Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to Have a Travel Adventure Close to Home

I've mentioned before how one helpful way to deal with the readjustment-type culture shock when you return home after overseas travel is to immerse yourself in your local community and try to see it with new eyes. You will often be surprised how many fascinating places are right under your nose - those places you either never bothered with or that you didn't even know about.

Take, for example, Shaker Village, about 25 miles from Lexington.

I have lived here in Central Kentucky for almost twelve years,and have visited Shaker Village many times. But did I know about the hiking trails?

How did I miss this?

Only when some friends mentioned that they had been hiking out there, did I do some digging and discover the 3000 acre nature preserve. All this time, we'd just been looking around the historic buildings and learning about Shaker life.

Now I learn about miles of hiking trails, through forests, across prairies, seeing ruined mills, abandoned mines, and all sorts of natural habitats.

And it was right here all this time.

We spent Memorial Day exploring the preserve's Shawnee Run Trail, six miles that took us across several creeks (tread carefully and be prepared to get wet), past hidden waterfalls, and through beautiful vistas of rural Kentucky.

My only regret, apart from that I hadn't discovered this sooner: forgetting the bug spray. Ticks were abundant and, despite having spent a month in Africa with all manner of creatures, having to remove ticks grosses me out.

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