The Red State


The Gorge’s vertical challenge draws climbers the world over

It has been more than 20 years since I have driven down the Bert Coombs Mountain Highway, yet heading into Red River Gorge I anxiously scan the highway looking for road marks, buildings, anything I would remember from my youth. I chuckle at my foolishness. Lord knows I spent enough time in the Red as my buddies and I would load our cars for the rapid two-hour escape from Louisville, only to realize we forgot our stove and pots. Instead of turning around, we would forage the surrounding wilderness for dry wood and build a blazing fire, surviving on lukewarm beer, hotdogs and chips. The memories of my youth are slowly being obscured by the deepening fog of time.


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