Happy New Year!

I’m looking forward to the new year. The past year consisted of a lot of ups and downs for me.  It was definitely a year that saw a lot of changes in my life.  I’m a stronger person for it.  I’m happy to say that 2009 ended on a positive note.  I have never felt so excited about life and what it holds for me.

To celebrate the start of a new year, some friends and I rented a cabin in the Red River Gorge area of Kentucky.  We left Louisville late Thursday afternoon and stayed at the cabin until Sunday.  This was my second time visiting Red River Gorge.  The first trip was back in May.

The cabin this time was a bit bigger as we had seven adults and four dogs in our group.  To our surprise, the cabin was a lot more posh.  Stainless steel kitchen appliances, beautiful floor to ceiling windows, a pool table, and even a Christmas tree!

On Friday, New Years Day, Jon and I headed out to Natural Bridge State Park for a bit of hiking.  Being my first trip to the park, it was exciting for me to see the natural bridge in person.  However, not exciting was the fact that it freezing cold outside.  I had worn gloves, thermals with a another layer of clothes over them, and a jacket but was still cold.  My fingertips constantly felt numb from the cold.  It was definitely worth the small hike though.  We took the short Original Trail on our way up to the Natural  Bridge.

For our descent back down the mountain towards the parking lot, we chose to take the Devil’s Gulch trail which then meets back up with the Original Trail.  Probably not the wisest decision.  Devil’s Gulch consists of stairs and A LOT of them.  Stone stairs.  Wooden stairs.  Both types were iced over.  It made for an interesting hike.  I’m not the best on ice, but I only fell once.  I consider this a success.

On Saturday, Jon, Johanna, Beth and I took a drive around Red River Gorge taking in all of the sites that do not require much hiking.  Mostly scenic overlooks.

Johanna, Me, and Beth at one of many scenic overlooks. Windy! Immediately after this shot, we ran back to the truck.

Jon and I at yet another scenic overlook. One of my favorite pictures ever. Thanks to Johanna for taking it!

We came back to the cabin and watched the snow fall for the remainder of the day.  Part of me wanted for us to get snowed in and not be able to head back to Louisville the next day.  The smart part of me knew that would be bad as we would have had to pay for an extra night at the cabin.  Still, I wasn’t ready to leave.  It was a great extended weekend trip!  I’m already looking forward to returning to the area at some point this summer.  There are several trails in the Gorge that I would love to try out next time.