Escaping the Flatwoods
It was day 3 with Annie as our guide in the amazing Shawnee National Forest. She had already showed us around to so many sites in the area over the previous two days. We was curious what she had up her sleeve for today. We again had to be up and gone early. No worries, we was excited to see more.
Garden of the Gods was first on her list today. We arrived and started around the trail. I was eyeing how trees had grown into rocks and some views from a couple outlooks Annie was being patient with us at first. Then she finally said, this is nothing wait til you get a little further down the trail. Subtle hint for her As we made to this massive rock with an open view that seemed to to go on forever, I caught her laughing at us. Told ya’ll! When we looked off to the right we could see Camel Rock. She had names for several more as we made our way around. The sheer size of these rocks. It was…amazeballs! We made it to one area where I rock scrambled just for the fun of it. I felt like a kid again. I slid down a decent sized rock, maneuvering around and then discovered my only way out was back up that slick rock I just slid down. I might of felt my age again for an overwhelming minute. Then I pulled, pushed, hoisted, heaved and forced my way back up and over. Then I promptly went back to the trail and said ok I am done playing. They laughed at me. They knew I had obviously got myself into a per curious predicament. We did the upper trail, I would love to go back and explore the lower trail next time. We didn’t do it this time because Annie had another trail in mind to wear us flatlanders out on.
Next on Annie’s agenda was Rim Rock. I am not sure I have words to describe this area. I joked though about hiding out there and living there the rest of my life. The rock cliffs, lush vegetation, wildflowers, crystal clear creeks and the peacefulness. I could imagine past inhabitants here. I didn’t hike this trail…I literally walked around in pure amazement. I wanted to hide under a rock and just chill. Annie kept telling though that she still had one more place she wanted to take us. I huffed and puffed, but I went back to the truck…no seriously it was a moderately strenuous up hill hike out…I huffed and puffed. 😎
Last up on Annie’s 3 days guiding us around was Cave in Rock. We have some caves in Florida so we like okay, a cave. No, to start with we had to wade ankle to shin deep in the Ohio River to get to it…cold. Then, it was a huge (50+ foot) cave that was cool enough itself, but the view back out to the River was breathtaking.
Annie definitely rocked the day for us! Oh, I almost forgot to share the other surprise she had today. A special surprise for me. I was laughing when I seen it, she knows me so well! Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Skunk Ape… call it what you want, I just wanna believe.
Annie was an awesome guide she knew the area so well and she showed us more in three days then we ever imagined seeing for the whole trip! She kept us laughing and we just had so much fun with her. She also left us with ideas on where to go our remaining days there.