Cumberland Gap

I promised that I would “Post” about our trip to Cumberland Gap in Tennessee over the Memorial Day Weekend, so even though it’s a month later, and almost the “Fourth of July”, here it is.

The first stop was at the Busy Bee Restaurant in Marietta Ohio for a really great breakfast. The restaurant has been a landmark for years, but recently it was taken over by a young couple, and has been remodeled into a really fine family restaurant. The food is great, the atmosphere friendly, and the prices reasonable.

We left the Busy Bee before 9:00 AM and crossed the Ohio River into West Virginia. The weather was great and traffic was light, so by early afternoon we were in eastern Tennessee. We needed a break to stretch our legs, so we decided to visit the Cherokee National Forest.

It didn’t take long to realize that our time would be way too short, and that this would be the destination for another trip in the future. Check out some of the images we took just in the one or two hours we were able to spend here.

Cabin in the Woods
Rocky Gorge
Checking out the world from a different perspective
Display at Visitors Center
Display at Visitors Center
Display at Visitors Center

Cumberland Gap Awaits

We got back “On The Road Again” (that would make a great title for a song) and arrived in Cumberland Gap in the early afternoon. We checked in at the “Olde Mill Inn B&B” where we had a reservation, and got settled in. If you are ever traveling in this area, you should consider giving this B & B a try.

Tfhe Dining Room
The Olde Mill B & B

This is a very special, historic late 1800s home with a working grist mill – one of the last left in Tennessee… “The Olde Mill Inn” is a lovely, first-class bed and breakfast snuggled in East Tennessee’s beautiful Cumberland Mountains – next to a soothing creek fed from a spring inside a mountain cave. The creek flows year-round and has large trout that you can feed! The building is the oldest standing structure in Cumberland Gap; part of it is a log cabin originally built in the 1700s.

It was late afternoon by now but still too soon for dinner, so Judy and I went exploring,

This is a walking trail that is built on top of an old railroad bridge that crosses a walking trail.

I tried to get Judy to take pictures of the inside, but she said something about spiders, and snakes.

This is an old Iron Smelting Oven. Each day 625 bushels of charcoal (approximately 52 trees), 6 1/4 tons of iron ore, and 1,563 pounds of limestone were used to produce approximately 3 tons of iron. That seems a bit labor intensive.

This is Judy waiting for me to catch up.

Hey look at this!!! I’ll bet that this tunnel goes all of the way to Kentucky.

I wonder if I could walk through to Kentucky? There is no light at the end of the tunnel—–???

Then there was this little voice saying “If you don’t go in there, I’ll buy you a beer.” It was Judy. I learned early in our marriage, never argue with Judy. Especially if she is buying beer.

So we went to “Angelos”, a local Italian restaurant, for dinner, which I heartily recommend. We both had a skewer of shrimp over pasta which was great!

Judy bought me the beer (After I came out of the tunnel.)

I read somewhere that Cumberland Gap could have been the subject of “Norman Rockwell Painting” and that is a perfect description for it.

The next morning we got up before the kitchen was open at the “Olde Mill Inn” so we decided to tour the town of Cumberland Gap. We hadn’t gone more than a block when we ran across one of the local residents. We struck up a conversation with him, and asked where we could get a cup of coffee. He asked if we were staying at the Olde Mill Inn, and when we told him we where he took us back to the Inn. He went into the kitchen and made us a pot of coffee, then went on his way. Later we found that he had nothing to do with the Inn, he was just being friendly.

We went on with our tour of the town

This is a great antique/art gallery. Judy bought a hand-carved ornament for our Christmas tree.

Cumberland Gap has a long going back beyond the town.

I believe that this is “City Hall”. If you look behind the mayors car you’ll see the town’s “Local Taxi”.

Display at Local Walmart

There’s more but it’s almost 9:00AM and breakfast is being served at the Olde Mill.


And Back to the “Wilderness Trail”

This is the creek that ran the Mill and probably the Iron Smelter down in Cumberland Gap, back in the day

There’s no bikes on this trail, but there are plenty more places to ride in and around the town.

Sometimes we don’t realize how far back civilization goes in our country. Think about the Anastasi Indians and the Mound Builders. They were come and gone long before the Woodland Indians even settled here.

This is a close-up of that trail marker.

You can’t read it, but maybe it will give you a reason to come to Cumberland Gap and check it out in person.

This is the bridge over the walking trail shown earlier.

This is me checking out the trail starting to go uphill.

What can I tell you – – – -They’re “Rocks”

This is me calling the “Local Taxi” for a lift back to our car.

So this is a fond farewell to Cumberland Gap and the Mountains of Tennessee. I hope that you have gained some insight into what we have here in the United States, and will take time to explore it. Until next time,

Published by The Late Emerging Artist

Although I have been pursuing my art in one form or another all of my life, it is still an adventure, and one that I have never tired of.

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