Saturday- 13.9 miles
Sunday- 14.1 miles
This was going to be a good section. I have done this one before and its pretty scenic. I parked my SHLTWEE wagon in the parking lot and hopped in Steve's van with Tyler and Brit and Sprinkles. We got to Morehead and took the group picture and headed off down Main Street. Through the Clearfield neighborhood and up Mill Branch. I met back up with Tyler and Brit and we strolled along the trail as it wove in and out of an old logging road. We finally came upon the beautiful Cave Run Lake basking in the sunlight. I stayed behind to get some pictures. I got to camp and set up my tent on the other side of the trail. I walked back out to the lake to sit by myself and take it all in. The water was so blue and the mountains hovered right above them- something I am not quite used to seeing next to a lake. They had a warm brown glow as the sun set behind me. I started to walk back and took pictures of the sun glowing over the field on the way. Everything is always prettier at sunset. I grabbed my cooking stuff and hiked over to sit by the campfire with the other 30 people. Steve was talking and making everyone chuckle. I enjoyed my pad thai- Good to Go is the brand. Its the best freeze dried meal ever. Me and a few other folk stayed around the campfire sipped some Wild Turkey and Makers Mark. I'm more of a beer snob, but when backpacking, you have to think about the weight to alcohol content ratio.
The next morning was foggy and gray. I almost got my tent down in time for it to start raining, but I was too late. It was sleeting softly as I started out in the dark on the windy trail that skirted Cave Run Lake. It has always been muddy from horses on this section, This part of the trail is gorgeous and pretty much flat- easy to put on that cruise control and listen to some tunes. The water in the lake is some of the cleanest in Kentucky. At the deepest, the it was a dark blue. On the Stoney Cove shore, more of a dark sea foam green. In the inlets, it was bright sea foam green. The color was an amazing contrast to the brown and red leaves on the hillside. It is really an odd sight, but certainly a beauty of Kentucky. 6 miles later, the trail was flooded with this bright sea foam green water- TRULY an odd sight. Going around the flooded part required bushwhacking. I wasn't even sure which direction to whack, but everyone helped each other and I was not alone in this battle. It was a strenuous half mile detour, but eventually I got back to the trail after getting whacked in the face with a few rhodo branches. It was a few more miles back to Clear Creek, through Cedar Cliffs, which offered an obscured view of the next ridgetops over. I love the Cave Run area, but the Gorge offers the best views. Still, the fog was still peacefully lingering in the valleys, making for an excellent sight. I remember when I had done this section in the summer and how I got ticks and had to wade through spider webs. I pretty much had a breakdown on the trail because the spiderwebs were so bad. The conditions were much more favorable this time. I descended the familiar hillside and was happy to say that "it was all downhill from here." I got to the Clear Creek parking lot and passed Steve's van which had my 5lb drop in it. I got back to my car and got ready for the 2 hour drive home. I waited as long as I could to wake up the snoozing Steve so he could unlock his van and get my 5 lb drop. He awoke with a fright. Sorry Steve. My afterhike meal this time was McDonalds. It was not satisfying and I will have to plan better next time.
Sheltowee Trace Trail
This trail is 323 miles long running from Morehead, KY to Oneida, TN. This blog is about my journey section-hiking the entire length of the trail. Some trips are a part of the Sheltowee Trace Hiker Challenge. This is a group trip offered by the Sheltowee Trace Association. Once a month I go and hike a different 2-day section of the trail with a big group of backpackers. After doing this for 11 months straight, I will have completed the whole trail within a year.