Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky’

Cumberland Falls

March 28, 2017

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

Betsy and I made a trip to Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky to celebrate my birthday this year.  We’ve been there before, and Cumberland Falls is sometimes referred to as the ‘Niagara of the South’, so we were looking forward to our visit.  A nice bonus was that there was to be a full moon on the night of my birthday, so we hoped we could see a moonbow.  Cumberland Falls is the only place in the western hemisphere where a moonbow can be seen.

We got to the park in the afternoon, and found that there was plenty of water in the river flowing over the falls and throwing up a mist, as you can see in the picture above.  The only problem was that to get a photo of that mist, we had to shoot into the sun.


We also found that the overlook nearest the falls was closed for repairs, so we had to walk downstream to get a picture of the falls.  Even though we were further away, we still had a nice view of the falls.


It was hazy when we returned to the falls after dark, and a ranger said we probably wouldn’t be able to see anything of a moonbow.  But since it was a nice night, we walked to the falls anyway.  The falls looked nice in the moonlight, so I did some experimenting with night-time time-exposure photography.

Although we didn’t see any signs of the moonbow, I took some long-exposure photos of where we thought the moonbow should be.  I couldn’t see anything in the camera, but when I uploaded the photos to my computer, I was delighted to see a moonbow as pretty as can be.
All in all I had a great birthday!

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The Golden Hour

December 19, 2013
Sunset in the mountains near Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.  October 23, 2013.

Sunset in the mountains near Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. October 23, 2013.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

I’ve read about the golden hour in photography.  The golden hour is the first and last hour of sunlight each day.  When we were with our friends Patti and Neal at the end of October, we spent much of one day enjoying the autumn colors and hiking in Kentucky.  Late in the day we drove through Betsy’s home town in Big Stone Gap, Virginia before heading back to the lodge in Kentucky.

The day had been dreary and overcast, but as the sun was going down, we saw a bright orange-pink sky in the west below the clouds.  Since Patti and Neal are as much into photography as Betsy and me, we of course had to stop for pictures.

Evening light in Virginia.  October 23, 2013.

Evening light in Virginia. October 23, 2013.

Looking back to the east, the glow on the hills and the buildings were a perfect example of what the golden hour means.

A fiery mountain sunset.  October 23, 2013.

A fiery mountain sunset. October 23, 2013.

But as beautiful as that was, our eyes kept going back to the bright light between the mountains and the clouds to the west.  What a gorgeous ending to a wonderful day.

Our World: Bad Branch Falls

November 4, 2013
Bad Branch Falls, Jefferson National Forest, Kentucky.  October 23, 2013.

Bad Branch Falls, Jefferson National Forest, Kentucky. October 23, 2013.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

Betsy and I met up with our blog friends Patti and Neal at Pine Mountain Resort State Park in Kentucky last month to enjoy the autumn color and do some hiking.  Patti and Neal like to hike as much as Betsy and I do, so Patti researched waterfalls in the area and found Bad Branch Falls.

Betsy at the trailhead to Bad Branch Falls.  October 23, 2013.

Betsy at the trailhead to Bad Branch Falls. October 23, 2013.

We drove to the trailhead after visiting Kingdom Come State Park.  The day was overcast and dreary, but that didn’t keep us from starting off up the trail.

Bad Branch Falls, Jefferson National Forest, Kentucky.  October 23, 2013.

Bad Branch Falls, Jefferson National Forest, Kentucky. October 23, 2013.

We eventually decided that the mile mentioned at the trailhead was measured by a crow in flight.  But we kept at it and were finally rewarded with our first glimpse of Bad Branch Falls.  There wasn’t a great deal of water going over the falls, but it was still pretty.

Patti and Neal at the base of Bad Branch Falls.  October 23, 2013.

Patti and Neal at the base of Bad Branch Falls. October 23, 2013.

I got this picture of Patti and Neal at the base of Bad Branch Falls before we started back.

Down Memory Lane: Mammoth Cave

September 13, 2013

2001 -- Mammoth Cave

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In late April, 2001, Betsy and I spent the day at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.  I had been there many years before, but it was a special treat to go back with My Beautiful-Bride-To-Be.

We took the Historical Tour of the cave, and later walked through some of the woodland in the park.  We took a cruise on the Green River later in the day.

In the collage above, my Beautiful Betsy is on the upper left, and the Grand Avenue in Mammoth Cave is on the right.  At the bottom, from left to right, is the site of saltpeter mining in the cave, the stairway in Mammoth Dome, and a cable ferry across the Green River.

To see larger versions of these pictures and others, click HERE.

Our World: Natural Bridge at Yahoo Falls

January 24, 2012

The natural bridge at Yahoo Falls, Boone National Forest, Kentucky. September 30, 2006.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.
This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

Betsy and I plan most of our hikes to visit waterfalls, but we occasionally find a bonus attraction.  This was the case in September, 2006, when we hiked to Yahoo Falls in Kentucky.  We were hiking a loop trail, and after seeing the falls we came to a junction with a trail leading to a natural bridge.

It was a pretty day, so we hiked the extra mile to see the natural bridge.  It was low, but it definitely was a bridge.  It was also fairly wide.

Under the natural bridge at Yahoo Falls. September 30, 2006.

I scrambled under the bridge and got this picture of of the underside.  I had to use a flash to get any thing at all.

Looking through the natural bridge at Yahoo Falls, Kentucky. September 30, 2006.

I went through the smaller (upper) opening and then shot through the bridge to get this picture.  You can see the trail leading to the bridge.  This was a nice bonus to our waterfall visit.

The Women In My Life

October 13, 2011

Betsy and Kelly at Dale Hollow State Park, Kentucky. August 25, 2007.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

I was going through some old pictures recently and came upon this picture of Betsy and my daughter Kelly.  It was taken back in August, 2007, at Dale Hollow State Park in Kentucky.  Kelly and her husband, Chuck, were getting ready to move to Buffalo, so we met them at the Dale Hollow Lodge for a dinner and some time together.

All I wanted was a picture of these two women together.  I thought it was a simple request and could be easily done.  Obviously, I was wrong.

I just can’t take these two any where!

My World: Hensley Settlement

September 28, 2010

Sign at the entrance to Hensley Settlement on Brush Mountain, Cumberland Gap Historical National Park. September 23, 2010.

This is my post for the My World meme.  It is hosted by Klaus, Ivar, Sandy, Wren, and Fishing Guy.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

Last week Betsy and I went to Kentucky to visit some places we’ve long talked about.  On Thursday we went to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in the mountains where Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee come together.

The first thing we did was take a tour of Hensley Settlement, a community that existed from 1903 – 1951 atop Brush Mountain.  We were driven to the settlement in a Park Service van along some ‘interesting’ mountain roads.  Once we got to the settlement, we had a walking tour through the community and into some of the buildings.

Our guide through Hensley Settlement, Ronny Oplinger, the grandson of one of the founders of the settlement. September 23, 2010.

The guide on the day we were there was the grandson of one of the founders of the community.  It was definitely interesting to hear his family stories as we walked through the community.

The Lige Gibbons Farm, Hensley Settlement. September 23, 2010.

The Lige Gibbons Farm is one of the preserved homesteads on the mountain.  This farm is in a pretty little hollow on the mountain top.

Ruins of the Willie Gibbons House, Hensley Settlement. September 23, 2010.

Unfortunately, preserved doesn’t always mean protected.  This is the ruins of the Willie Gibbons house.  It was built in 1904 and was the most unique cabin on the mountaintop.  It was larger than most and had a double fireplace.  Sadly, it was destroyed by fire in 2000 and there are no longer any American Chestnut logs big enough to rebuild it as it was.

There are many more things to see in Hensley Settlement and I will post more after I get through some of the pictures we took.  The map above of our visit to Hensley Settlement was created on Google Earth using data from our geotagger.  The yellow line is our track, and I’ve noted some of the main features of the settlement.  If you ever get the chance to visit this site, I urge you to do so.  I think you will enjoy it.

Scenic Sunday #115: We Had to Settle for a Rainbow

September 26, 2010

Rainbow at Cumberland Falls State Park, Kentucky. September 25, 2010.

This is my post for the Scenic Sunday meme, which shares beautiful scenes from around the world.  To see more Scenic Sunday posts, or to join and show your own pictures, click HERE.

Betsy and I spent a couple of days in Kentucky enjoying the beautiful scenery and doing some hiking.  We first went to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia come together in the mountains.  We visited a historic community, enjoyed the view from the Pinnacle, and hiked along the Wilderness Road.

The reason we went to Kentucky when we did was we wanted to see the moonbow at Cumberland Falls State Park.  Cumberland Falls is one of two places in the world with a predictable moonbow.  A moonbow is a rainbow produced by the light of a full moon hitting mist rising from the base of the falls.  In order to get a moonbow, the moon has to be full and the sky clear.

As luck would have it, we were at Cumberland Falls on Friday night — a night with cloudy skies and a few sprinkles.  There was no moonbow that night, but we will probably go back in the future to try again.

Even though we did miss out on the moonbow, we did see this pretty rainbow when we visited the falls the next morning.  That was impressive enough to make up for the lack of a moonbow.

Autumn Colors From Long Ago

September 17, 2009
Barren River State Park, Kentucky.  October 7, 2001.

Barren River State Park, Kentucky. October 7, 2001.

Actually it wasn’t all that long ago.

We had another  rainy day here on the Plateau, so I got to do more work on some of my older pictures.

Both Betsy and I moved to Tennessee in December, 2000.  Prior to that move I had lived in the Midwest and the Carolinas, while Betsy lived mostly in the South and Texas.  As a result, she didn’t get to enjoy the seasons nearly as much as I did.

The autumn of 2001 was the first chance Betsy had to enjoy autumn colors.  We heard about a nice hiking trail in Ashland, Tennessee, and went up there one Saturday to enjoy the colors.  Betsy had a thing about red leaves and she found several, which made the hike even more enjoyable.

One Sunday we took my parents up to Barren River State Park in Kentucky and also enjoyed the color up there.

The photos I found of these two expeditions aren’t great works of art, but I must admit that it was fun to go back and see what we looked like as newly weds.  If you would like to see more of our searches for autumn color click HERE.