One Tank Trips: Cumberland Gap

For this week's "One Tank Trip," we take you to the Cumberland Gap .

It's where Abraham Lincoln's grandfather was one of the first pioneers to cross through Appalachia in the late-1700s.

It's described as an incredible mosaic of resources, where you can learn about Kentucky history and witness nature's ever-changing story.

"Whenever I describe the atmosphere of the park, I always say it's excitement galore here. We have Gap Cave which we really call an underground cathedral, with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites and on many of the tours we are nose to nose with bats," explained Park Ranger Carol Borneman.

The best road west for drivers, is now the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, a sight to see in it's own right. By developing the new road, the 50-year-old 25-E was torn out, restoring the gap so hikers can experience the pioneers' passageway.

"As you stand in that historic passage way you can feel for yourself the hopes, the dreams and the fears that these early pioneers had as they journeyed," Borneman said.

Among the pioneers in the late 1700s was President Abraham Lincoln's
grandfather, and it's just across the border in Tennessee where the Lincoln Memorial University was established, along with a museum.

"Students would come by here to rub that nose for good luck. They'd have to just in case, especially when a test came up," said Thomas Mackie, LMU Library and Museum Director.

The LMU Museum is much more than a place to pick up a little luck. You can find rare pictures of President Lincoln, along with some of his historic belongings, including the cane he was carrying at Ford's Theater when he was shot and killed. You also can't ignore the echo of his remarkable speeches, especially the Gettysburg Address.

"The words themselves are used as an art form, used as an
inspiration. World War I liberty bonds were sold using words and the
image of President Lincoln," Mackie explained.

And on your way back across the state line, the visitor's center is a great stop to stretch and let the kids burn off any energy they might have left.

For Cumberland Gap Visitor's Center information, click here.


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