Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Break Adventure: Day Two

Day two of our Spring Break Adventure started with a chilly morning on Pine Mountain and ended with us warm in our beds at home.

Pretty nice view for breakfast at Pine Mountain Lodge.  Pancakes and biscuits and gravy...yum!

This little guy joined us for breakfast.  Squirrel!

The next stop on our trip:  Kingdom Come State Park.

We didn't see any bears.  :-(

Log Rock

Climbing around on Log Rock

A beautiful view from the Little Shepherd Trail, a windy road that runs along the top of Pine Mountain.  The road is named after the book The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, by John Fox, which is set in this area. (Fox's more well-known book, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, was also set along the Kentucky/Virginia border.)

View from the Twelve O'Clock Overlook on the Little Shepherd Trail

A family photo in Kingdom Come

Entering Virginia

Breaks Interstate Park is a park maintained by Kentucky and Virginia.  It is known as "The Grand Canyon of the South".

When we lowered the passenger window to take a picture of the park sign, the mechanism broke, and the glass fell down into the door.  This kind park employee found us some duct tape to help us make it home.

The girls thought this hand dryer was awesome.

Ready to head down the Tower Tunnel Trail

Always finding something to climb on along the trails

A hollow tree makes a great photo opportunity.  Of course, everyone has to try...



Tower Tunnel Overlook

It's hard to see in the shadows, but there is a train tunnel coming out of the mountain in the middle of this photo.

Clinchfield Overlook - the dark line running parallel to the river is the Clinchfield Railroad Line that disappears into another tunnel at the top right of the photo.

A.J. learns about the dangers of hiking a ridge



A panoramic view from the Stateline Overlook with views of Kentucky and Virginia

The large mountain running along the left is Pine Mountain, which runs a continuous ridge of 125 miles to the southwest.  This long ridge is a major reason why the mountain region of Eastern Kentucky was so remote and cut off from the rest of the world - 125 miles between gaps.

Highway 80 snakes around along the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River

A.J. finds a fallen tree to climb on the Laurel Cove Trail

Sisters take a juice and cracker break on a park playground

The Towers Overlook was the coolest view for our money at the Breaks.


Dad and Essie take one last look before heading home

It was a really fun two days.  We were concerned that the weather would be bad, and it started out kind of rough with cloudy skies on Monday, but the sun came out eventually, and made for really pleasant hiking.  It would've been nice if the weather had been better for a couple weeks like it usually is so that the trees would have been blooming and things would not have been so dead, but the late Spring meant we were usually the only people around at all of these beautiful sites.

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