Last Thursday night after I got back from Atlanta (let’s not talk about the baseball game) I determined that the weather was too bleeping nice not to go camping, so I went camping. Alone.
I drove up to Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, where Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia meet and where early settlers found an easy way through the mountains and into the bluegrass. I go there late, but being a Thursday night the campground was nowhere near full. I set up my tent, took some night sky photos, and then went to sleep in Virginia. There’s just something about camping, about sleeping in a tent in the woods that makes me happy. I can’t pin it down exactly. I’ll just have to camp more and figure it out.
Forgive me if this post is brief. The further I get away from the trip, the less inclined I am to write about it.
Friday morning I drove up to Pinnacle Overlook, which is barely in Virginia, to look down on the gap. The view is panoramic and pretty. The gap sits in a saddle in the line of mountains, the land rolling off to the sides as far as you can see. Two Tennessee towns are visible: Cumberland Gap and Harrogate. To the north you can see Middlesboro, Kentucky. It’s a good view, and very accessible. In a week or so it will be stunning as the leaves change.
After that, I drove back down to the Thomas Walker parking lot and hiked to Tri-State Peak so I could be in three states at once. Mission accomplished. The hike is short and easy, a little more than 2 miles and not too steep at all. At the top there’s a little shelter, signs for each state, and a USGS benchmark. There I talked to a guy from Cumberland Gap who told me the valley to the north was a meteor crater. This was confirmed later by a ranger at the visitor center. No meteors ruined the perfect Fall weather while I was there, though. I’ll definitely be returning to Cumberland Gap at some point. You should check it out, too.