"Go check in the back. I think he is still here."
1) You get paid to be outside and get in shape.
"Pain is just weakness leaving the body". We won't pretend that you won't be sore the first week or so of training, but what a great way to stay in shape all summer!
2) You look forward to going to work.
OK, maybe not *every* day, but there aren't many jobs that pay you to have this much fun!
3) Your friends will want you to take them to work with you.
One of the benefits of working here is that you can take 1 person (at a time) down the river for free!
4) You get to wear swimsuits and shorts to work.
I mean, if you *want* to wear a tie down the river, I guess you could.
5) The smell of suntan lotion, hot days, river funk and sweat.
Although sometimes (often?) guides are better seen and not smelt.
6) You love work so much that you don’t want to leave at the end of your work day.
"Has anyone seen _____? His Mom is on the phone".
"Go check in the back. I think he is still here."
7) You love work so much, you hang out in your off time.
OK guys - you can take your PFDs off now. Your next trp isn't until tomorrow.
8) You can make a difference in your customers’ lives.
Seriously. As I was going through pictures for this blog, I came across a picture that a guide had been tagged in by a customer on the trip. In the comments was 'We were best friends with her by the beginning of the rafting trip'.
9) Evening campfires and best friends.
I don't think there is a better way to spend the summer.
10) Best tan lines ever!
It's all good.
Cumberland Falls is Kentucky's best-known waterfall, and for good reason. At 65 foot high and 125 feet across, it is well worth the visit. Plus, there is the world famous moonbow every month (weather permitting) as a bonus. But, did you know that there are plenty of other (smaller) waterfalls in this area?
1) Eagle Falls
This 44 foot waterfall is located inside Cumberland Falls State Resort. It is accessible via a 1.5 mile moderately strenuous hike on the Eagle Falls trail, located on river left at the falls area. An added bonus is great views of Cumberland Falls as you hike the trail. You can also see this waterfall as you float down the river on the Cumberland Below the Falls whitewater rafting trip through Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort.
2) Dogslaughter Falls
A beautiful 15 foot waterfall with a terrible name, Dogslaughter Falls is accessible off of FS Road 195, about 5 miles from Cumberland Falls, and .5 miles from Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort. Two trailheads along the FS Road let you choose a shorter (1+ miles) or longer (3+ miles) hike to the Falls. The trail meanders along Dogslaughter creek, and is rated moderate.
3) Star Falls
This little known, mostly hidden gem of a waterfall is along the Sheltowee Trace trail on the lower section of the Cumberland River. It is a seasonal waterfall, and is most easily accessible by continuing along the Dogslaughter trail to the Cumberland River and turning right along the Sheltowee Trace. Star Creek shelter, located where you turn up Star creek to get to the waterfall, is a nice place for a picnic or overnight stay.
4) Triple Falls
Another seasonal waterfall, this hike gives you 3 waterfalls, one right after the other. Most of the ½ mile hike is an easy wide trail, with some steeper stuff right at the end. Continue along the single-track trail to follow Falls Creek, which has several more unnamed waterfalls and cascades as well, for a 1.5 mile loop. The trailhead is behind the main building at Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort.
5) Bark Camp Cascades
Not technically a waterfall, Bark Camp Cascades is still worth a mention here for its long cascades. Bark Camp trail follows along the creek for 2.6 miles, past numerous rock shelters, cliffs and cascades, finally reaching the Cumberland River several miles downstream of Star Falls. A loop, of sorts, can be made connecting Dogslaughter Falls, Star Falls and the Bark Camp cascades, for a long day of hiking or an overnight trip. The trailhead is accessible off of FS Road 193, part of a network of Forest Service Roads that includes trailheads for Dogslaughter Falls and Schoolhouse Arch.
6) Amos Falls
This is the only waterfall on the list that doesn’t have an actual trail leading to it, so be prepared with a compass (your GPS may or may not be able to get a signal) and be ready to do some bushwacking. It is accessible off of a dirt road past Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort, in the Daniel Boone National Forest.
7) Yahoo Falls
Long claimed as the highest waterfall in the state of KY, this 113 foot high waterfall is well worth the 1 mile hike from the parking lot. The creek that forms it is somewhat seasonal, so the best time to visit is in the Spring or after a good rain. The waterfall is located off of Hwy 700 in McCreary County. It is in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
8) Princess Falls
Also located in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in McCreary County, Princess Falls is a short but wide waterfall along Lick Creek. It is about a mile hike from the Yamacraw Day Use area along the Big South Fork river. The waterfall is easily accessible from canoes or kayaks on the Yamacraw to Alum Ford section of the Big South Fork.
9) Lick Creek Falls
The 2nd waterfall along Lick Creek, this 50 foot high waterfall is off a side trail from the main trail. It is about 2.25 miles from the Yamacraw Day Use area along the Big South Fork River, or accessible from the river itself. Along with Princess Falls, it makes a nice 2-for-1 hike.
Upper deck of the Cumberland Star riverboat at sunset.
It has been 6 years since the Cumberland Star riverboat was able to run its route from the Mouth of the Laurel up the river to just below Last Drop rapid. It is easy for me to keep track, because my son Daniel was born at just about the same time that the Corp of Engineers unexpectedly announced that they were dropping Lake Cumberland to do repairs on Wolf Creek Dam. Daniel's first hiking trip was as a newborn when my husband and I hiked upstream along the river to see what the river looked like without the lake covering it.
We scrambled that winter and most of the next season to find a way. An easy way to bring whitewater rafters on the Cumberland Below the Falls rafting trip down the 5 miles of lake at the end of the Class III rapids. It was a drought year. The economy tanked. We struggled. The Cumberland Star moved lower down on the lake to be docked in deeper water. We eventually worked something out. It wasn't easy or perfect, but it worked.
Now, 6 long years later, the Corps of Engineers announced in January that they would be bringing the lake back up. Not all the way. But enough. It was unexpected; the Corp had been saying the lake would come up the summer of 2014. And so now we scramble yet again. But this time, we are scrambling to put in dock facilities. To get the Cumberland Star ready for passengers again. To get the word out that the riverboat is running again. This is a *good* scramble.
So, starting in May, 2013, the Cumberland Star will once again be plying the headwaters of Lake Cumberland. It will accept passengers for Lunch Cruises. It will pick up tired, wet, but happy rafters at the end of the Cumberland Below the Falls run. It will serve food on its canoe shaped buffet table. Passengers will relax and enjoy the shoreline scenery while basking in the sun on the upper deck or relaxing in the shade on the lower deck. Captain Rick will once again be in his element. And my son Daniel will get to do his first-ever whitewater rafting trip with the lake up and the Cumberland Star running.
People often ask me what I do in the off-season, There is an underlying assumption that once the season is over and we officially close for the season, that there isn't much going on here. Not true! Although we do answer phone calls, and have the occasional off-season trip for people, much of the time is spent in mundane end of the year tasks. There are various reports to compile, taxes to do, government agreements to update, etc etc
But the exciting thing that we get to do in the off-season is make and start implementing plans for the next year. So what are our plans for next year? Well, you are presumably looking at one. A complete redo of our website, top to bottom. This includes a greater social media presence. We are on Pinterest, and have started this blog. So, what else is in the works?
Dania Egedi, General Manager at Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort.