Took a ride to see Portal 31 in Lynch Kentucky

It was a beautiful day, Nat was travelin, we had a neighbor to watch the hound. Hm. Mow the lawn or ride?

Well along the ride (yeah, I chose to ride) I stopped over at this improvised overlook. My cell phone camera just can’t do this justice so I took a lot of shots.

View along 160 1


View along 160 2

View along 160 10

The road I came up;

View along 160 8

and the road I’m going up;

View along 160 9

So off I went. Shortly after I left this spot I crossed into Kentucky. A sign at the border informed me that I was on Black Mountain at the highest point in Kentucky. The road I was on was 160 and not a lot of straight or level on it. Just my style. Not too much farther in was my goal.

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 1

Lots of history to this place. It was begun around 1912 on a government request to supply good quality coal for ammunition for World War I. They built an entire town around a coal mine and with a guaranteed market for the coal no expense was spared. Everything about it was state of the art.

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 2

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 5

Nowadays (but not today) they offer mine tours where you get to ride these cars. I shot this through the fence across the entrance.

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 6

This cute little machine was for grinding coal out of the mine.

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 11

Portal 31 Lynch Kentucky 12

I rode a little farther out looking for a good sized road. I found another town but didn’t note the name. They had a Hardees so I grabbed a nice lunch. While I was eating I could see a LOT of smoke rising off a hillside. After lunch I rode a little closer but not close enough to see what was going on.

My next notable stopover was the Cumberland Gap park and overlook.

Cumberland Gap Overlook 4

Cumberland Gap Overlook 6

Cumberland Gap Overlook 11

Cumberland Gap Overlook 12

Cumberland Gap Overlook 13

Cumberland Gap Overlook 19

With a vantage point like this it should be no surprise that this was a stronghold during the civil war. For both sides. Alternately. I my riding boots and temps in mid 70’s I wasn’t up to hiking around enough to see all those sights. I did get up to a cannon placement but took the wrong path to get closer to the cannon that was there. The real big gun was finally left in a cave down below. I don’t think the one there was it.

Cumberland Gap Overlook 26

Down below at the main overlook you can see Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In Kentucky the town of Middlesburg is built in an ancient meteor crater. It’s possible to make out the shape of the crater if you concentrate.