Miguel’s tasty Pizza Place. Slade, KY.

So.. what is all this talk about climbing in Kentucky? One favorable climbing destination of the east is the Red River Gorge located in the beautiful lands of Kentucky. Why is it such a hot spot? Here, vagrant climbers from around the world come to enjoy the gorge’s beautiful sandstone, classic overhanging climbing routes, and Miguel’s tasty, homemade pizza. This is where Ethan and I, among friends (Grigore, Rob, Doug, and Erin), spent our 2009 Thanksgiving holiday. For seven days, we camped in worm-like sleeping bags, snacked on bagels and granola bars, hiked from crag to crag, sent our toughest climbs, and bathed in the Kentucky sunshine. Chocolaty coffee-mochas, cold bananas, and brown sugar oatmeal packets made for yummy Popeye breakfasts’, and many high fives, Ale-Eight-One cheers, and wax/grease bombs nicely wrapped our evenings to a close. Ahhhh.. the life of a climber – dirt spewing from our ears, naturally forming dreadlocks in our hair, and seven days without a shower – hello Kentucky. This combination of greatness ended with a delicious Thanksgiving dinner made from the folks at Miguel’s Pizza. Turkey and cranberry sauce, traditional stuffing, green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes, and sweet, sweet potato pie covered our plates and filled our bellies long into the night. Music, laughter, and scented Christmas candles contributed to the cozy atmosphere and memorable evening. Although this bluegrass state kept us from traveling home this holiday season, we proudly held our adult beverages high and thankfully recognized the wonderful people, family, and friends in our lives.

 So, you see… for some, this climbing epicenter and gorge of endless sandstone is nothing but rock, but for others, like ourselves, the Red River Gorge is a magical land of colorful memories, climbing projects, great friends, and blissfulness. We all come from different areas, have varying backgrounds and insights, and look different from each other, but it is here, that we connect and celebrate our passion for climbing. Cheers.