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Boone Trace Expedition

By Kathy Cummings

Photos by Jim and Kathy Cummings


On March 26, 2015, Curtis Penix and Givan Fox concluded their two week hike of the Boone Trace. Penix, an avid hiker decided to pursue the hike in memory of his 5X great grandfather Joshua Penix. His planning began months ago as he compiled information on the route taken by early settlers to Kentucky.

He was introduced to Neal Hammon, a historian who has done much work in defining the Trace, who in turn introduced him to John Fox, president of Friends of Boone Trace. Somewhere in the planning Fox’s son Givan decided to join in. Penix left Kingsport, TN  on March 10. Fox joined in at Martin’s Station, In Ewing, Virginia six days later.

The two gathered much media attention as the hike continued and posted daily

updates and photos on a blog. The two concluded the walk on March 26 at Fort Boonesborough State Park. There they were met by media and members of many groups including The Fort Boonesborough Foundation, Friends of Boone Trace, The Society of Fort Boonesborough, Madison County Tourism, Clark County Tourism, The Madison County Historical Society and the Boone Society.

Below are photos from the conclusion of the hike. But the true story can be found at There you can read the daily blog posts, of the cold nights, rough conditions, communications breakdowns, misdirections and also the highlights and people that helped along the way.

Throughout the journey they were joined by other hikers who went along for a day, or a few hours. Local media followed along for a story for their hometown papers. They were celebrated in London, KY with a luncheon before heading right back on the trail. They spoke to a group in Berea. My favorite story of all is when Penix could find no public park or land to unroll his bedroll. Just as he was about to settle down in a storage locker, Pam Eddy, a member of the staff at Cumberland Gap National Park arrived (in period dress) with a place to spend the night - before seeing that he got back on the trail in exactly the same spot the next morning. There were others that stopped by with extra supplies, a warm fire and good conversation. When Daniel Boone made the trip - conditions were decidedly different. Not necessarily better or worse. Boone didn’t have GPS, satellite tracking, trail food, or modern clothing especially for the elements. But Boone did have unadulterated wilderness. Although he may have faced Indians - he had no highways, nor 18 wheel truckers. He had no remnants of parts of paved and broken roads. Game was plentiful, and starting an open fire was normal not cause for alarm.

Millions of settlers came the route that Penix and Fox traveled. Many suffered along the way. Many died from the elements or Indian attacks. But thanks to the many historians across the years these men were able to follow the trail set out by their ancestors. Dr. John Fox of Friends of Boone Trace has been invaluable in mapping the land and preserving the road. It was fitting that he was on hand for their triumphant arrival into Fort Boonesborough. Thanks to all involved for letting us ‘trek’ along in cyber space.

Curtis Penix - Lost in the Wander


On March 26th, 2015 the two hikers approached the original Fort Site at Fort Boonesborough State Park.


Member of the Penix family had traveled from Michigan to be on hand when Curtis ended the hike.


Curtis Penix, Givan Fox and Dr. John Fox.




Curtis credited his wife, Kimberly for much of the support work on the expedition. She was the communications expert that got the blog updated from the text messages he sent her.


From professional photographers to family member with smart phones - everyone was snapping photos.


After a final leg up to the fort, presentations to Penix and Fox began.


Dr. John Fox, president of Friends of Boone Trace was instrumental in getting permission of land owners along the way.


Dean Whitaker of The Society of Fort Boonesborough a group consisting of descendants of the original settlers also made a presentation.


The Fort Boonesborough Foundation presented the hikers with Lifetime Memberships.


The Madison County Historical Society was represented by Tom Black. They presented a painting of Daniel Boone to Curtis Penix.


Fort Boonesborough State Park Manager Rob Minerich and Fort Manager Bill Farmer presented both men with Official Kentucky Colonels Certificates.


A Certificate of Appreciation presented by Sam Compton - President of the Boone Society

From The Society of Fort Boonesborough.


The last speaker was Curtis Penix, himself, who talked again of his journey and thanked his supporters.


Plenty of smiles after the conclusion of the hike.


Giving a press interview after the ceremonies.


Re-enactors fired a rifle salute to the hikers.

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