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Monday, September 27, 2010

Pinnacle Overlook, Cumberland Gap, TN



George and I took a 3-day trip north of Crossville into the southern Kentucky mountains--to do some hiking, visit some historical sites and see some waterfalls. The first couple of days were spent in and around Cumberland Gap, TN. Cumberland Gap is located where three states come together (KY, TN and VA).

For those of you who have studied history, you will recall that the Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap was the primary way to the West. Mid-18th century explorers found their way through at Cumberland Gap. Their discovery opened the Ohio Valley to the first great wave of westward migration.

The route through the gap was first brought to attention by Dr. Thomas Walker, who had been hired to stake out an 800,000 acre grant beyond the Blue Ridge. In 1775, Daniel Boone was commissioned to blaze a road through the gap. Boone's trace evolved into the Wilderness Road, establishing his place in history as a frontiersman and pathfinder.

George and I did experience a bit of history while walking along the Wilderness Road --and I will talk more about that in another blog. First, we will share three sets of pictures of the area taken from the Pinnacle, an overlook above Cumberland Gap. The winding four-mile-long road up the mountain takes us to within a few hundred feet of the overlook, at an elevation of 2440 feet. We went up to the Pinnacle twice --one time at sunset and another time in the morning.

Here are the first of the three sets of pictures from the overlook. Above is a picture showing you where Cumberland Gap is located. You can see all three states (KY, TN, VA) from the Pinnacle Overlook. Below are more pictures.




This is a sign --showing more information about the Pinnacle.




From the overlook, this is looking west toward Kentucky. That is Middlesboro, KY in the distance.



Also taken from the overlook, the town of Cumberland Gap is directly below us at the bottom of the mountain. Virginia is to the east and Tennessee is to the south (top right of photo). (In another upcoming post, I will show you the reverse: photos of the Pinnacle taken from the town of Cumberland Gap.)




We were facing south at the overlook --and this picture is looking into the sun (picture was taken in the morning) ---toward the state of VA. I was born and raised about 50 miles east of here in Big Stone Gap, VA.




This picture was also taken from the overlook --and is looking south toward Tennessee. Can you see the double highway in the lower left corner???? That highway goes into a tunnel which was completed THROUGH that mountain in 1996.




Here's the mountain that people had to cross at one time in order to get through the 'gap'. A lady at the overlook was talking about remembering how trucks would burn their brakes out coming off of that mountain. It was a wicked ride over that mountain before the tunnel was completed. Can you imagine the time and effort which it took to dig that tunnel through that huge mountain?????




Here's a picture of George at the Pinnacle Overlook. We had a gorgeous, sunny day in Cumberland Gap. I have two more sets to share with you from the Pinnacle. All in all, we had a fabulous time!!!!

I will begin trying to catch up with your blog posts sometime this week. Be patient with me please!!!!!! Hope you have had a wonderful weekend.

Hugs,

49 comments:

Mildred said...

Beautiful pictures Betsy. The tunnel through the mountain is just amazing. So glad you had a safe and enjoyable trip.

Carol@The Writers Porch said...

Beautiful pics Betsy! My son was in that same area last week, he met some of his army buddies for a fishing trip.I bought a DVD last week called "Exploring the Smokies " and it showed all the water falls and I said to myself, I bet Betsy and George have seen all of these!
Also bought a great book called Gracie's Mountain about a woman who started hiking up Mt. Leconte at age 62 and hiked it 241 times, the last time at age 97! XOXO

Darla said...

It's amazing the things our ancestors did isn't it? These are such gorgeous photos of scenery here.

Dorothy said...

Good Morning, Betsy!
Your pictures are great, and they really are making me want to go back to the mountains this Fall! It's hard to imagine making a tunnel through a mountain like that. I'm glad that you and George had a good time!

Big Dude said...

Great scenenry. Each time we go to visit my son in Harrogate he suggest going up to the overlook, but it's been either 25* or 95*, so I've said no so far, but I'm sure we'll make it someday. Did you eat at Webb's while there?

Sunny said...

Love all your pictures and maps, Betsy! I have been there, several times

with my hubby and 4 kids when I was in my 20's. Used to live in Virginia, and traveled via *that way* to Michigan, our home state.

Also traveled through the mountains in Pennsylvania and somewhere they had a tunnel (s) right through the mountain! Was fasinating !!

Glad you and your hubby had a nice trip :)

diane said...

Wowy! What beautiful countryside. It is soooo high up there and the mountains cradling the towns is so picturesque. Sunny warm weather to boot. You must have had a great time.

Lana said...

Your pictures always make me smile! We have gone through this area many times, but always on our way to someplace else. We will have to make sure the next time we come through to take our time and travel some off-beaten paths ;-)

Marci said...

I love overlooks, so these photos are right up my alley :) Beautiful work, Betsy. Also love your header photo. This is such a beautiful time of year.
Sorry I haven't been in touch. I have taken the facebook route over blogging, because it's so much quicker and easier to keep in touch with everyone.
Hope all is well.

Sandra said...

as a child I gazed off at those views many times. Middlesboro used to flood to the rooftops once a year and we would ride on the road above and see people in boats getting from roof to roof. i asked daddy why they kept living there, his answer was i don't know. that mountains was a kiiller as was alll that your driving on now. in the 50's no interstates or good roads, just switchbacks and a lot of danger. these are wonderful

Sandra said...

as a child I gazed off at those views many times. Middlesboro used to flood to the rooftops once a year and we would ride on the road above and see people in boats getting from roof to roof. i asked daddy why they kept living there, his answer was i don't know. that mountains was a kiiller as was alll that your driving on now. in the 50's no interstates or good roads, just switchbacks and a lot of danger. these are wonderful

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Your header photograph is lovely. The fall colors are gorgeous! Bob has ridden CHEROHALA SKYWAY.

Your photographs from the overlook are spectacular. I especially liked seeing the road that led to the tunnel through the mountain and then the picture of the mountain itself.

Susie said...

Glad you had a wonderful time Betsy. I love those mountains!

Cicero Sings said...

Ahhhh Betsy, you and George just have the best adventures! They all sound and look so interesting -- and your enthusiasm adds yet extra sparkle.

Arkansas Patti said...

You know, Carol has a point. I doubt I will ever see a waterfall and not wonder if you and George had been there.
When I see scenes like those you took pictures of, I think of how it must have been for the pioneers who did not have nice paved roads to travel. WOW.
Glad you had such a great trip.

Neal said...

Betsy, you're making me homesick. :) I've probably been to the pinnacle over a 100 times. I go up there every time I'm down there to visit my brothers.

Gary said...

Betsy, I follow your blog not only because I enjoy your photos, but I also enjoy your thoughts!

Janie said...

Is that Daniel Boone I see, standing with a camera in the last photo?
The views are wonderful!

Tricia said...

I just don't know what to say other than... BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL!!!

I also want to comment on that header photo - WwWoOoWwW!!!

mountain.mama said...

Totally gorgeous! I am loving the fall look on your blog. You guys see and do so much for such "old" people! Hah! Good for you!

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a lovely area.
So nice that you two take the time to travel and enjoy yourselves.
Take care, Suz

RH (aka Lucy) said...

All those beautiful trees. I really like the East. Especially all the neat small towns that I covet!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It looks like you ans George had wonderful weather as you explored this beautiful part of the country, Betsy! I am always in awe of how the pioneers were able to conquer so many obstacles as they traveled west!

Ginny said...

I LOVE your header!! And these pictures are outstanding! Now I know more about the Gap than I did! Now about the sign. Is that windy road on the sign the one you drove up? yikes!! It shows perfectly! And I love the picture with the highway leading to the tunnel, it peeks out twice. Did you go through the tunnel? Pictures of it? Now after this series of three, you will be posting lots more of the rest of the trip, right?

Glenda said...

Our ancestors were strong and resourceful, weren't they? These are gorgeous shots of a beautiful place. We've never seen this part of TN, but it must be breathtaking when the fall reds and oranges are in peak season.

Have a great week enjoying the cooler weather!

Karin said...

What a gorgeous header - love it! So glad you have an amazing time. Glad that I get to go with you - virtually! It's good to have the maps - very helpful. What beautiful pictures you've shared again. Thanks so much!

Rose said...

You were within spitting distance of of home! Did you see the post office in the Gap? One of my other brothers worked out of it as a rural letter carrier.

From the Kitchen said...

I just plan to sit here the rest of the day and look at your photos!! Did you drive through the tunnel? Do you know that you are supposed to hold your feet up while driving through? That way it doesn't crash down on you. Same goes for crossing bridges on the Parkway. Of course, it is more difficult to do if one is driving! Glad you had a beautifully good trip.

Best,
Bonnie

amelia said...

You have such beautiful countryside where you live and in the general area! Makes me want to sell up, buy an RV and travel!!! Trouble is, it would be hard with all our pets!

Isn't there an old song about the Cumberland Gap?

Velvet Over Steel said...

More Beautiful pictures and places that I want to see someday! Thank you so much for sharing all your adventures with us & motivating me to go, do and see MORE! :-)

Have a Wonderful week, Betsy!!
HUGS,
Coreen

Kelly said...

...awesome post, Betsy! I really enjoyed the history. You did a great job presenting it. We are taking Matty and Maria to Cumberland Falls this October (and we won't be too far away), so I'll have it fresh in my mind. Beautiful vistas...

Tipper said...

Wow what views! And no I cannot imagine how hard the tunnel was too make-just wow!

Fred Alton said...

Betsy,

That's an absolutely beautiful area of the world around Big Stone Gap. I've been to a few small churches in that area back when I was Field Director for our World Missions department. Love your new background picture of the Cherohala Skyway. That's where I am today...Tellico Plains, TN., where my 89 years young Mom is the speaker for the Fall Revival.

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Yet another stunningly lovely place to put on my must go to list. I have ancestors who went through that Cumberland Gap very early from PA and settled around Scott and Bourbon Counties in KY. Of course, descendants are now scattered all over the U.S. now.

Have a fantastic day!

SquirrelQueen said...

It looks like you and George had fantastic weather for your weekend adventures. The views are gorgeous.

Digging tunnels through those mountains had to be an incredible challenge.

Denise said...

Sounds like another great trip Betsy, and I enjoyed all the super photos again.
An English Girl Rambles

Snap said...

Looks like heaven on earth to me, Betsy!!!

Deb said...

Great pics of a great mini-vacation! Love your new header photo!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Those views are great! The drive must be fabulous all the way.

misslynda said...

Our mountains created by God have some of the most beautiful views on earth! I would love to see those views during fall color change.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

This area looks beautiful.
Ruth

B. Meandering said...

Breathtaking! I really enjoy the background info/history lessons. :)

Daisy said...

Amazing views, Betsy. Just stunning. Love the header photo too! :)

Mary said...

The views look wonderful! Glad you had a good trip!

Rose said...

I forgot to tell you I love your photo in the header!

Ruthi said...

breathtaking! your photos always make me want to go to those places.

KathyA said...

Patiently awaiting the history you experienced!!

Those photos TOOK MY BREATH AWAY!! (The one of George, too!! :) )

rob said...

Hello
Thanks for the great pictures.My grandparents are from Cumberland Gap,in fact my Great Grandfather owned a restraunt in town I remember as a kid going up on the overlook and seeing his place it had the word EAT on the roof.Its been 25 years since I've been there way befor the word tourist trap was ever thought of.As a kid we would go visit family and i would run ap the moutians there i even found a musket ball one time to bad i don't have it now. Anyway thanks for the great picturs and bringing back memorys.
Rob

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Rob, Couldn't get to your blog or email to thank you for stopping by... Don't know if you will even see this ---but there are several other Cumberland Gap posts if interested. (Go to my sidebar, scroll down to labels, and click on Cumberland Gap Area.

Thanks for stopping by... I grew up in nearby Big Stone Gap, VA --but had never seen much of the Cumberland Gap area until this trip.

Thanks again,
Betsy