These last few months have been particularly draining, so we decided to take advantage of the holiday break from work and get away for a few days. We rented a cabin in the Red River Gorge (part of the Daniel Boone National Forest) so we could unplug, relax, and reconnect with ourselves.
Major selling points: Remote. Dirt Road. Hot Tub.
Bummers: Fake Fireplace.
Since it was fairly removed from restaurants, grocery stores (where do you buy food here?), and came with a tiny little kitchen, I planned + prepped + packed our meals for the trip. Thanksgiving Dinner consisted of baked chicken, green beans, homemade cranberry relish, and stuffing muffins (seriously, these were great, here’s the recipe). I’m not going to lie, we also had Crescent Rolls, I mean, is it really Thanksgiving without them? And of course, topped it all off with some bourbon & ginger.
Seriously, grocery shopping was the last thing I wanted to do while we were there, so I prepped and froze a lot of things, and then kept the rest of the meals simple. For breakfast I brought yogurt & granola, berries, apples. For lunch we had supplies for sandwiches. Also, I saw something on Pinterest about “leftover-Thanksgiving quesadillas” and that had me sold. I brought a variety of fresh veggies + even smuggled in a frozen pizza.
We spent our time in Kentucky breaking out of our usual habits – we slept in, took long hot tub soaks, and most importantly unwound. To avoid feeling like we had any sort of to-do list, we didn’t plan a thing (aside from food) before we got there. And honestly, it was great. I was a little apprehensive about not scouting any trails beforehand, but ultimately it filled a much-needed void for adventure & exploration.
We did find a few gems in the area, two of our favorites were:
The Natural Bridge (Fair Warning: there’s a sign at the beginning of the hike that says “shortest easiest route 0.5 miles this way, which definitely is the shortest route, but it’s also about 45 flights straight up. If you’d rather a slow climb, I’d seek one of the alternate routes, there were also signs for a chair lift up if that’s more your thing).
The Nada Tunnel (The locals are extremely familiar with this tunnel and definitely going to win at a game of chicken. It’s a one lane tunnel, so just stay out of their way).
Ultimately, we hiked a little less than we thought we would because Piper (our lab) had torn her ACL, so she couldn’t go everywhere with us like usual. But, we did catch up on a lot of rest, we cleared our heads, and we’re a little more ready to take on December.
Here’s to hoping December slows down a little.