Kentucky

15 September 2015

Not all highpoints offer stunning views in government-protected parks. Despite much of the beauty Kentucky had to offer, the highpoint contributed little. As many bumper stickers and highway advertisements toted, “coal is a way of life” in eastern Kentucky. Black Mountain, so aptly titled, was owned by a coal-mining company. A radio tower resided beside the monument labelling the highest point. It was a nice plaque, perhaps too nice for a normal mountain. But for this one, just nice enough.

 

Cody and I spent most of our day on the road, windshield wipers dispelling rain as we trucked through Kentucky. We saw much of the Appalachians, and the drive was a nice break after the three summits the previous day. As we approached the highpoint, we ascended the shoulder of Black Mountain and came to park on a narrow patch of gravel between the welcome signs of Kentucky and Virginia. There was cardinal painted on the Virginia sign that was peppered in bullet holes. A cliff was to our rear. A narrow dirt road lied ahead of us. The path led up and along the shoulder to what we assumed was the peak. After a good deal of time scrambling about in the rain, we eventually stumbled upon the radio tower. The rain shrouded whatever view was visible through the trees. We were chilled and tired, but we found the plaque. Between the accomplishment and the history, the trip was worthwhile.

 

Black Mountain. 4139 ft / 1262 m. 2 March 2014.

 

Kentucky