Olive Hill, KY

Sometimes we seek an area that promises nearly nothing to do.

Carter Caves State Park in the off-season was promising in the realm of not much to do, but a whole lot of space to do it in.

We crept through the back hills of Kentucky, taking the switchbacks that are rarely forewarned but are ever-present, at a sloth’s pace and arrived at Carter Caves late in the afternoon looking forward to a campsite with full-hook-ups and questionable levelness. While our site turned out to be more level than expected, the water to the campsite – and every campsite in campground – was turned off for the season. Boo on us for not thoroughly reading the campground’s website. Even the dump station fresh fill was turned off. Of course, we had arrived with a 1/4 tank of freshwater like a bunch of chucklebumpkins. Rookie mistake.

Luckily, the adjacent equestrian campground‘s water was still on. After shuffling Dyna there to fill up and then returning to squeeze back into our tricky to back into campsite, we set our levelers down for the week just before the sunset.

The remainder of our stay at Carter Caves was extremely quiet and uneventful. Most evenings we found ourselves with only a single neighbor – maybe two – in the entire campground.

We spent our days working, interspersing hikes and runs on the trails that connected to the campground when we felt compelled. Most of the trails snaked near caves and through natural bridges, which was massively cool.

We spent Thanksgiving here; thankful for quiet, privacy, and having grocery shopped before arrival in anticipation of not having any decent grocery stores nearby. (We were correct on that.) It rained all Thanksgiving day, which cut our run/hike short and extended loafing around, watching the Macy’s Day Parade and various football games, and napping opportunities.

Impossible White Castles!

Satiated by a few days of solitude, we drove an hour and a half to the Cincinnati area on Black Friday to secure a temporary mailbox in anticipation of spending the month of December (and possibly longer) there. We popped into an extremely crowded mall to try and snag a deal, immediately felt overwhelmed, bought some candles on sale, and drove back towards Kentucky. We hit up a White Castle (dad’s favorite!) on the hour and a half drive home.

We then needed 3 more days of no people to recover from our ill-thought-out foray to a Cincinnati mall on Black Friday. We filled a few more days with trails and quiet nights at Carter Caves.

We’re headed to Lexington, KY next. There are horses in Lexington and I personally have an interest in being places where there are horses.

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