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Monday, December 12, 2011

Adventures While Camping at The Gorge (Part One)

During the last week of September, I took off with my friend, Steve and went to Red River Gorge, which is located in east-central Kentucky in the Daniel Boone National Forest. We spent a week, there, thoroughly enjoying the quiet and serenity.

There are more than 100 natural sandstone arches and bridges in this canyon system full of waterfalls and rock cliffs. The beautiful wild flowers, mountains and valleys and unique plants only to this area can take your breath away and fill you with a force that is powerful and peaceful.

Many come to this place for the ultimate in relaxation therapy which entails nothing more than walking about the land, hiking the multitude of easy and challenging trails while taking in the inspiring sights of a full blue sky, a strong river and an endless sea of flora.

Our first day there wasn't awful. It was inconvenient. It rained before we got there and four more hours after we arrived.

Luckily, an insane man happened our way, at Koomer Ridge Campground, that sits inside The Gorge area. We were looking for a spot to pitch our tents. The dude had a scraggly beard on his narrow, well worn, leathery face and he more than slightly reminded me of Charles Manson.

The guy drove a small white truck that appeared as though somebody cruelly chopped it's ass off with a skyscraper-sized butcher knife. Hard thing to describe- this truck. A definite fail on the design. I took a picture of it at one point during the trip. Here ya go-

See that poor white thing in the middle of the picture with it's ass cut off? Yeah, that's it. It's not me I was talking about. Although some have said I am lacking in the ass department while there are others that just rave about my beautiful ass. Must be the curly auburn hair and two little dimples that are scattered about the landscape of my bottom. Oops. Just farted. Oh, and the delicate aromas wafting outwards, so I've heard, have been voted for the People's Choice Award.

No applause, please.

The guy pulled up alongside our brown pickup truck and made it look like we were riding in Mechagodzilla, our first day there.

Fortunately, their chaperon didn't interfere.

While the rain poured and "Charles Manson" spoke, we couldn't help but notice there were six tall white buckets, in the back of his "truck" that had flames rising up around 6 inches from the top of the buckets. On closer inspection, looking down and to the right, we saw that he was carrying burning wood in those buckets that were only inches away behind his seat.

We said to him, breaking into his rambling, almost in unison, "Did you know you're on fire?"

He nodded, casually and then said, "Oh yeahhhh, that's just the firewood I picked up and put in my arms in a bundle from a few camp sites down the road here. Then I put 'em into the buckets."

We were still looking at him in confusion for 3 reasons. One, it's pouring down rain like a mothertrucker and the wood is going to be thoroughly soaked, extinguishing the flames in a short period of time. Two, YOU PICKED UP FLAME-ENGULFED LOGS? And three, why would you put them in plastic buckets in the very near vicinity of the back of your small freakish truck? Ah, I can't forget the fourth one... Wouldn't it have been less difficult to completely put out the firewood before grabbing onto it?

As if in response to our confusion, he told us he was the campground host. I knew what that meant but it didn't really explain things. His job, as campground host, is to look after and clean up the campground facilities and answer questions people might have about the overlooks and scenic points at Red River Gorge and assist us in any directions and rules, pertaining to the Koomer Ridge campground.

We chuckled nervously and let the thing about the fire pass. It was his business whether he carried fire in plastic buckets in the back of his short shitty truck. I just wanted to move along, in case there was an explosion. We asked him where was the best double occupancy campsite that would enable both of us to put our tents on. The grizzled host told us what we wanted to know and we rushed away and not until we were far enough down the road, did we laugh at his expense. The guy actually seemed friendly enough and not once did he sneak into our camp site and cut off my head. So for that, I say he's A-Okay and a cracker jack of a gentleman.

Yes, indeed.

We went to the Hemlock Lodge, later, relaxing and drinking coffee, looking out the large glass windows as the rain continued pouring. We couldn't set up camp yet. It was both soothing and invigorating as we sat there at the lodge, hearing the drops hit the roof, crawl down the glass. We saw the lake below, the tall oaks and maples. Pure nirvana.

The pounding rain eventually dwindled into a drizzle and then a sprinkle. We headed off to our camp site and by the time we got there, the rain had stopped and we were able to set up camp. And we had a lot of stuff to unpack, too. Gas stove, utensils, flashlights, our meds, my insulin, backpacks, suitcases full of clothes, boxes of food, chairs, adult beverages (which aren't allowed) and who knows what.

Really. I can't tell you what else we had because I was inebriated or something about half the time we were down there. Nature, adult beverages, good talks and great walks throughout our time at The Gorge all swirled together like a fantastical realm of perfect balance and color-infused harmony.

Yeah, baby. Can ya dig it?

Here's our camp site, above and a few other charming pictures, below, taken during our adventures. Yes, that is me, pinching my frozen nips one morning. Oh, what a glorious time I had. :) I know you want to insert your own sick jokes here. And by sick jokes, I mean your dicks.

You sick freaks!

Just kidding, lady bloggers out there. I know you aren't hermaphrodites. Well, I guess not. Just going by the times I window-peeped on ya.

If you want to see more pics of my camping trip at Red River Gorge, I've got a photo album on Facebook that has 216 photos in it. If you have friended me, already, feel free to look at them. Quite a few are wallpaper worthy. If you haven't friended me, or don't do the Farcebook thing, well, what are you waiting for? I mean... Good Golly and Holy Buh-Jeezus! As long as I feel I can trust you somewhat to not rape, rob and sodomize me with a tractor mower, I will accept your friend invitation. I'm easy.

Stay tuned for Part Two of my Adventures While Camping at The Gorge, coming up tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Hot from the desk of Sir Tom Eagerly:
Looks good Kelly old chap but I could never get Lady Eagerly to sleep under canvas. I don't mind as long as there's pub nearby, what?
Bottoms up old boy!

Pickleope said...

While I don't expect anyone who operates or works at a campground to be all together normal, the dude picks up smoldering fire wood to load in his pseudo-truck? Special brand of nutty, that one. Camping is pretty great sometimes.
I predict this tale ends with you bare-knuckle boxing a bear.

Kelly said...

Sir Tom Eagerly- Awww... That's too bad about your Lady not wanting to go camping with ya. You could tell her you heard a bear in the woods and she would want you to wrap your big burly arms around her for protection. Who knows? You might finally get lucky.


Kelly said...

Pickleope- Mmm yeah. Agreed on the special nutty campground host. I also agree that camping is great sometimes. As long as you don't get eaten by a bear, attacked by some freak out in the woods or fall into a patch of Poison Ivy that causes you to scratch until you reach bone, I think camping is fun.

'bare-knuckle boxing with a bear'???

I think that's a annual sporting event in Russia, isn't it? Or the Special Olympics?

billy pilgrim said...

how can you go camping without a woman to do the cooking and cleaning????

THE SNEE said...

I can't shake the image of the buckets with flaming wood in the back of the mini pickup. I've spent a lot of time in the Hemlock lodge so your words carried me back there where I got virtually drunk, and felt very relaxed. How far are you away from there? It's close to a 2 hour drive from Cincy...maybe 4. It has been awhile. Picking up burning logs, (I'm shaking my head back and forth). Now that's a first!

Happy Holiday Time Kelly! I'll have to check out your facebook pics! Cheers!

Kelly said...

THE SNEE- To answer your question, at least in part, I took note of the time it took, roughly, to reach The Gorge and I'd say it was around 3 hours away from where I live.

Yeah, I do remember you're familiar with the lodge. I believe you told me that on an earlier "Gorge" post this year. We went on an early Monday afternoon. Only a few other people around. I believe the staff was on a break and they weren't serving food at the time. They let us in, anyway, and we sat. A moment passed before one of the waiters asked if we wanted something to drink. Knowing that we had our work cut out for us yet with setting up camp, we opted for coffee instead of beers. Besides, it was chilly and rainy outside and we needed to warm our bones.

The guy with the burning wood gave us some laughs for the next couple of days. Every time we saw him then on, we made sure to be friendly with him and speak to him in a respectable way. I didn't want him to come into the camp site and cut off my head in the middle of the night. :)

Thanks for the holiday wishes, Rebecca. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep in the blogging game this time around without straggling away.

Kelly said...

billy pilgrim- I know. Without a woman around, how are you able to eat? And who's gonna wash my britches?


klahanie said...

Mr. Kelly type dude,
Well, dammit, after all the preceding comments, what more can I add?
Well, after perusing this here article, I've got this incredible urge to go camping and shove a bucket of flaming wood up my ass!
I shall duly check out your photos of Farcebook. I reckon they are 'Gorge'ous ...I wonder if you have any photos of your "beautiful ass" amongst the photos...or would that be just too darned exciting for the women folk?
Take care buddy and thanks for your supportive and understanding comments on my site. Greatly appreciated.

Kelly said...

klahanie- Hey there Gary type dude, how y'all doin'? I don't know what more you can add to the smorgasbord of witty repartee. Perhaps you can entertain us with song or dance. Would you be willing to enter a pie contest for our amusement?

Flaming wood up the ass is headed your way, my friend. You'll laugh and yule log when the fire begins to give ya a tingle. Ho ho ho.

Take care, Gary. Have a day of peace!

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