Day 2 & Thoughts from One of Yesterday’s Fellow Hikers

Day 2 Begins

I’m not sure how my tarp stayed in place last night. The wind thrashed it so violently I thought I would end up sleeping with it wrapped around me to not lose it in the tree tops. It held till after midnight when things calmed. The temperature continued to drop till it got down to 23 degrees. I chilled just a little but not dangerously so. The only part of me that went numb was my face and only because I can’t sleep with it inside a stuffy bag.
I’m currently (11am) trudging down hwy 25 toward Berea. Nothing but pavement today. I have Professor Heckbert and some of his students waiting to join me for the Berea portion.

Evening of Day 2

If you’ve been watching the map today you’ll notice it went haywire. The fact is that this is more of a research and educational trip to figure out details for when it is opened to the public. Last year I insisted I walk every inch. This year, not so much. In order to meet mayors, hikers, and others I’ve hopped in Johns truck to cover some of the pavement. I actually walked most of Berea but forgot the SatCom (GPS) in the truck. So that explains the wonky points and lines.

I was met on the trail by Kerri Hensley, Tourism Director for Berea and she walked a portion of Berea with me and Gin Petty, who joined me again today. Gin walked 15 miles yesterday and from Berea to Boone Gap with me today. She is 70 yrs old and an artisan in Berea. She made her living with her craft and out walks most younger people. I’m not one to desire getting autographs and handshakes from celebrities, it’s spending time with real people like Gin that thrill me.

I’m early but setting up camp in Boone Gap tonight.

Walk On
Curtis

Thoughts from My Fellow Hikers

Day 1, Boone’s Trace Hike

I followed Curtis on his initial hike in 2015 via the web and, being a Boone admirer of many years, hoped to hike Boone’s Trace in future. Yesterday, April 2, was a truly remarkable day in many ways.

As a Kentuckian, I have an avid interest in Boone, my ancestors having followed Boone into the Bluegrass in the latter 18th-century. Also, as an author, I try to incorporate as much Kentucky history in my books as possible. So yesterday, during the first few miles of hiking, several things stood out to me. Not far from the site of the original fort is the Nathaniel Hart cabin, only the foundation remaining, along the trace. Having researched the Hart family history, coming across this was especially meaningful. Across from this is a pioneer graveyard, another moving site I will revisit soon. We walked on, crossing fields and forests, roads and railroad tracks. I thought how little Boone would likely recognize today aside from Otter Creek and the Kentucky River. Yet I truly sensed his presence and spirit along the way, a lasting legacy that stays with us today.  At the end of the first day’s hike, it seemed fitting to conclude at Twitty’s Fort, another meaningful site that changed lives and history.

I kept thinking throughout how vital it is to preserve the trace, honor it by hiking and visiting landmarks along the way, and continuing to remember just how HUGE Boone’s trek was for Americans today. My hope is that schoolchildren can be taken on sections of the trail and that its significance can be taught in history classes. I wish that I could continue on the remaining days of the hike with Curtis and others but my schedule prevents it at this time. Hopefully there will be another trek. Curtis is the best leader for this journey, given his ancestry and also his leadership skills, too many to name here. I’ll always be grateful for our time on the trace and I encourage others to walk it and honor it and keep the memory of Boone and those first settlers alive today.

Many thanks, Laura Frantz

Laura is the author of a number of historical novels. Be sure to visit her website at LauraFrantz.net.

 

One Reply to “Day 2 & Thoughts from One of Yesterday’s Fellow Hikers”

  1. Peter H Hackbert

    I was following Curtis via the digital map and planned my visits around various Sunday tasks that needed to be done. I first drove to Herndon Lane to view Curtis as he hiked into Southern Madison County. I could only imagine what it must be like hiking alone along the variety or state highways, country roads, overland trails and through streams and creeks, some on private property. I hold huge respect for Curtis.
    We used the cell phones to catch up with Curtis as he headed south off of Shortline into the John B. Stephenson multi-use path. After the path was named after a former Berea College President. the historic community helped civic leaders to confirm that the intersection of Brushy Fork and Silver Creek aligns to the Boone Trace Trail. Last year the Trace was cited by the City of Berea Trail Town Committee as a prominent route within their trail system.
    Mayor Steven Connelly, Louisa Summer, Director of the City of Berea Trail Town Committee met Curtis Penix on the John B. Stephenson bridge on Boone Trace path. When Curtis was here in March 2015, the City’s Trail System was still under development. Berea now has multi-connectors to the multi-state and multi-jurisdictional Daniel Boone Trace.
    Dr. John Fox, president of the Friends of Boone Trace, and Curtis encouraged Louisa Summers of the Trail Town Committee to form a hiking club called the Keepers of Boone Trace.They expressed hopes that the Keepers would become hikers, join and adopt a piece of the trail, and hike it a couple of times a year to protect it and keep the trail open for others. I live just off the Trace and can report an increasing popularity of residents who use the Trace to walk dogs, ride bike, jog and be involved in other outdoor activities.
    I didn’t tell Curtis, Dr. Fox, Dr. Summer, Gin Petty or Mayor Connelly that the EPG Program (20 college students) this summer will again explore parts of the Trace and parts of the TransAmerican Bike route as summer activities that align historic, culture, healthy lifestyles and economics. We plan to explore parts of the Trace and even travel to West Virginia and Virginia to see how other communities have used trail systems to increase the quality of living and promote healthy lifestyles.

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