Page:A Thousand-Mile Walk To The Gulf.djvu/47

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Kentucky Forests and Caves

are salty and so are the wells. Salt River was nearly dry. Much of my way this forenoon was over naked limestone. After passing the level ground that extended twenty-five or thirty miles from the river I came to a region of rolling hills called Kentucky Knobs—hills of denudation, covered with trees to the top. Some of them have a few pines. For a few hours I followed the farmers’ paths, but soon wandered away from roads and encountered many a tribe of twisted vines difficult to pass.

Emerging about noon from a grove of giant sunflowers, I found myself on the brink of a tumbling rocky stream [Rolling Fork]. I did not expect to find bridges on my wild ways, and at once started to ford, when a negro woman on the opposite bank earnestly called on me to wait until she could tell the “men folks” to bring me a horse—that the river was too deep and rapid to wade and that I would “sartain be drowned” if I attempted to cross. I replied that my bag and plants would ballast me; that the water did not appear to be