Friday, October 09, 2015

Dawkins Line Rail to Trail, Kentucky

As I write this, we are parked in a beautiful camp spot by Jordan Lake North Carolina—only about 15 minutes from Kim, Marc, Aaron, Adam and Evan’s house. We’ve been here two days and already saw two football games. But, more about that later.

We left for North Carolina Monday afternoon, arriving at our usual first night destination of Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The next day I planned a side trip to the Dawkins Line Rail Trail in eastern Kentucky. And, we made to the trail head in time for a short ride and then watch a beautiful sun set with a glass of wine.



IMG_7793The Dawkins Line rail road was originally owned by the Dawkins Lumber company.  Later, the train was used to carry coal.  Kentucky is proud of the trail now completed.  It has a prominent place on their State Park brochure.  There will be an additional portion opened within a year that will include another even longer tunnel.  

Since we intended to ride much further up the trail the next morning, we just rolled down the shades and spent the night. There were several moments of wondering if we did the right thing. I forgot to say the trail head was up a valley and remote. So, when a rather loud pickup truck drove by and shown a spot light over the PW, not once, but twice, we were a little concerned. Then when it went by the third time, we told ourselves it was low enforcement and they were just checking that we were OK.

There was a little fog over the valley when we woke, but the sun crept over the top of the hills and it was a beautiful clear day. We still had the area to ourselves. However, once we got on the trail, within one mile we passed by, or I should say behind, homes and businesses. When people were out, they were friendly.

The tunnel was long and dark in the middle. I still can’t figure out what happened, but I think I was a little disoriented by the dark and then hit some rough ground. Anyway, I ended up running into the wall of the tunnel! Thank goodness no injury, except to my ego. I know I will have a head lamp the next time I ride into a dark space.

Even though we were not at the peak of color, the trees were starting to turn so it was a  beautiful ride and drive.