Red River Gorgeous!
Trip Start Aug 31, 2010
20Trip End Jan 04, 2011
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Even though we loved Cooter's campground, and enjoyed our brief spell of motel luxury, the Lago Linda campground is even better. We're on a really nice spot under pine trees, looking out across a field with an old barn. Linda, the proprietor, comes originally from Liverpool and is currently running for a post in local government - she's quite a character, can talk the hind legs off a donkey.
As we'd hoped, the grades on the climbing routes here are more realistic, but what we hadn't expected is just how wonderful it would be! Typically, the cliffs are overhanging, but mainly with good holds - really fun climbing. Darrell's been particularly pleased to be able to redpoint a couple of 11d routes (about French 7a) and Amanda's been able to get up some 10a routes (about French 6a). An unusual aspect of one of the climbing areas is that there are oil wells dotted around throughout the forest - quite bizarre.
We've got to mention the animal life. On the drive here, we passed a small farm with an amazing collection of animals - miniature goats & donkeys, ponies, llama things, ostrich things, and loads of geese.
When we were in West Virginia we thought it was very rural, but compared to eastern Kentucky it was positively cosmopolitan. We're in the heart of the bible belt and there's a lot of poverty around. Churches are every few hundred metres along the road, as are rundown trailer homes with several broken down, rusting cars out front. There's a perfect example of a dilapidated trailer just down the road from the campground that we wanted to take a photo of, but we were too afraid that the inhabitants might come out with a shotgun pointed at us!
Alcohol laws in Kentucky are incomprehensible. In a state that's famous for bourbon, there are some 'dry' counties, ie. they don't sell any alcohol at all, and you can't buy alcohol on a Sunday anywhere. Lago Linda's is in a dry county, but fortunately we're only a few minutes drive away from 'The Beer Trailer' in a nearby wet county.
We've met up with John and Laurie (from San Francisco, but who we met in Kalymnos), so we've enjoyed their company and climbing with them. We're planning to move on from here on Tuesday, heading west for Colorado, via Kansas City, Missouri. But in the meantime, we're just about to go out for pizza at Miguel's, locally famous for great pizza - but will it compare to Pies & Pints in Fayetteville, West Virginia? We'll soon find out!