Cammy Takes a Hike, Part 1

My workweek is unofficially over. All that’s left is navigating the paperwork. Fingers crossed I get it right this time, because I’m still trying to get the first round straightened out.

This week’s travels took me to Kentucky, or as I was constantly reminded by state highway signs, the KY state. Every road sign is like salt in a wound:

ky road signs

Image credit:

I did much, much better with exercise this week. I got in a marvelous strength training workout before I left on Monday, and on Tuesday I found a city park in Madisonville, KY. Wednesday’s plan was for an excursion to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, so named because of its situation between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Once there, I would have several exercise options from which to choose. Joy, joy!

But first, let me introduce you to Susan, my travel-BFF:


Hi Susan!

Susan’s alter ego, George, is GPS non grata after attempting to guide me home via the local penal farm. He kept screaming, “Make a right turn now! Make a right turn now!” to which I reply-screamed, “Can’t you see the &*%!# 12-foot barb-wired fence, you idiot!” Which, of course, he couldn’t because he’s a machine. Anyway, I fired him. Tennessee is an employee-at-will state, so let him try to sue me.

After Susan successfully steered me around the penal farm, I decided to take her on future trips, and we’ve been doing splendidly. Until this one.

Susan, it seems, doesn’t do so well in national parks. She thinks sending some city girl on a logging road is just fine. She also thinks it’s fine to advise said city girl to “Turn left now” when there is no left on which to turn. And then when city girl doesn’t turn left (because she can’t), Susan sighs and wearily advises, “Turn around at the first opportunity.” Hard to do on a one-lane gravel mountain road. We’re talking Deliverance territory here, people.

Buh-bye, Susan:

GPS under car tire

No, I didn’t go through with it, but since the warnings that I could switch back to George with a single click of the settings button didn’t seem to work, so I just wanted to show her what could happen if she didn’t shape up.

Anyway, I finally found my own damned way out of the forest and eventually found the trails I wanted. I had two options: a 4+ mile trail or a 2.2 mile trail. Thanks to stupid Susan, I was an hour behind schedule so I opted for the shorter trail around Hematite Lake. The description from the brochure:

Hematite Trail (2.2 miles – 1 hour, 30 minutes)
This scenic trail offers an opportunity to see various species of birds and other wildlife, as well as a diversity of plant life
along the lakeshore and marshland. Two observation stations, a boardwalk, and wildlife photography blind are located
along the trail. Picnic and toilet facilities are available near trail entrance.

The description my hurried, Susan-frazzled self read:

Hematite Trail (2.2 miles …….)
This scenic trail ….. birds …..along the lakeshore ….Two observation stations, a boardwalk,…..and……toilet facilities are available ……

They’re not exactly the same experience.

We started off fine. We’ve got the lakeshore:

hematite lake

Hematite Lake

and the scenic trail:

meadow trail

Scenic, flat, cushiony trail

That lasted for about 150 feet. And then there was this:

trail marker


What the hell is this? Am I supposed to climb the tree? Ohhh, it’s a trail marker, and it’s telling me to go up that hill. My Native American heritage is really coming in handy here.


Is there an escalator?

Dang, this thing is getting steep. My gym heritage is coming in handy here. Thanks to almost 5 years of lunges and leg presses, for a few minutes I am able to pretend I’m Sharon and just enjoy the experience. Eventually I begin the descent and arrive at the promised boardwalk:


You want me to what?

As promised, but it sure doesn’t look very promising. In fact, it looks downright scary! What will I do?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s thrilling conclusion of Cammy Takes a Hike!

17 thoughts on “Cammy Takes a Hike, Part 1

  1. I am laughing too hard to write a comment! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your sense of humor! I also love your hiking pictures! Thanks for starting my day with a GREAT laugh! (at your expense- I am sorry) :)

  2. Can’t wait for the conclusion of this cliffhanger and given my own experiences this week with “other wildlife,” I’ve already noted that your perception of the trail description left that part out. Will this include falling off the boardwalk into an alligator infested swamp with or did you encounter some good ole KY boys guarding their moonshine? Yes, don’t keep us in suspense much longer.

  3. Bwahahaha! This is why I don’t have a GPS 😀

    Oh, regarding my blog – it was down with a server issue last week, and we think the host probably has recovered old data, which might be why some old comments are showing up in the reader. You might want to unsub for a bit until it settles down, which hopefully won’t be too long.

  4. Cammy, this post is great! It reminds me why I love you so. That boardwalk would have sent me over the edge. What a day! Can’t wait to read the next installment.

  5. I have a love/hate relationship with our GPS. Most of the time all is grand and glorious and then there are other times when I’m in the middle of no where. So love this post and pics. Can’t wait for the conclusion. I think I would have turned around at the boardwalk but I have a strong feeling you went for it. LOL!

  6. Hey just one more thing. I thought about you yesterday when I saw a woman about your size walking dogs (more then one) or rather attempting to walk dogs. Some were little but a couple were huge and were literally dragging her and the little dogs along. I couldn’t help but laugh and think of you.

  7. SOOOO funny!

    When I do google maps and see them try to tell people how to navigate the winding dirt road that I live on I just laugh. They need to provide a ‘go to’ sentence in those GPS things something like “You want to go where?” or “You’re on your own, babe.”

  8. You named your GPS “Susan”? Why did I never come up with this – would have made yelling at them freaking things much more personal: “turn right *now*!” “But the freaking light is red, SUSAN!” 😀

  9. Yesssss!!! You went hiking, that is so awesome! Doesn’t it just fill you with joy and make you bubbly? 😀 I would have gone all in on that last picture, excited to see what you did!

  10. We’ve got ourselves a Jill. Mostly she gets us where we want to go. But every so often…

  11. Pingback: Cammy Takes a Hike, Part 2

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