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.