Eastern Utah
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cumberland Gap to Western Kentucky

Leaving the Smokies I saw this beam of sunlight and wasn't sure if I could get a picture of it, but I did.
The following are some random shots from the walk up to the Pinnacles at Cumberland Gap.


I took a picture of my tent site at Cumberland.  It started out to be a comfortable night until the rain began.  For several hours it just sprinkled, but it came down in earnest at about 5 am.  I put everything away wet, and am drying out a few things at the motel I'm staying in tonight.

Cumberland Gap is a very beautiful park although the way it is situated makes it difficult to get back and forth to the campground.  Well, not exactly difficult, but ... not easy either.  

The old road through the Gap was known locally as Massacre Hill because of the high accident and mortality rate there.  The Park service demolished the old road and have made the actual gap more like it would have been when the settlers were coming through.  A tunnel and new road up to the Visitors Center separates the campground from the rest of the park, and the only way you can see the original Gap is to hike a trail that goes around the saddle of the gap.  In fact seeing anything seems to require a hike!

A word about the bison that once roamed in the southeast, I was told by the ranger that the bison were plentiful, although they usually lived in solitude rather than in herds as do the Plains buffalo.  Eventually the settlers killed all of them in the eastern U.S., and the only remaining few are in one of Canada's provincial parks.  The ranger didn't know which province nor which park, but maybe a reader from Canada could give us some better info. 

Today I stopped at Perryville Civil War Battlefield and took a look around.  I was here with the kids about 35-40 years ago and it was just the battlefield and the monument; complete silence and the beautiful rolling fields that once saw battle and carnage.  Now it is fixed up with signs and roads and interpretive programs, and even a visitors Center!  It's not the same for me.  That was the first time I ever stood in the silence and listened and heard the battle all around me.  (A few posts ago I think I was complaining about what has been done to Gettysburg.  Sorry, but I prefer the original uncomplicated version.

Tomorrow I will be in Paducah with my aunt and uncle, and may or may not post while I'm there.  I will no doubt see first cousins that I haven't seen in ages, and meet 1st cousins once removed (their kids).  I'm looking forward to it.



  1. When we were young, there were a fair number of buffalo/bison on farms/ranches in Wisconsin. We think that they exist in other states as well -- probably most of those states are in the west. We're fairly sure that buffalo/bison are not on the endangered species list.

    Craig & Merikay

  2. gorgeous pictures, Gypsy... especially love the sunbeam!

  3. It will be wonderful, I am sure, to reunite with relatives. As always, love the pictures and that sunbeam is special.

  4. Your getting mighty professional with that camera Gypsy. Nice that you caught that beam of sunlight. Sounds like your trip is going pretty swell. Don't know if I would have the fortitude to sleep in a tent anymore though. Your doing great, keep it up:))

  5. I believe that the herd in and around Wood Buffalo National Park in Northern Alberta is the last free-ranging herd on the continent. They roam both inside the park and across sections of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan as well as the southern Northwest Territories.

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