Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cumberland Gap National Park

We wanted to visit Cumberland Gap but were disappointed to learn the campground was under construction and not open yet.  There were no other nearby options for camping, so we called the local Walmart to make sure we would be able to overnight there.  Despite the posted signs saying no overnight parking, the manager was great and had no problem with us parking there.  We were able to drop the rig in the parking lot at the visitor center in Cumberland Gap and do our exploring, then go fuel up and eat before coming back to retrieve the rig and head back to Walmart.  So glad we were able to do that because the parking lot at this Walmart was one happening place, so it was great to be able to arrive late when things had cleared out a bit.

This is where we were at the Pinnacle Overlook, where the three states come together.
Both sides in the Civil War were prepared to fight here, but it never happened.
Not much to see today at Pinnacle Point!
Alyssa standing in two states, Virginia is state #25 for us.
The Gap is a very historical place as it was the lowest spot to cross the Appalachian Mountains.  We drove up to the Pinnacle Overlook where you can see Virginia, Tennesse, and Kentucky, but unfortunately, the view was mostly clouded over.  We did hike the Object Lesson Road Trail right to the saddle of the Gap.  We would have loved to hike the rest of the way to Tri-State Peak, but there was mild thunder rumbling and a few flashes of lightning, so we thought better of it and headed back.

This spot is the actual Cumberland gap.
Monument to the Daniel Boone trail.
This is the storm that nearly missed us.
The kids enjoyed hanging out at the visitor center while we waited for the weather to clear for better viewing; it never did.  They loved the pioneer dress-up area though!  We loved that the rangers at the visitor center gave us the kids' Junior Ranger books and badges to do our own ceremony upon completion.  Although it made it easy for at least one child to put off completing it, it was great to not have to worry about making it back to the visitor center before closing with completed books.  And yes, we did make them complete their books. ;)

The kid is quite a ham.
We stopped at this roadside overlook in Tennessee.  The view was incredible.

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