I want to talk about front porches. Not back porches. Those are different. Those are an entirely other kind of animal. Front porches. Front porches have rocking chairs or bench swings. And when you sit down your eyes get thick and milky and your head lolls back and you become a noodle human and you’re not ever, ever going to get up for a few moments. And, and, and. You go to the front porch to be glazed and glassy-eyed and watch the world crystallize before you.
I did this once at a cabin in Red River Gorge. It was so quiet that I heard the trees. I had forgotten they make noise. It was the most crystalline of crystallized worlds. Spun sugar. Rock candy. Quartz.
I brought boots to that cabin, but they stayed on the back porch like lonely pups because I was sitting with bare feet on the front porch hearing trees for three days straight. I did no hiking in the Gorge. I never even saw the Gorge. Thus is the mysticism of rocking chairs.
Perhaps, then, if you are curious to know real guidance in Kentucky’s great outdoors, you should ask another. With his new book, Hiking Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, author and explorer Sean Patrick Hill is probably a good start. Catch him tomorrow, Saturday, February 9th, at The Summit area Barnes & Noble  for some tips on trekking the trails.
Going beyond a mere guidebook, Hill’s Red River Gorge is designed to showcase all offerings of flora, fauna and history for the intrepid traveler. Filled with photographs, maps and distinctive tips for 25 of the best hikes in the area, the book helps readers link trails and plan hikes, tailoring exploration to whatever interest. Hill, a Louisvillian, is also the author of Moon Outdoors: Oregon Hiking, as well as two collections of poetry, The Imagined Field and Interstitial. Hill will be doing all of the great indoors starting at noon.
It is doubtful that I would give sound advice for traipsing any trail anywhere. I cannot track. I only own dresses. I will make origami out of the map. Sean Patrick Hill, folks – not me. But I’m more than happy to tell you about the sound leaves make together in the tall branches when you’re still and bare-feeted. It crinkles almost. It’s waves in the ocean almost. Shake beads in a jar. It’s like that.
The Summit area Barnes & Noble is located at 4100 Summit Plaza Drive. For more information, call (502) 327-0410.
Image: Courtesy of Amazon www.amazon.com