Kywilderness.com

Kywilderness.com Discussion => Red River Gorge => Topic started by: Thumper on March 25, 2003, 12:55:22 AM

Title: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Thumper on March 25, 2003, 12:55:22 AM
Six years is long enough to live in Kentucky without hiking more than a mile at a time in the Gorge. So, I'm planning a convoluted loop on the Rough Trail/Sheltowee Trace/et al. for sometime in April. A couple of questions though:
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: timbros on March 25, 2003, 11:57:14 AM
PM,

The FS still lists that trail as closed, but it was due to stair construction that I heard had been completed (I heard it here.)

How many miles do you want to do?
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Thumper on March 25, 2003, 04:36:43 PM
That's sort of what I'm trying to determine. I ought to have some time during the week, enabling me to avoid some of the crowds and have some flexibility in  planning. Right now, I'm working on three options:


I'm leaning toward the middle option. I hate roadwalking! So I think I'll save the Auxier/Courthouse loop for another trip. Of course, other suggestions are welcome; the only real objective here is doing some of the Gorge standards.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Steve on March 25, 2003, 06:54:34 PM
Saving the Auxier Ridge loop for another trip is an option.  If you wanted to be adventurous (your fourth option) you could bushwhack your way from Martin's Fork trailhead over to the AR area.  By maps and just aiming yourself in the direction of a couple of big hunks of rock you could do fairly easily.  You would have to walk down the road from Martin's fork to the old road up to Raven, but it isn't far at all (quarter mile maybe?).  From there you could follow the old road up to Raven Rock, scoot back down and head over to Courthouse Rock.  There are stairs up to AR or you could continue on to Double Arch.

Another option would be to add Swift Camp Creek Trail to your Rough Trail plans.  No way to make a loop if you leave your car at Rock Bridge though.  

A visit to Hidden Arch might leave you feeling a bit empty in my personal opinion.  You really want to hit Grays.
Title: llerRe: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Thumper on March 26, 2003, 12:41:08 AM
Hey, that is an idea. I had thought about a bushwhack directly northwest from the Martins Fork Trailhead (awfully lot of streams called "Martins Fork" in Kentucky, aren't there?). Anyway, I just got intimidated by all those contour lines so close together.

The map I have doesn't show the old road to Raven's Rock, but I was reading another website that makes it sound pretty cool. Something to the effect that it's the hardest hike to the best view in the Gorge. Steve, when you talk about big rocks you can easily negotiate, do you mean "easy" in a rockclimber's sense or "easy" in a hiker's sense?

I actually like hokey stuff like Hidden Arch. The picture in the Sierra Club's guide to the Gorge makes it look like a smaller and singular version of Angel Windows, which I think are enormously groovy.

Swift Camp Creek/Rock Bridge is actually one of the few spots in the Gorge I've already visited, so that's why I'm not including those trails.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: RWillieK on March 26, 2003, 01:22:48 AM
The Stairs were done late last summer when we hiked the trail.  When we went, there was nothing saying the trail was closed, the sign was simply gone.  Don't park in the campground though - we almost got a ticket for that move.  I talked my way out of it.

Robbie
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Steve on March 26, 2003, 03:05:17 AM
Well I've never actually done the off trail, but like a lot of people I'll talk like I have.  

I think it would be pretty easy to navigate off trail by just looking for Courthouse Rock (very obvious especially as seen from Raven Rock).  I'm not talking any technical climbing.  Just keeping the big hunk of rock in site as you pick the path of least resistance (less rhodo) you could get to Courthouse rock with a little adventure.  Most of the time the cliffline in the Gorge is not impassable.  If you come across a limestone band low on the hill there will most certainly be a break either along the cliff or at an end where it ultimatly breaks down.  The sandstone cliff lines can be a little trickier, but many times they break down enough to walk right up!  I'm guessing you could walk around the northwest side of Courthouse to the saddle where you could catch the stairs up to Auxier or the trail over to Double Arch.

In Ruchhoft's Kentucky's Land of the Arches he talks of a trail linking Auxier with Martin's Fork withthe recent addition of the Raven Rock land.  Too bad this tail has never materialized.  Maybe we could all go out there and just make our own 'user defined trail'?
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Thumper on March 26, 2003, 01:50:09 PM
Ah, now that I've read your post while awake, it's obvious that you meant that one could use the big rock as a landmark for navigation. I might just give that a try; the more I think about it the cooler it sounds.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Thumper on March 26, 2003, 01:51:55 PM
Oh, and thanks for the info, Robbie. The plan is to park at the Rough Trail trailhead on 715 and do the loop from there.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: JB on March 26, 2003, 03:52:36 PM
Off trail in the RRG is the only way to be. This past Sunday I went up a stream, discovered a cool cave and then scrambled up a crag for a great view sitting on a big boulder. No one else around and no pesky trail to tempt people with.

Once again though, my ego was crushed by a can of high life. I scrambled up a very difficult rhodo-gully and claw up some roots to this great ledge only to find an ancient can of the Champagne of Beers. This seems to be pretty common with my bushwacks.

(http://www.cwe.eku.edu/challengecourse/jb/cave_rrg.jpg)
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: discojett on March 26, 2003, 04:41:03 PM
Thats cool JB!  Any hints on the drainage?
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: JB on March 26, 2003, 04:54:54 PM
hints:
the last word in the name is "creek".
it's near a county line
i called the crag "short wall"

Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: discojett on March 26, 2003, 05:41:28 PM
Oh.  That place.  Been there hundreds of times.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Thumper on March 27, 2003, 01:07:15 PM
Been puzzling over the map trying to figure out those hints ... think I've got it.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Cliftyman on March 27, 2003, 02:01:07 PM
Thats funny JB, High-Life seems to have an opposite effect on me making my ego quite large.....
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: RWillieK on March 27, 2003, 02:17:37 PM
A few years ago I hiked several miles out from the creek near Auxier ridge - spent several hours heading out in one direction.  I found some cool rock shelters, and scrambled up into them.

I thought nobody had been up there in quite some time.......then I found a toilet seat with lid!  why the hell would someone carry that all the way out there!!  The only thing I could think of was that area was close to a road or something I had not seen, and they had carried it in a different way than I came in.

I carried it out, and deposited it in the garbage can at Tunnel Ridge Road.


Two months later I swear I found the SAME toilet seat near the same creek while I was hiking out to Courthouse Rock!

Robbie
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: discojett on March 27, 2003, 03:09:14 PM
I've found a mattress, lots of broken bottles, and more cans of Dinty Moore than I care to count.  All of this in what were seemingly "remote" shelters, way off trail.  Amazing.

What pissed me off the most was when some asshole decided to take a shit in a very cool and relatively pristine cave down near Chimney Top creek.  The cave has an undeground waterfall, blind crayfish and salamanders, and of course bats.  This Motherf**ker dropped anchor right next to the waterfall, and left the TP as a gift.  Redneck.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Steve on March 27, 2003, 06:54:19 PM
At least they had taste, I mean if it was Lite rather than High Life I'd be even more disgusted.

I like to think that all that 'old' trash way out in the middle of nowhere in the lower Gorge is from the days when that area was clear cut and it wasn't quite as difficult to access.  Less rhodo and briars back then.  That or a tornado blew it way back in that rockshelter.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Thumper on March 27, 2003, 07:03:37 PM
I'm always amazed when I'm bushwhacking in the middle of nowhere in what I think of as pristine forest and come across something like a rusting 1940 Ford! I had that experience around Stone Mountain in Virginia last spring. Then, I learned that the whole area where I'd been wondering around had once been criss-crossed by roads and pretty heavily settled. It's cool how the forest replenishes itself if left alone long enough.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: quietone on March 27, 2003, 10:16:33 PM
I think it's neat to be miles from anyone or anything and find old foundations of houses. Time and the trees just swallow it all up . Very cool.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: bleachman on March 28, 2003, 06:25:04 AM
I've been in that cave many times.It goes back pretty far if your willing to do some squeezing.I was hoping not many people knew about it,but I have seen bootprints in it from time to time.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: JB on March 28, 2003, 12:30:41 PM
bleachman, I doubt too many people know about it, and I definitely won't be giving any more hints.
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: Cliftyman on March 28, 2003, 01:29:07 PM
That toilet seat bit is hilarious Robbie.  ooohhh which reminds me of something......


Okay, feel much better now, anyway, hey DiscoJett, there is a neat foundation of a house on the right side of the White Oak Trail in Mammoth Cave NP.  Its actually about the most interesting part of that trail past the cave, until you get to the end of the ridge.....
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: wornoutboots on March 28, 2003, 02:06:54 PM
Theres a neat foundation and an old truck I came accross in the BSF.  Went into a section called No Business, hiked in through the way of crossing Big Island, that was quite a stream crossing.  But right on the other side was an old 1930's truck and a little bit further an old house. I just scratched my head and wondered how in the heck could you get that truck down there.  Amazing
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: js on March 29, 2003, 12:48:35 AM
Yeah, its amazing what some folks will drag miles back in the woods with them, just to leave it behind.  I've found some interesting things, but never anything as odd as a toilet seat.  Not to mention twice.  
Title: Re: The Grand Tour, Please
Post by: bleachman on March 30, 2003, 08:49:43 PM
JB,there are two waterfalls in that cave.there is also two way's to get in.I really love to go in that cave it is free from garbage and 20th century human carvings.