I returned yesterday from a two night solo camping trip. I camped at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in Kentucky. There was one other couple tent camping, they were very nice and helped me put the rain fly on my tent. I haven’t camped in 10 years and I haven’t solo camped for 16 years. I forgot how much work is involved. It was beautiful weather, it did get down to 46° the first night, but I slept better there than I did at home. I hiked 3 trails in 2 days, for a total of 11 mi. Cumberland Falls is called the Niagara of the South.
I prepared my dinner at home and had enough for both nights, it’s called black bean, zucchini and rice casserole. Of course I had to have some s’mores. I met another couple around my age who had a VW camper. I took my chair down to their area and we talked for an hour or two. It was nice to have company. Both couples thought it was brave of me to camp by myself.
One of the hikes is called Eagle Falls. It follows along the shoreline of Cumberland River with a beautiful view of Cumberland Falls on the way to Eagle Falls. I decided to dip my feet in the ice cold water, it was very refreshing.
One of the hikes was 5.5 mi and there was no one on it. There was no phone service, so it was a little creepy, but I only thought about the possibility of bears, snakes, and injuries for the first mile 😊
I drove 25 minutes to an area called the Natural Arch Scenic area (image above). It was pretty. When I got home yesterday, I unpacked, vacuumed my car, and ordered pizza. It’s good to be back.
As usual, to escape the cold in Ohio/No. Kentucky, I traveled to Cape Coral, Florida for 5 weeks in late January/early February. Because I didn’t qualify for the vaccine yet, I again stayed away from people, except for a short trip to see a friend in Clearwater. It was quite lonely, but I bicycled, walked, and even jogged some. Went to the beach a couple of days per week to walk, jog, and read.
In March I received both of my vaccines. So in April I visited Austin and San Antonio, Texas with a friend. This is the San Antonio Riverwalk. I spent my honeymoon here with my late husband back in 1994.
I began renting out my spare bedroom/bath to as an Airbnb. I met some wonderful people – it was like the United Nations – People with roots from the Philippines, Africa, Poland, Mexico, and Jordan. Amazon employees, traveling nurses, a med student, etc.
I planned a road trip to North and South Carolina to hike and check out waterfalls and some of the towns I’d never been to, like Greenville, S.C. (which I loved), Hendersonville, N.C., (quaint), Bryson City, N.C., Highland, N.C., and Ashville, N.C. (which I had been to).
I planned a trip to Alaska for 10 days in July – 2 nights Glacier Bay, 1 night Fairbanks (didn’t see it – just wanted to take the scenic train starting from there heading South), 4 nights Mt. Denali Nat’l Park, 3 nights Anchorage. This is the view flying into Juneau.
I took a small boat cruise to see a glacier in Glacier Bay National Park
I took the scenic panoramic train all the way to Seward, stopping for 4 nights in Denali Nat’l Park. I stayed at a lodge located 92 miles (the farthest you can travel) into the park. And 3 nights in Anchorage.
On the 7 hr. bus ride back to the lodge, we saw some wildlife (I’m not posting all of it).
The guide told us we were so lucky because for the 4 days I was there, Mt. Denali was either in full view or mostly full.
I went hiking with a small group of people…
I went kayaking as a day trip in Seward from Anchorage on the train.
In September I went to Ft. Lauderdale for 5 days with a guy I dated for a couple of months. He made me laugh so much, but I found out he was an addict. I truly had feelings for him after years of looking, and went through some emotional pain. But, nothing could ever come close to the pain I experience since losing my son.
In October I went to the Covered Bridge Festival in Indiana with a friend…
A couple of weeks after that overnight trip, I had hip surgery. I’ve been walking and doing exercises and it’s healing. I also got my booster shot in November.
In December, I drove 1 ½ hrs. to Richmond, Indiana to see a friend and spend the night. We went to the Warm Glow Candle Factory.
I took a solo day trip (2 hrs.) to Columbus to the Franklin Park Conservatory. It was lovely. They had Chihuly glass art mixed in with flowers and the architecture.
While I was in Columbus, I went to a place called Otherworld. It has over 40 rooms filled with lights and interesting displays.
I also spent two nights in the Ozarks in Missouri with a friend. It was a long drive – 8 ½ hrs. each way. We hiked at Ha Ha Tonka State Park (odd name) and had lunch at J.B. Hooks Restaurant, which had a fantastic view and the food was pretty good.
I celebrated Christmas with my brother and sister-in-law, as usual. New Year’s Eve was spent alone, grieving for my son. That’s his birthday. I’m hoping this coming year will be less lonely for me. I’ve planned a month long trip to Oahu in late January/February and a 3 month trip to 5 European countries in the Spring.