The breezy campsite had been a nice treat in comparison to the humid valley conditions. However, in this case water would have been a great accommodation; as I woke up very thirsty with little water left in my bottle. Knowing that there was a certain water fountain calling my name nearby I quickly made tracks to Clear Creek Lake.

I soon entered Bath County and followed the ridge tops going north. It rewarded me with excellent views at every corner. I crossed a forest service road close to the Carrington Branch and another forest service road (906) before walking through another patch of burned area. I passed Natural Arch before I followed the trail down the side of a mountain to the Iron Furnace; it just happed to be next to the water fountain within Zilpo Campground. I just have been thirsty because it took two quarts to satisfy my thirst.

The Sheltowee followed the base of the mountain around until it revealed Clear Creek Lake. I immediately jumped in and washed away the dirt, salt, and heat of the day and ate a hearty meal of tuna and pasta afterwards.

There was a fisherman there who was packing up to leave. He told me that the trail ahead (Caney Creek Loop) was closed for irrigation repairs. Caney Creek Loop would have taken me up many a hollows and coves, past Cave Run lake and its dam and fish hatchery, and on to Morehead.

Since the passing of the ice storm, that passed through a couple years ago, the trail north of Interstate 64 was literally impassible. Knowing that there was not much trail left, it seemed fruitless to go on; piecing parts of trail together and trying to get transportation in between them. Looking at the remaining time I had allotted myself, and realizing that there was little of it left, I regretfully decided call this trip to an end.

I walked up the road, past the Clear Creek Dam and on to Adam’s bait shop. There, I meet a very elderly lady who had been working in that same shop for over 50 years. I noticed that many of the people that came in knew her personally and gave her exact change for her products. I soon realized why. When I bought some food she gave the drawer of money and asked me to get the right about of change out. I was amazed that she could operate this way.

There was no phone around so I went up the road to a place called CC’s to make the phone call that would end my trip. I talked to regulars at the store who were interested in what I was doing until it was time to go. As I walked back to Clear Creek Lake to wait for my ride I was a bit sad that my adventure was coming to and end… but this backpacking trip was unlike others. This trip would be told as a story for the world to see and I could, in the middle of the winter, just click a few links and find myself in the middle of nowhere following a trial northward.

As I drove to my house in Berea, Kentucky, I thought about all the work that lied ahead and hoped it would amount to something.