Wild places sustain and define us; we, in turn, must protect them.
Kentucky Heartwood and YMCA Y-CORPS
The group on Natural Bridge
What a Day - by Michael Hendrix
On June 16th some Kentucky Heartwood members had the pleasure of meeting with about sixty young high school students at Natural Bridge State Park. They were a part of the Kentucky YMCA Y-CORPS. From Kentucky Heartwood was Levi Gordon, Jerry Redden, Nancy Bonhaus, Bryan Hendrix and myself, Michael Hendrix.
These were some of the most intelligent and brightest students I have ever met. We took advantage of that intelligence by explaining to them of the destruction that the ATV's (all terrain vehicles) do to the forest. We also talked about the devastation that is done by mountain-top removal mining practices and the logging in our national forests. Levi Gordon was the ultimate preacher.
We met early on a Tuesday morning and the students were divided into two groups-the climbers and the hikers. We had the thirty hikers, about twenty-five girls and five boys. Our first hike was up to Natural Bridge where we spent about two hours of fun, sights, picture-taking and more of the gospel. From there, a rather long hike to Whites Branch Arch and back over Natural Bridge and back to the bus by descending down Devil's Gulch. Onto the bus and a ride thru Nada Tunnel and the celebrated water pipe at Nada where everyone filled their canteen with cold, fresh mountain water, the source of all of Jerry Redden's water. The bus trip was unforgettable for us older tree-huggers---with the boom box turned on high and the students singing and happily laughing it was a bus trip to behold.
The last stop was at Miguels for some delicious pizza, live music, and farewells to all. Kentucky Heartwood was blessed for this opportunity to mix with these young folks. Many of them expressed interest in joining Kentucky Heartwood. We look forward to another day and a reunion with them sometime in the next year.