I needed to get back in my running routine, so that was the first order of business today.
The main campground loop is three quarters of a mile including a pretty steep uphill climb. I ran a couple of miles and walked a little bit as well.
After my run, I used my new extendable mop from Wash Wax All to clean the bugs from yesterday's travel off the front cap of the fifth wheel. I had been neglecting that duty for the last several months before we got the rig painted, but I am called to do it with the new paint job. :)
In order to keep from filling our gray tank too quickly, I got my shower in the bathhouse on our loop. Each bathhouse here has two large, private shower rooms which is kind of nice.
After getting cleaned up, I spent some time researching the area and the various hikes here in Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. I have chosen a few longer hikes, but we decided to start easy today with a 3-mile roundtrip from the campground to Skyline Cave via the Lewis Hollow Trail.
The trail is covered with leaves, and we certainly weren't going to sneak up on anyone or anything with all the rustling as we walked.
But there were still enough leaves on the trees for us to enjoy the beautiful colors on our walk through the woods.
The trail was slightly uphill with some ups and downs for awhile. We came to an intersection where the trail from the picnic area joined in, and there was a sign telling us that Skylight Cave was closed due to something called White-Nose Syndrome which is a disease that is infecting and killing North American bats.
It didn't matter to us that we couldn't go in the cave; today's hike was more about the walk in the woods and the exercise. In fact, Linda was really hoofin' it to get her heart rate up, and shortly after the sign above, we started the steepest uphill section.
Our heart rates were definitely up as we hustled up the hill to the cave.
We respected the "Closed" signs, and just took some photos of the cave opening from a bridge over a dry creek bed.
We noticed this brightly colored caterpillar on the bridge railing, and it was worthy of a picture.
From that point on the Lewis Hollow Trail, you can continue up the mountain just a little farther and connect with the Ridge Trail. The Ridge Trail runs for 21 of the park's 26 miles along the mountain ridge, and it is the dividing line between Kentucky to the north and Virginia to the south.
After a brief rest, we began our trek back to the campground. On the way back, we decided to take the trail back through the picnic area.
The red maples are stunning right now.
Soon, we arrived at the picnic area where we took more photos of the colors .....
as we walked the paved road back.
This little hike on this mid-70 degree day was a nice start to our explorations of the Cumberland Gap area.
Back at our campsite, Linda sat outside in her lounger and talked to her friend Therese, while I took our propane grill apart. Our grill is a Camco 57301 Olympian 4100 Tabletop Grill.
It's not very fancy, but it is compact and I like the way it cooks utilizing its "smoker plate".
We started with that grill, and then we won a different grill in a raffle, so I ditched our original grill. The new grill was okay, but it was much bulkier and I just had better luck with the little Olympian. When I saw that my parents still had an Olympian that I had given them in their garage, and it hadn't been used much, I swiped it and got rid of the grill we won.
Unfortunately, the first time I tried to use it earlier this summer, I couldn't get it to light. I figured I could fix it, but I wasn't prepared to take the time to do it right then.
So, it's been sitting in our basement unused since then. Well, now that we are in a campground with somewhat of that elusive "it" factor that makes us want to be outside and grill and do campfires, it was time to tackle the problem.
Before we began RVing, I would have just thrown the whole thing away and bought another one, but I have learned that I can actually fix some things if I take my time and have the right tools. :)
Fortunately, I only needed a phillips screwdriver to remove the burner and see if it was clogged. Sure enough, there was a mud dauber nest up inside the burner tube so the gas wasn't getting to the burner. With the screwdriver and a stick, I was able to clean it out. It took me forty-five minutes to take it all apart, figure it out, clean it, test it, and put it back together, but it was worth the feeling of accomplishment. :)
Then Linda let me know we weren't grilling tonight and it was going to rain, so I needed to put the grill away. Oh well. But it'll be ready for tomorrow ... or the next day. :)
We got our showers at the bathhouse, saving our gray tanks for later in the week when it will be colder and we'll want to shower in the rig.
After dinner, we returned some emails and then played Qwirkle .....
while watching Game 6 of the World Series.
Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, so Linda is going to go into Middlesboro to do laundry, and I'm going to work on October financials.
It's supposed to clear up after tomorrow, but a cold front is coming and there is a slight possibility of snow this weekend. We've got more hiking to do, so it looks like we might need to bundle up a bit. Stay tuned for more hike descriptions and photos from here in Cumberland Gap. :)