A Travellerspoint blog

Berea, KY May 25

Berea, KY

Arrived yesterday without fanfare. We took local roads in lieu of the interstate. It was a very scenic drive, all 40 miles.

The ladies checked out the arts and crafts exposition and visitors center while Ray and I travelled 10 miles up the interstate to the next exit. The reason for this was a key to our survival. Berea is a dry city and we were out of beer. Got our beer and headed back to pick up the ladies and tour the city of Berea.

The town was built around the college that is located here. The Berea College was established in 1855. It is a liberal arts school that is quite unique. The college students are students that cannot afford to go to college. However, at Berea all the students work for their tuition etc and end up with a degree.

The old town section is devoted to various arts and craft shops. We then visited the College Square area and located Boone Tavern on the Square. The Boone Tavern was built in 1909 and is of course on the Historical Register.

Below is a photo of the tavern.
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We may visit the tavern later in the weekend for lunch.

Around the corner from the Boone Tavern was an excellent Italian restaurant, where we had dinner. See photo below.

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Friday was a day of rest and of doing more laundry. Tomorrow we may venture out and do some hiking.

Posted by popding 14:59 Comments (1)

Levi Jackson State Park, London, KY

Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park

It was a long, tiring trip, 57 miles up the road from Cumberland Gap. It would have taken Daniel Boone several days for this trip. The road we took basically followed the Daniel Boone Trace and the somewhat parallel Wilderness Road.

Weather continues to be just fantastic, high in the mid 70’s and low in the mid 50’s. The predictions are that it will warm up in the next couple of days.

Got set up at the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park in London, KY. Nice campground, large sites and even a pool!

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After setting up it was time to catch up on laundry (the campground has washers and dryers) while others tried to stay busy.

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Both the original trace of Daniel Boone and Wilderness Road cross through the campground. We may walk some of the trace tomorrow.

We will keep a sentry posted tonight to watch for Indians. On October 3, 1786 one of the worst Indian massacres took place in the area of what is now the park. The McNitt party massacre resulted in the deaths of twenty-four people. Can’t be too careful.

Happy to report there were no Indian attacks last night. I think it is due to Ray’s ability to adapt to nature so well.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007 was spent relaxing some more. We did however go to the McHargue Grist mill. It is a replica of a typical mill used in these areas. You had to have something to trade in order to obtain goods you did not have. The choices were grain, corn meal, furs or moonshine. Those living up in the mountains choose to trade moonshine since it was easier to carry a jug of moonshine down the mountain rather than several bushels of corn.

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While walking the campground I came across this sign. The sites all have a paved pad for parking your rig, but we got a little confused by this sign.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Our self proclaimed site transportation and safety director, Ray, declared today a recreational day. There is a miniature golf course at the campground and we challenged the ladies. Of course we let the ladies win.

Tomorrow we travel to Berea, KY and we will spend the Memorial weekend there.

The weather has turned hot. In the upper 80's and cooling down into the 60's. I think our really nice cool weather is gone.

Posted by popding 14:13 Comments (0)

Cumberland Gap

Finally got back to civilization and access to the internet. Currently in Berea, KY and will be here through Memorial Day. So here is a catch up on our travels since Pigeon Forge.

Cumberland Gap National Park

We arrived without incident on Tuesday the 15th of May. We plan to stay until Monday the 21st of May and then move on to Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park. The Wilderness Road is the historic route that Daniel Boone and some 250,000 to 300,000 others traveled on their trek through the Appalachians via the Cumberland Gap. The Gap was the only way through the Appalachian mountain range for several hundred miles to the north and to the south.

Met up with Ray and Linda Blush. You can see who came in last. My rig is in front and that’s Ray in the window upon arrival

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The campground is really nice. Lots of trees, not many people and very quiet. We have electrical hook ups and full tanks of water since there is no water at the campsites.

We are just exhausted from just sitting around enjoying the peacefulness.

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Ray’s is on the right ours is on the left.

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As you can see we have plenty of trees and shade.

The weather has been in the upper 70’s and down into the 50’s at night. Wednesday morning we had a little rain and it was cool all day and some sprinkles. Tonight a cool front is coming through and it should go down into the lower 40’s. Visited the visitor’s center to learn more about Cumberland Gap and it’s importance to the westward expansion and of course it’s most colorful character, Daniel Boone, who crossed here a couple of times. He crossed once in 1769 and then again in 1775 with his family.

Thursday was supposed to be another day of rest. We were expecting rain, wind and possibly hail. Actually it turned out to be a beautiful day. Temperatures were in upper 60’s. We decided to drive to the Tri-State Peak. We got as close as the parking lot driving then hiked 2 miles up and up and up to the Tri-State Peak, where the Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia borders intersect.

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I couldn’t resist, I had to touch the actual boundary intersection.

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After recovering from our hike down we then drove to the Pinnacle Overlook. Here we could look straight out to the Tri-State Peak and look down into the Gap and the Saddle of the Gap

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Plans are to go to one of the first settlements, Hensley Settlement, on Saturday and go cave exploring on Friday into Gap Cave. These are all Ranger led activities.

I tried to get Ray to walk to Hensley Settlement. It is only an 11-mile hike from our campsites. He wanted to have the Ranger drive us. So I deferred to my elders.

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Kathy and I decided to hike it for a short distance. You could smell the sweet smell of Honeysuckle.

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Friday’s hike to Gap Cave was a shorter and easier hike then the hike to the Tri-State Peak, only ½ mile up and up to the cave entrance. We walked the same trail that Daniel Boone once traveled. Soldiers from the Civil War explored this cave. You felt like you were walking through history. There are no lights in the cave so each one of us was issued a flashlight by the Park Ranger. This is a Ranger conducted tour and the tour size is limited to 15 people. There were 14 in our group. We had made reservations for the tour on Wednesday. Once at the cave we entered through a narrow opening.

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You had to crouch down and watch your head. This was typical of most of our 2-hour excursion into the cave. There were 183 steps to encounter along the 1.5-mile walk through the cave and several places where you had to duck and watch so you did not hit your head. The cave temperature stays 53 degrees year round.

The cave is host to bats at various places through out our tour. The total darkness of the cave suits their lifestyle. Their internal clock is what wakes them to exit the cave at night and eat insects.Bat is the dark spot in the center of the photo.

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They were as curious as the humans, as can be seen below.

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All in all it was a fun day. Had lunch at a Webb’s Country Kitchen, a Mom and Pop restaurant, in Cumberland Gap TN. Great lunch and reasonably priced. Returned to camp and Ray started a fire, which we enjoyed for several hours. The wind increased and the temperature dropped. This should be our coldest night. Temperatures in the low 40’s are expected.

Last night we heard rifle shots around 9 pm, didn’t think anything of it until this AM. We heard there was a bear in the campground last night and that the Ranger had scared him off with the rifle using rubber bullets. The group now wants to be sure and take their showers while it is still daylight!

Saturday’s trip to Hensley Settlement involved more hiking. We met at the Ranger Station and they drove us in a 4-wheel drive van to the Settlement. It was only 17 miles but took one-hour. Then we walked the Settlement for 1- ½ hours while the Ranger explained the workings of the Settlement and some history about the families that lived there. Families back then were large. One family had 19 children. It was a 5 mile trek down the mountain for the settlers to get to town for mail and other provisions that they did not grow on top of the mountain.

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It was another gorgeous day, high around 70, no rain, clear skies. Tomorrow, Sunday, will be a day of rest. No activities are planned, except lounging around the camp and reading. Monday we move onto Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park. It’s about 55 miles up the road towards Berea, KY. We’ll stay there 3 nights.

But before we leave all of us give a hearty thanks to Chuck Wilcox at Lazydays for his suggestion to stay at Cumberland Gap National Park!

Posted by popding 13:34 Comments (1)

Last report from Pigeon Forge

May 14
I was able to upload photos to the site and put some in the May 10 and May 11 report. So go back and click on that report to check out the photos and name that creature.

We went to Gatlinburg yesterday. Haven't been there in 25 plus years. It sure has changed. Lots of traffic and tourist shops. However, the drive there was scenic as you can see in the photo.

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We did not make it up to New Found Gap, maybe next time.

The weather has been just great no smoke from any fires, no rain, highs about 80 and lows about mid 50's and no humidity.

Monday we went back to Dollywood to take in all the shows we didn't see the other day. Plus ride the flume. This was as close as we got to the flume, didn't have a change of clothes and people were getting very wet.

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We will be leaving tomorrow to join Ray and Linda Blush in Cumberland Gap National Park. Not sure how long we will be there possibly 7 to 10 days. I don't think there willl be any access to the internet so the updates will be delayed until we hit civilization again.

Bye, Bye Dollywood

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Tomorrows trip is only about 90 miles up the road.

Posted by popding 18:53 Comments (0)

May 12

Visited Dollywood today and had a stomping good time. Good gospel singers and some other good shows. We'll return Monday to ride the flume.

Found out that NASCAR stands for Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks.

For dinner we went to the Dixie Stampede. Great show but the meal was served without any utensils it was all finger food, whole roasted chicken, pork, potatoes, corn on the cob and a vegetable soup. It was a little messy.

Also found out why all these people in Tennessee have TGIF written across their shoes. Toes Go In First!

Tomorrow we plan on going into Gatlinburg and maybe up to New Found Gap.

Happy Mothers Day!!!!

Posted by popding 17:14 Comments (1)

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