Sunday, April 26, 2009

Red River Gorge Geologic Area: Schoolhouse Branch & Crescent Arches

Even though Eric was pretty tired from his marathon yesterday, we decided the weather was just too nice to stay inside all day. We hastily packed a day pack jumped into the Civic and headed to the Red River Gorge. Our plan was not set in stone. We thought about possibly hiking Cloudsplitter or maybe hiking to some arches that Noelle had visited about two years ago. However, the first piece of business on our agenda was lunch at Miguel's. When we got to Miguel's there was note written on a paper plate posted on the door that read: Fire in Gorge, Sheltowee Trace Trail closed. That made up our plan for us.

After fueling up on some pizza with garlic, tomatoes, pepperoni, and green peppers we headed to find the arches with little more than Noelle's vague memories from two years ago. The first attempt at finding the arches saw us headed up a small drainage off of the gravel road that veers off from the steel bridge. After bushwacking for a little while through some fairly thick rhododendron we found no sign of our arches. We decided to drive to the Gladie visitor center to look at the map. Noelle remembered that in order to reach the arches she had headed up Schoolhouse Branch. We found the branch labeled on the map and headed to its location, near where the gravel road turns paved.

When we got to the location, however, we found two drainages that both looked promising. We tried the farther one, with no success. The third try was a charm, however, and we were finally able to locate the aforementioned arches. The first was a large limestone arch that may have at one time been part of a cave that collapsed. We think its name is Schoolhouse Branch Arch.
The other arch was of the sandstone variety. It was tall, but very narrow.
Noelle seems to remember it being called Crescent Arch. We had a good day of exploring and looking at all the spring wildflowers.
It was a good way to end our exploration of the Red River Gorge, a place that we have grown to love and hate at the same time.

1 comment:

Still Wandering said...

Darn it! I only voted three times!