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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,