Began Walking 8:13 a.m.
I pulled up the google map software and began counting the number of times I would cross a creek, river or stream. I don’t remember at what number I gave up, but I quickly realized this is a well watered route. The 18th century trekker was not at a loss for a drink and neither are we.
One of Daniel Boone’s favorite camping spots was Raccoon Springs. Two springs flowed from the ground only feet from each other and in an area of good level ground. Boone himself named the springs when he was startled by a raccoon during one of his visits. No doubt he made this a regular stop with each group he led through the wilderness and I can’t help but believe Grandpa Joshua rested here and drank the cool water in the fall of 1779.
The springs has served as a reference point for many who followed after. The Kentucky historian and Daniel Boone biographer, John Filson, included it as a mileage marker on his 826 mile land journey from Philadelphia to the falls of the Ohio River. It was included in a journal of William Brown in 1782 as he traveled 555 miles from Hanover to Harrodsburg. Thomas Speed recorded the distance from Charlotte court house to Kentucky in 1790 and included Raccoon Springs as an itinerary stop.
For all the attention this land mark received in that century, it gets very little in this century. In fact it isn’t that easy to find. Driving up a narrow blacktop road, simple houses and small plots of farm land occupy the landscape. The earth rolls gently and clumps of trees define the borders. If you know which house to stop at and which farm field to walk along you can find the springs on the side of a hill and sheltered in the trees. In some time past someone got the idea to dam up one of the springs to create a small pond which is more stagnant than aesthetic. But one spring still flows cool and clear. You can bet that when we arrive to sleep alongside this watering place, our bottles will be empty and we will leave full.