge (with awesome food in their lodge restaurant) at Natural Bridge State Park,  near Slade,  Kentucky (east of Lexington).  What an awesome state park.... George and I had never been there before,  so we were amazed to see such beauty not that far north of where we live... We highly recommend this state park IF you are ever in Kentucky.  A link for more info is HERE.

The only thing which disappointed us this year was not seeing much Autumn COLOR at all.. The ranger said that it was because that area had also been dry (like we are here in TN).    BUT---this disappointment didn't stop the four of us from having a marvelous week together...

Patti  had done all of the research for the trip ---and that made it possible to see much more than we might have seen IF we had gone without having the plans already made...  Thanks to Patti!!!!!

TODAY---I'll show you only one day of our 3 days together... This was our first day (10/24) when we saw quite a bit of the Natural Bridge park/area.... Even though we did quite a bit of hiking each day--we could have stayed for many more days in Kentucky.

Hope you enjoy our 'day' in pictures.  You can click on the pictures for enlargements...



We first rode the SKYLIFT up to the top of the mountain.  That is Neal and Patti --who were behind us.



We then hiked to see the Natural Bridge.  George took this picture of Neal and Patti on top of the bidge.  See that overlook in the distance?  That is Lookout Point (which we later hiked to see the bridge from that side of the gorge).  



The hike from the top of the bridge to the bottom was a NARROW one through the rocks... You'll understand when you see the next picture below!!!! ha



HA HA ----Glad I had lost some weight --or I wouldn't have been able to get through this area.... ha ha



We made it down that narrow trail to the bottom of Natural Bridge...  WOW--how gorgeous is this!!!  George was smiling for sure....



We took the Battleship Rock Trail ---and hiked below an enormous rock formation in the shape of a SHIP.  (I'll show another picture of the ship from another overlook.)  The rock formations (everywhere we hiked on that day) were awesome.  I loved the colors and designs in this one.



The one thing about hiking DOWN is the fact that we have to go back UP----way way up ... Pant Pant!!!!  This is called the Devil's Gulch Area.



Beautiful area --but a LONG way up all of those steps to the top



As we climbed those steps at Devil's Gulch --we admired all of the gorgeous rock formations all around us.  Pictures don't do that area justice.  You just have to be there!!!



I just had to post one more picture from the steps at Devil's Gulch --so that you could see some of these HUGE rock formations. 


After getting back up those steps,  we hiked on the Laurel Ridge Trail.  We walked back past Natural Bridge and on to some gorgeous overlooks.   WOW---what a beautiful area and great views.  Love this huge rock!!! 





  From that same area,  we could see the HUGE SHIP where we had hiked beside earlier (on the lower trail)  .. I can see now why they call it a ship. Amazing ---and so enormous!



A Great View from that same area from Lover's Leap  (Don't leap, Honey!!!!!! ha ha )



We kept hiking and got to Lookout Point... This is where we could look back at Natural Bridge (where we had walked across the top --and also down to the bottom)... What a beautiful natural bridge for sure!!!



We took the Rock Garden Trail (and the Low Gap Trail) back down the mountain to our car.  This was a pretty trail since we did see some gorgeous Autumn colors in this area.  



We crossed under the SKYLIFT while hiking back down the mountain...  After all of the hiking we had done,  I was wishing at that time that we had taken the skylift back down the mountain also... ha ha 



BUT--if we had taken the skylift back down the mountain,  we would have missed some of these marvelous designs on the rocks/boulders along that trail...  Love seeing the pattern of CIRCLES!!!



After a wonderful afternoon,  we came back to our lodge (Hemlock Lodge),  had a wonderful dinner at the lodge restaurant ---and then a restful evening!!!!!   
So---that was our FIRST day--and it was AWESOME....Hope you enjoyed seeing more from Natural Bridge State Park in Slade, Kentucky.....  AND--stay tuned for more from that wonderful trip.

Hope you are having a great November so far.  We still need RAIN (and have gotten none).  We are in an "exceptional" drought now --which is worse than "extreme" drought... SCARY....

Hugs,

35 comments:

Small Kucing said...

Wow..four days stay. Hmmm..surely not enough to explore all.

Gosh, that's a very narrow path. It's goo that you are just the right size.

I gotta say it must be due to global warming. Even my side here, weather seems to be uncertain and fruit seasons seems to be delayed this year.

Linda Gross said...

Your post brought back memories, when Bob and I visited Natural Bridge. We didn't do all the hiking that the four of you did, though!

Ann said...

What a great place to go. I wondered about the fall colors here since we had such a dry summer too but we had some awesome color

SimplySingleSenior said...

Oh I must add this to my list of fabulous places to visit! I love following you and George on your adventures!

linda m said...

Wow, what an awesome place. It is now being added to my bucket list.

Jo said...

Hi Betsy, what an amazing natural bridge. If I couldn't be there, at least I felt like I was with your beautiful photos and descriptions. Have a great day. Jo

George said...

You did a great job capturing the wonderful day we had at Natural Bridge with Patti and Neal. I must admit I was a 'little' tired by the end of the day.

Big Dude said...

Looks like a great place to spend time with old friends - thanks for the info about it.

SweetMarie said...

enjoyed all the pics! I can't ride on sky lifts...scary. lol we went to Boone for a few days. I'll post pics soon.
can you believe tomorrow is election day?? I'll be voting bright and early.
hugs,
Marie

Connie said...

Beautiful photos, Betsy! Looks like there is a lot to see there. My knees wouldn't have been able to handle all that hiking. Glad to hear you had such a good time visiting with your friends and seeing the sights.

LV said...

What a wonderful, grand tour. I enjoyed and am not worn out from all the hiking. Such beautiful area. Glad you two are able to hike and enjoy it.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Since you say Kentucky I am thinking this is yet a different Natural bridge than the one we have? I did not know there was another. We have only just yesterday started to get color on the trees, they are very late because of the wacky weather this year. You really know how to have FUN!! Everything here that you do scares me! Fitting in that tight space! Although I do love this picture of you in there!! You look ready to run! Good thing you are skinny now! And that LIFT! Excuse me while I go and throw up...you are two crazy kids. LOVE the weird and beautiful rocks! The rock with the designs looks like wood grain...wonder if it is petrified...

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, that was a narrow trail. Wonder if anyone got stuck there before.
Those stairs would have done me in. Mercy. I love the lodge setting. What a beautiful place but I could do with a few less ups and downs. You are both in such great shape.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Well,my friend,I am thankful that you got all these gorgeous pictures.This saves me the pain of doing that hiking.The area is beautiful and I can imagine that hiking with friends makes the adventure even better.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a fabulous state park filled with such an array of natural wonders! I'm glad you and George have such a good time with Neal and Pat every year.

Lady Fi said...

What beautiful pictures! Sorry to hear about the lack of rain though.

Janie said...

Fascinating topography! That narrow trail through the rocks is an unusual one. Glad you had fun with your friends.

Rose said...

This looks like a place I would love to explore! Great photos.

Shug said...

Looks like a wonderful few days that you all had. Some truly gorgeous sights in these pictures. God sure has HIS hand in all of them. Wow....the narrow way might have caused me to have to turn around. I'm too claustrophobic I think.... I always enjoy your trips....

David said...

Betsy, You've given us yet another destination to visit. George takes some great photos! Given my size, I'd be stuck in that crevice on the trail and it would take a jackhammer to get me out... Thanks for hiking for me. My second hip surgery (about a week ago) means not a lot of hiking on mountain terrain. Dry as a bone here! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

The Furry Gnome said...

What an amazing place! Love those rock formations!

Lux G. said...

Oh, how fun! The place looks marvelous.

Neal said...

You did good Betsy.... captured that day perfectly!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Betsy, looks like another awesome place to visit. Great series of photos. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

We went there a few years ago and you are right - it's an excellent park! The boys loved the zipline and the hikes were very scenic. Fun times :-)

Gail said...

What a wonderful place to visit. I would love it there.

Betsy said...

You are an inspiration to me! What a wonderful trip. Thank you for sharing the photos. Lovely.
Blessings,
Betsy

Lowcarb team member said...

Looks a very nice area ... and so nice to spend time with friends.
You were up high on the Skylift - beautiful views.

So pleased you had a lovely time.
Thanks for sharing your photo's with us.


All the best Jan

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I don't know why, but I was thinking that you had been to this park before. It's been on our list for awhile now, but we haven't done it yet. We ought to just plan a few days to go there and also to the Kentucky Horse Park, another place I've wanted to see. I don't know if my knees could handle all those steps, but I'm glad yours could. Your photos are wonderful and only increase my desire to see this place in person.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

It looks like a beautiful park. Y'all are such brave kids, doing those long hikes and in tight places, the heights, and all. Looking forward to seeing more! Have a great week and I hope you get some rain soon!

diane b said...

What a beautiful area and well done for doing all that hiking and taking photos so that I can enjoy it all from my chair. Beautiful colours and rock formations

Jeevan said...

Glad you decided to hike and admire the marvelous rock formations at close distance... I simply love the natural bridge and the view from close and afar is worth checking out. Your lodge looks wonderful amid the fall colors!

Beatriz said...

You guys are really brave!!!
There is a willingness to venture into such beautiful and thought-provoking places...

Have a great week <ยบ(((<

Bia
www.biaviagemambiental.blogspot.com

Linda said...

Wow, what a spectacular place! And what a view!

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