Monday, April 25, 2016

Cumberland Gap

Our journey continued, finally, to one of the places that I had planned this trip around. Being a reader of historical novels and westward expansion, it was imperative to go to Cumberland Gap. The original westward expansion, beyond the seemingly impenetrable Appalachian Mountains, was funneled through this location. Famous people, maybe most notably Daniel Boone, made it a life's effort to conquer the hardships of this trek and make settlements in Kentucky. In reality now there isn't much to see. For me this is one of those places that it is just about being there, seeing the terrain, imagining the hardships, being in awe of the courage and perseverance of those people. This stop is more about the imagination, the appreciation, than seeing a building or natural wonder.

We drove up 25E off of I-81 in Tennessee. This twisting drive through both Tennessee and Kentucky is very pretty. As you approach from the south, you can clearly see "the gap" a couple of times from a long way off. It is very noticeable and very pronounced from the Tennessee side, but unfortunately we only got quick glimpses so no pictures. Right at the border of the two states, the Cumberland Gap Tunnel takes you under the gap. In less than a mile after getting out of the tunnel in Kentucky, you exit to the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. From this side of the gap it isn't so pronounced. 

Info sign

The lower spot straight
above the road is the gap
from the KY side. 

No comments:

Post a Comment