Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cumberland Gap, TN

Arriving a day before most of the other group, there was time to just drive around the area. On a winding road up to the coal mines I spotted this woodpecker.

I believe this is called a pileated woodpecker.

In Middlesboro, KY, the Chamber of Commerce is an old house which has been sided with real coal. Do you think it might be a fire hazard?

In the small town of Cumberland Gap, TN, there is a restaurant which has local music on Friday and Saturday evenings. Friday night had some old time pickers and fiddlers.

This sign sums up the history of the area. Called a road by the sign, I imagine this was more like what the pioneers found when they crossed the Cumberland Gap.

This tunnel was hand carved by Italian immigrants in 1897. The railroad tunnel is still in use today and runs almost 1/4 mile long.

Blackberries were abound and we found lots of ripe ones.

About 10 miles down the road was this house. The town was founded in the late 1790s. I know nothing more about the house, except I thought it was unusual.

Also in Tazewell was this old service station.

I did hike through Cumberland Gap, which was where over 300,000 pioneers followed Daniel Boone to the new west. Daniel Boone opened this trail in 1769, although Dr. Walker Thomas first found the trail in 1950. Until 1996 this was also the route of US Highway 25E, the only route across the Cumberland Mountains. In 1996 they opened the Cumberland Tunnel, a mile long tunnel through the mountains. In 2001 they removed all the asphalt from the old highway and recontoured the land as you see it above. It was hard to imagine only 15 years ago there was a 2 lane highway where I was standing.

Near the gap is this Tri-State Marker. I was standing in the corner of three states, KY, TN and VA.

The clouds over the gap.

A view of the gap from about 1 mile away.


Diana said...

Love the pictures. Doesn't that camera work great when you have to zoom? I'll bet you were pretty far away from the woodpecker.

Barbara and Ron said...

Watch out for that train!