“Nada” Thang But Beauty
They say Nada is the “gateway to the Red River Gorge”. I think it is a gateway into Kentucky history and its beauty. Like the other side of the rainbow.
The drive is spectacular as you follow left and then right, gently up and down the “hills”. You quickly go from the interstate to the country of Kentucky on your way to Nada in Powell County. Houses litter the hillsides as you drive through one-stop towns as you find your way to the tunnel. Yes. The Nada Tunnel is actually a 900-foot, one-way tunnel that used to be used for the railway. It is perfectly etched out of the rock and you feel as though you are driving to another land as you pass through.
Before driving through the tunnel, we stopped to climb the hill that holds the tunnel to see what the tunnel sees. It was a spectacular view as we climbed almost completely vertically up the water-soaked hill. Of course we stopped to take some pictures!
The jutting hillside covered us from a morning shower as we stopped to listen to the rain hit the leaves of the tree. It was pretty chilly despite the fact it was summer. It was refreshing to breathe in the cold, fresh air.
As we traveled through time through the tunnel, I held my breath as I always do through tunnels. I think it has to do with some old wives tale from when I was a little one. I still do it and I don’t even know why!
The tunnel brings a feeling of magic as you picture the hole being etched out so many years ago without the technology that we have now! Ok, so maybe I am a big dork for thinking so much about this tunnel, but it really brings the inner-child out as my face turns blue from holding my breath as we drive through the silly thing.
You reach the other side and as you gasp for air, a smile comes upon your face as you glide down a beautiful hillside.
We stopped at a random trailhead and began our trek for the day. I won’t go into grave detail about it since we sorta got lost and went for about 14 miles without enough water. But your trip doesn’t have to be that dramatic. We got some great shots, though!
A couple of month later, I signed up for a race that took you THROUGH the Nada tunnel. They gave you a flashlight and you ran through this amazing tunnel as traffic waited for you on either side. It was a thrilling experience for many reasons. Of course, going through this tunnel was so cool! It was completely dark, except for the light at the end of the tunnel…. always wanted to say that. Also, you were just reaching the top of a GIANT hill… yes, the hill you were enjoying in the car but isn’t so much fun when you are RUNNING up that hill. And you finish the race in “downtown Nada” where Nada natives come out and watch you finish. How stinking cool is that?
So, despite how “small” Nada is, it has so much to offer! It is a great trip for the girls where you can go and get lost in the beauty of the hillside. Oh! And Natural Bridge is right there, too. What a great climb that is!
Go. Explore. Take photos. But don’t get lost.