Kentucky Hike #1: Raven Run

Location: Fayette County

Distance: 7ish miles

Entry fee: $0

The “run” part of my grand plan hit a small road bump this past week…shin splints.   Damn.  So instead I have been swimming, spinning…and hiking!  The weather here has been beautiful, and this past Saturday (when I would normally do my long run) it was 85 and clear and gorgeous, and I was bummed that I couldn’t run.  So I decided to take a drive through the horse farms and hit up Raven Run, a local hike.  I chose Raven Run namely because Paul assured me that the trails are wide and clear and well marked and there are families everywhere, so I wouldn’t get attacked or lost if I went alone.

On the way out there my gas light came on, so I GPSed the nearest gas station on my phone and ended up here:

I was a little nervous, because I had never pumped gas from one of these things before, but didn’t have much of a choice…the next closest station was 15 miles away.  While I was inside paying, the electricity went out and they told me that the pumps wouldn’t work with no electricity.  Fortunately, as I was about to leave, it came back on.  Crisis averted.   I finished pumping my gas and got back in my car when there was a knock on the drivers side window.  It was the guy who worked there, he had come out to ask me if I “wanted to hang out sometime”.  I smiled, told him oh, I’m married, and showed him my ring, and he said, “Oh, I don’t pay attention to that.”  Sleazy smile.   Time to go.

Got to Raven Run, decided to do the simple 4 mile loop.  No problem.  Sure enough, the paths were very clear, well marked, and I passed a number of families along the way.  Took a few detours to some outlooks and down to the Kentucky River, took some pictures, enjoyed the view, and about an hour and a half in I should have been close to the end.

At that point I somehow veered off the red trail and onto the orange trail (red, orange…pick colors that don’t look the same when the paint fades) into some grasslands where I saw…absolutely nobody.  For like an hour.  I also started hearing what sounded like a large animal in the surrounding grass stalking me.

I know that I’m not in California or the mountains, where the mountain lions roam, but the UK mascot is the wildcats.   And if there is one thing that I am really good at it’s freaking myself out.  Fortunately, I found a plethora of these on the ground:

I have no idea what they are, but they are big and easy to throw…which is exactly what I did–started throwing them into the grass when I heard something (even though they were kind of soft).   I also started singing out loud (if you’ve forgotten the rules of avoiding attacks) and picked up my pace.  Finally made it back to the point where I originally veered off course (always nice to walk for a long time feeling lost and end up back in a place you’ve already been) and, after another 3o minutes of hiking, made it back to the car safely.

Total hiking time: 3+ hours.  Kentucky hike #1: more or less a success.  It is beautiful here.

I missed hiking, it’s good to be back.

6 thoughts on “Kentucky Hike #1: Raven Run

  1. I’m not sure which is more interesting, that you’d never pumped gas from a pre-90s pump or that the cashier tried to pick you up…and you denied him! he could have kept you company on the hike, instead of those overgrown ugly fruit.

    1. Good point re: taking the gas station attendant on the hike…I would have been so concerned with him attacking me it would have distracted me from the mountain lions. He also seemed like a great conversationalist.

  2. Love this post! you are so funny. those fruit things are weird!! what are they? cant wait to see you in a couple days!

  3. Hedgeapples, are known formally as Osage orange. The trees are more common throughout the midwest, and, locally, north central Kentucky

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