Everyone has their spot. I visit mine several times a year and make sure to go at least once a season. It's a place I go to when I want to feel complete and alive. Best of all, it's a place I share with someone special.
I hate living in Kentucky. It’s in the bible belt, the towns are small and the good bands and movies don’t play here. If Nashville wasn’t so close, I would go crazy. That being said, Kentucky has some of the most beautiful mountains and camping destinations around. Although it is currently being ravaged by mountain top removal, it offers miles and miles of untouched land.
Shanty Hollow is about 20 minutes from my current location in Bowling Green, KY. It has great hiking, a beautiful lake, and it is a very small and centralized area. The first time I came here was in the fall of 2009. My current boyfriend chose this place as our second date. We hiked around, explored a beaver dam, and just sat by the water and watched a beautiful sunset. He claims that this was the day he fell in love.
We went back in the winter after the first large snow of the year. While I did not have my camera at the time, it is probably one of the most memorable moments of 2010. I had to wear an old pair of his hiking boots because, after all, I was more of a city girl. We trudged through snow and came across a little pond that was frozen over except for one hole in the ice for a small waterfall. We sat on a snowy, fallen branch, and I knew that he was struggling to muster up the courage to say those three words he was too scared to tell me. He didn’t. No, he couldn’t squeak that one out until the spring…at Shanty Hollow.
Finally I got to see it in the summertime, my favorite season. It was as hot and sticky as you can get and there were bugs flying everywhere. However, it was somehow miserable and absolutely gorgeous at the same time. We were in the middle of a drought so the exact same lake that we sat at the first time was halfway dried up almost a year later. We walked across it, our shoes sinking into the mud, and felt the full weight of what it is like to be in an untouched area. Luckily, the coal mining is still far away from Shanty Hollow and so are the people and the developing world. It is completely untouched by humanity…well, except for the random person or two, just passing through.