Loose Nut Dual Sport Ride 2019 – Eastern KY – Nov 2nd & 3rd, 2019

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by Loose Nut, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Loose Nut

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    should still be plenty of camping spots at the Creekside RV park........just call teh KOA and Holly will get you taken care of.

    LN
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  2. Loose Nut

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    As we roll well into October of 2019, it becomes time for me to start putting together a little history and random facts of the area that the Loose Nut tracks will be passing through. This has been a very interesting project. This part of Kentucky remained a wild frontier through much of the early development of the United States. This was a hard rugged area that was not welcoming to many of the early settlers. There were better options for settlers who were looking for a homestead. But Daniel Boone loved this area – He was a Man of the Wilderness. Following will be some of the historical facts, trivia and interesting stories I gleaned from the area and internet to give you a little better understanding of the ride. I hope you enjoy the Daniel Boone Nation Forest as much as I do. Following is just a few of the reasons this area was named the Daniel Boone National Forest.



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  3. Loose Nut

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    America loves its heroes—and one of our earliest and most revered national icons is frontiersman and trailblazer Daniel Boone. For nearly two centuries, beginning during his own lifetime, Americans have enshrined Boone as a larger-than-life knight of the forests and our first and greatest conqueror of the wilderness. Boone has been the subject of countless books, paintings, plays and films. In the mid-1960s, after the success of his Davy Crockett miniseries, Walt Disney followed with a six-year run of Daniel Boone television episodes, the themes of which were mostly the product of his screenwriters’ imaginations. TV viewers came to equate “Dan’l” with the imperturbable persona of 6-foot, 6-inch actor Fess Parker. (The series’ own theme song touts Boone as “tall as a mountain,” when in fact, he barely stood a stocky 5 feet, 8 inches.)

    There is no disputing that Boone was indeed a remarkable man. But as a historical figure, he was a product of his time with his share of contradictions. He was a slave owner who treasured personal freedom. He cherished his family, yet left his wife to manage their home and children—once, for two years—while he went on his “long hunts.” He was an American Indian fighter when the situation called for it, and yet, by his own statement, he never hated Native Americans, despite losing two sons and a brother-in-law to them. He loved the wilderness but welcomed development if a profit stood to be made. Often the first to open new lands to a westerning nation, he failed to capitalize financially on his initiative. Although supremely woods-savvy, he fell victim to swindlers and crooked politicians, resulting in the loss of his land and the assumption of crippling debt. Ever anxious to succeed in business, he nonetheless failed as a surveyor, land speculator, trader and tavern keeper. And when he finally succumbed in his son Nathan’s house at the advanced age of 85, he died owning none of the millions of acres that he had opened to settlement.

    Nonetheless, Boone’s understanding and mastery of the wilderness were unparalleled. He introduced the western frontier to a new and restless generation, blazing trails and building settlements beyond the borders of white civilization. He was, in fact, a genuine legend in his own time, and his place in the pantheon of American superstars was well and fairly earned.
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    Daniel Boone was born in the fall of 1734—the exact date is in dispute—near Reading, in southern Pennsylvania’s Oley Valley, on the fringe of what was then America’s western frontier. He was born to Quakers—the sixth of Squire and Sarah Boone’s 11 children—and in all likelihood, he received his rudimentary education from his mother. When he was 15, Boone moved with his family to the forks of the Yadkin River, in what has been described as the “western back country” of North Carolina. For Daniel, it was to be the first of many moves that would take him ever deeper into the forested wilderness.

    Many of Boone’s words and recollections purportedly were related to young writer John Filson, who included them in his book, The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucke, as an appendix titled, “The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boone, Containing a Narrative of the Wars of Kentucke.” Filson, it should be mentioned, had invested in property in Kentucky, and he wrote the book in the hope of inducing bold Easterners to move there—and hopefully buy his land. The book made an instant hero of Boone, whose printed quotes might or might not reflect his actual words. According to contemporary sources, Filson faithfully adhered to the nature and spirit of his subject, if not his exact comments.

    At 21, Boone courted and wed Rebecca Bryan, the 17-year-old daughter of a well-to-do local landowner. With her black hair, dark eyes and tall, erect bearing, she was, according to one family member, “one of the handsomest persons” she had ever seen. By all reports, theirs was a love match.

    Daniel and Rebecca settled on a small farm on her father’s land in North Carolina, where they spent the first 10 years of marriage in an 18- by 22-foot log home that Boone built. It featured a huge fireplace, separate summer kitchen and, eventually, an oaken floor, elevating it from a log cabin to a log house. Boone provided for his wife, and later his family, through subsistence farming, stock-raising, blacksmithing and wagon-driving. But he relied primarily on his woods skills as a hunter and trapper for food and marketable skins. Hunts, however, would often take him, and others of his ilk, away for weeks, months and sometimes years at a time, leaving the wife as the family’s sole support.

    By all reports, Rebecca was a woman of uncommon strength at a time and in a place where such fortitude was all that stood between survival and utter ruin. When Daniel was off on a hunt, she was solely responsible for the family as well as the house, property and livestock. A woman’s lot along the frontier was a hard one. One Boone biographer describes it in detail: “There was, of course, the cooking and cleaning, spinning and weaving, and washing and sewing … water to be fetched each day from the spring … wood to be chopped, gardens to be tended, and cows to be milked. There were fields to be cultivated and crops to be harvested as well. Needing fresh meat for the stew pot, many was the time that Rebecca herself hunted for small game in the woods near the house.”

    The Boones’ first child arrived just nine months after their wedding, and three more would follow by the time Rebecca was 20. In all, during the first 25 years of their 56-year marriage, she would bear 10 children, as had her mother before her. Daniel’s own

    Because of the remoteness of the settlements, lawlessness was a constant problem, with the laws often enforced by the settlers themselves. When a young girl was taken by an outlaw band, young Daniel joined the posse that set out after them. They safely retrieved the girl and captured three men of the gang, who were taken to jail and, in short order, hanged.
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    Native American attacks were an ever-present danger, and in late 1759, after settlers and British soldiers had raped, murdered and scalped several members of their tribe, the Cherokee rose up against the Colonists. When some of Boone’s neighbors were slaughtered the following year, he moved his family back to Virginia. He soon returned alone to hunt again in North Carolina, and he might or might not have participated in the war against the Cherokee.

    Throughout the 1760s, Boone returned to hunt and trap the bountiful woods and mountains, growing ever more familiar with the country. He soon developed an unparalleled reputation as a hunter and pathfinder, to the extent that other skillful hunters were referred to as “Boones.” Apparently, he had an extraordinary sense of direction and place, and, as a contemporary said, “He never crossed a route he had once traversed without at once recognizing the place and knowing that he was crossing one of his former trails.” Once, when asked if he had ever been lost in the wilderness, he famously replied, “No, I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.” His sense of direction was a skill that would serve him well when dealing with hostile tribes.

    By 1765, the region around Boone’s home on the upper Yadkin had grown considerably more crowded, which to Boone meant anyone building within 10 or 12 miles of him. The game was effectively being driven from the area, and he moved his family farther upriver to the foothills of the Blue Ridge, just a short jaunt from his favorite hunting grounds. Their oldest son, James, was 10 at the time, and Boone began taking him along on his hunts, teaching the boy his invaluable woods skills.

    There, Rebecca bore their sixth and seventh children. But if she harbored any hopes that her husband might stay closer to home, they were soon dashed. Despite the fact that Boone had settled near his ideal hunting area, the siren call of good virgin land beckoned. As Boone himself later stated, “It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceful habitation … to wander through the wilderness of America, in quest of the country of Kentucke.”

    Gathering several friends and fellow adventurers, including his brother-in-law, John Stewart, he set out once again. He would not return for two years.

    Boone and his party crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains and took the Great Warriors Path west over several Appalachian peaks, then south to a tight gap in the mountains that a Virginia land outfit had dubbed Cumberland Gap. Boone has been credited as the first man to negotiate the narrow pass; in fact, Native Americans had been using it for centuries, and a handful of whites had traveled it for several years as well. However, it was Boone whom nearly a third of a million westering settlers would ultimately follow through the Cumberland Mountains toward their new lives.

    Boone’s party continued its journey of discovery until, in his words, “From the top of an eminence, we saw with pleasure the beautiful level of Kentucke. We found everywhere abundance of wild beasts of every sort, through this vast forest. The buffalo were more frequent than I have seen cattle in the settlements … We are as rich as Boaz of old, having the cattle of a thousand hills.”

    According to oral tradition, Daniel Boone was the first American to explore the “country of Kentucke”; he was not. This rich land of legend, teeming with wild game and blessed with navigable rivers, fresh springs and precious salt licks, was known to European explorers and settlers for decades before Boone’s birth, and American Indian traders were actively plying their wares there for years. It was a subject much discussed by hunters, trappers and land speculators, and Boone himself had known of it more than 15 years earlier. Yet, although he was far from the first, his was the name that would be forever linked to it.

    The name itself derived from Native American usage, although its exact translation and tribal origin are much contested. It presumably was from an Iroquois word or term, either Ken-tah-ten, which translates to “land of tomorrow,” or Kanta-ke, meaning “meadow.” Or perhaps it was from the Shawnee, for “place of Blue Licks,” a common term for salt springs. And the Wyandot also have a claim on the name, from a tribal word meaning “a plain.”

    The spelling was as variable as the name’s possible sources and meanings. Besides Kanta-ke, it was spelled Kentucke, Cantucky and Kaintuck, to list just a few iterations. Whatever the source and spelling of its name, Kentucky offered both great opportunities and hazardous challenges to those bold enough to venture there.

    Unfortunately, independence from outside forces soon became an impossibility, and conflict would prove inevitable. For Boone, it began with a warning. While walking in the woods, he and John Stewart found themselves surrounded by a band of irate Shawnee. As Boone recalled it, after pilfering all their pelts and provender, the Shawnee let them go with an advisory:

    “Go home and stay there … This is the Indians’ hunting ground, and all the animals, skins and furs are ours. And if you are so foolish as to venture here again, you may be sure the wasps and yellow-jackets will sting you.”

    More bold than sensible, the two pursued the Shawnee and took back their horses as the party slept. However, they were soon recaptured, bound and force-marched toward the Ohio for a solid week. Breaking their bonds, they managed to escape, working their way back to their base camp. While some of their party had had enough and turned for home, Boone and a few others remained, trapping beaver and hunting bison throughout the winter, naming various landmarks, creeks and salt licks as they went. Boone was known to take books along on his hunting trips, and on this foray, he entertained his companions by reading aloud from Gulliver’s Travels.

    One day, Stewart, who was as much a friend as an in-law to Boone, disappeared. He would not be found for another five years, when one of Boone’s crew on the Wilderness Road discovered a skeleton in the hollow of a sycamore. It bore the signs of a bullet wound in one arm, and Stewart’s initials on the powder horn. Presumably, he had hidden in the trunk after being wounded and subsequently bled to death.


    We’ll get a chance to ride by this location look for the waypoint and roadside marker.


    Soon after, the rest of Boone’s party turned for home. Boone remained alone in Kentucky for another three months, finally growing desperate for the company of his family. In May 1771, he returned to Rebecca and the children. According to oral tradition, he appeared at a dance, hirsute and unrecognizable, and asked Rebecca for a dance. Disgusted, she turned away from the bearded stranger. “You need not refuse,” he laughed, “for you have danced many a time with me.” A mighty hug reunited the loving couple. It makes for a homey story and, apocryphal though it might be, the homecoming was reportedly a happy one.

    Despite the Shawnees’ warning, Boone returned to Kentucky the following year. He hunted, trapped and returned home in May 1773, in time to see the birth of his eighth child. When next he traveled to Kentucky, it was at the head of a train of immigrants, including Rebecca, their children, several of Daniel’s and Rebecca’s relatives, and other would-be settlers with their stock and property—including slaves. They took no wagons; the way was often too narrow and too rough. All the possessions they could take with them—tools, clothing and a few personal items—were tightly packed on horses that progressed slowly and in single file.

    On the night of Oct. 9, 1773, disaster struck. The column had broken up into two sections, with Daniel at the head of the lead group, and his son, 16-year-old James, with the second. They had camped at the edge of Powell Valley, Virginia, when, without warning, a combined party of Cherokee, Shawnee and Delaware attacked the second group. James was wounded and horribly tortured before finally succumbing to war club and tomahawk blows. In all, six perished, including a slave whom the tribes had taken with them. He was found 40 miles away, his head split by a hatchet.

    Thus far, Boone’s obsession with the “country of Kentucke” had cost him his brother-in-law and close companion, John Stewart, and his oldest, closest son. It would levy a higher tariff still on Boone and his family in the years to come.
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    Even though our original intentions were to camp closer to the Natural Bridges and Red River Gorge area, campground accommodations pushed us farther south to the KOA in Renfro Valley and Mt. Vernon, KY.

    Renfro Valley is really just a neighborhood located just off Interstate 75 in Mount Vernon located in Rockcastle County. The community of Renfro Valley (which has its own United States Post Office) includes the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center. Since being founded by local area native John Lair and others in 1939, Renfro Valley Entertainment Center has hosted the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, a traditional country music show which gave entertainers such as Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Red Foley, and Homer and Jethro the spotlight early in their careers. The Barn Dance and other programming originating in Renfro Valley was broadcast over the CBS Radio Network until the late 1950s.

    Today, Renfro Valley is known throughout Kentucky and the rest of the country for its rich history of "Real Country Music by Real Country Folks." This tradition continues today with outstanding stage shows put on by the current cast of Renfro Valley entertainers. Also, since 1992, Renfro Valley Entertainment Center has hosted Headliner Concerts that feature a mixture of well-known country singers with newer artists, as well as bluegrass, gospel, and comedy acts.

    Renfro Valley is home to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Mount Vernon, with a population of approximately 2500 is the county seat of Rockcastle county.

    The area was first settled in 1790 around a feature called Spout Springs. Much of the area was originally swampland. The settlement was named for George Washington's home, Mount Vernon. The Wilderness Road arrived in 1792, and the town was the principal settlement when Rockcastle County was created in 1810. In 1883, an L&N railroad spur was built through the town, connecting it by rail to Louisville and Knoxville. The county's first newspaper, the Mount Vernon Signal, began publication in 1887. Although still a largely rural town and county, the construction of I-75 in the 1970s has drawn some industry to the area.
  7. Loose Nut

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    View from Tater Knob in the Daniel Boone National Forest

    Daniel Boone Forest.jpg



    Now back to the Daniel Boone National Forest. Originally, it was the Cumberland National Forest. It was established in 1937. There are over 700,000 acres of federally owned land within a 2,100,000 acres proclamation bounty. The land within the proclamation boundary contains both publicly and privately owned land, along with thousands of miles of marked boundary lines between the two. The forest is formed by two main areas: a 140 miles wide strip of land along the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau, and the Redbird Purchase, located on the east of the Cumberland Plateau. As you will surely see, the terrain is generally rugged, hilly and mountainous, with reliefs of as much as 200 feet in the north and 2,000 feet toward the south.

    The name of the forest was changed in 1966 in honor of the explorer Daniel Boone.

    It serves over a million recreational and tourist visitors a year. The Daniel Boone National Forest includes land across 21 Kentucky counties.

    Major river systems include the Licking River, Kentucky River, and Cumberland River, all of which flow into the Ohio River. Four reservoirs are located within the forest, administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers. These are Cave Run Lake, Buckhorn Lake, Lake Cumberland and Laurel River Lake. Taken together, at normal water levels these reservoirs comprise 63,850 acres of water. The forest additionally encompasses thousands of miles of smaller streams, many of which flow only after heavy rain. Due to shallow soil, heavy rains may result in severe local flooding, and conversely, many tributaries may become completely dry during periods of little rainfall.

    We will have the chance to cross many of these streams or rivers……….please use caution water depths range from wet sand to way too deep to cross.

    By the early 16th century both the French and the British had laid claim to the land that would become the Daniel Boone National Forest. Several others made expeditions in the area over the following decades with mixed success. Around 1760, Daniel Boone began the exploration and preparation of the wilderness beyond the Appalachian Mountains, so that it may be more easily settled by those who sought to move westward. Boone made an expedition in 1767 into the area of modern-day Prestonsburg, Kentucky, and then in 1769, he set out with five others on an extended expedition through the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky, where he stayed until March 1771. Boone set out on a failed attempt at settlement in 1773, and then again in 1774, where he served as an officer in Lord Dunmore's War.

    On March 17, 1775, the Transylvania Colony, founded by Richard Henderson, and for which Boone was employed, reached an agreement (over the objections of the governors of Virginia and North Carolina) with a grand counsel of the Cherokee Nation to purchase all land from the Kentucky River to the Cumberland River, including large part of modern day Kentucky and Tennessee, an area known as the Transylvania Purchase. In anticipation of this purchase, Boone and a party were dispatched on March 10, marking and clearing trails in the newly acquired lands, and eventually founding Fort Boone, near the confluence of Station Camp Creek and the Kentucky River. This became the fledgling Transylvania Colony, until being eliminated in 1778 by the Virginia House of Delegates, becoming Kentucky County, Virginia, and by 1792, the state of Kentucky.

    In 1900, Congress appropriated $5,000, and again in 1907, $25,000 for the investigation of areas in southern Appalachia, for potential purchase as a national forest. These efforts were further strengthened in 1911 by passage of the Weeks Act, which allocated millions in additional funding. As part of the Forest Service's examination of the area, E. Murray Bruner published in 1914 an extensive report covering 900,000 acres of land in Kentucky, and concluded in part:

    “Because of the general rugged topography of this section and very great influence it exerts upon navigation of the Kentucky River, it is very essential that its protection from extensive clearing be assured. For these reasons the section is eminently desirable as a purchase area, and therefore, in view of the fact that the prices of land now prevailing are very reasonable, there is a favorable prospect for making large purchases…”

    Land acquisition began in 1933, based largely on the purchase of 48,000 acres from Stearns Coal and Lumber, 27,000 acres acres from Castle Craig Coal, and 22,000 acres from the Warfork Land Company. By the time the area was officially declared the Cumberland National Forest in 1937, the tract spanned 409,567 acres of federally owned land across 16 Kentucky counties.

    Both Daniel Boone and Henry Clay were originally put forth in the 1930s as potential namesakes. However, it was not until 1966, following, among other things, a resolution to the United States Department of Agriculture by the Kentucky Senate, that the name was officially changed by Lyndon B. Johnson to Daniel Boone National Forest on April 11.
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    Chimney Top Rock


    In the northern regions of the Daniel Boone National Forest lies the Red River Gorge. The gorge lies within the Daniel Boone National Forest and has been subsequently designated as the Red River Gorge Geological Area, an area of around 29,000 acres. It has been designated a National Natural Landmark and National Archaeological District, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 13,379-acre Clifty Wilderness Area lies entirely within the geological area in the Red River Gorge.

    This intricate canyon system features an abundance of high sandstone cliffs, rock shelters, waterfalls, and natural bridges. The multitude of sandstone and cliff-lines have helped this area become one of the world's top rock climbing destinations and is home to the Red River Gorge Climbers' Coalition.

    The Red River Gorge Geological Area attracts thousands of outdoor enthusiasts every year. The canyon system on the Red River it is part of the Pottsville Escarpment. Sculpted by wind and water, the gorge includes towering cliffs that line the upper slopes of forested ridges. Unique rock features, including sandstone arches, appear on the landscape as natural monuments. Beneath the ridges, boulder strewn creeks and streams flow through the gorge in densely shaded coves of hemlock trees and rhododendron.

    More than 100 natural sandstone arches can be found in the Red River Gorge and nearly 70 miles of trails. Many trails are considered strenuous so hikers should consider physical ability before choosing a trail to hike. Area maps do give the length of the hike to be able to plan your time. A good rule of thumb is to plan approximately 35-45 minute per mile of hiking time for the casual hiker in this terrain. Sky Bridge and Grays Arch provide picnic areas, restrooms, great scenery and trails. All official trails have a name, number and are marked with white diamonds painted on trees.
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    One of the most interesting features of the “Gorge” is the Nada Tunnel, a 900 ft tunnel built in the early 1900’s, this one lane tunnel once provided railroad transport of timber from the Gorge. The former railway tunnel has been paved and has often been described as the "Gateway to Red River Gorge" for the shortcut it provides motorists to the Red River Gorge canyons of the Daniel Boone National Forest.

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    Built for the Dana Lumber Company between 1910 and 1911, Nada Tunnel (pronounced nay-duh by locals) was named from Nada, Kentucky, then a logging town about 10 miles past the tunnel's entrance. Solid limestone was blasted with dynamite and dug out with steam machinery and hand tools, with two teams working from each side of the ridge. The tunnel's original dimensions were 12 by 12 feet , but when the first train load of logs became stuck and had to be blasted free, the tunnel's height was increased to 13 feet. Narrow gauge steam locomotives of the Big Woods, Red River & Lombard Railroad regularly hauled timber extracted from the vast forests of the Red River Valley through the tunnel, to a sawmill 15 miles away in Clay City.

    Once the forests had been cleared and the timber companies pulled out of the area, the railroad tracks were removed and a dirt road was laid in the unlit tunnel in order to accommodate horse and pedestrian traffic. Nada Tunnel has since been paved to carry a single lane of road traffic.

    Nada Tunnel lends its name to two prehistoric Native American rock art sites, namely "Nada Tunnel 1 Petroglyphs" and "Nada Tunnel 2", which were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.


    nada tunnel.jpg
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    Just south of the Nada Tunnel, you can find Natural Bridge State Resort Park. It is a Kentucky state park along the Middle Fork of the Red River, adjacent to the Red River Gorge Geologic Area and surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest. Its namesake natural bridge is the centerpiece of the park. The natural sandstone arch spans 78 ft and is 65 ft high. The natural process of weathering formed the arch.In 1981 this land was dedicated into the nature preserves system to protect the ecological communities and rare species habitat. The first federally endangered Virginia big eared bats, Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus, recorded in Kentucky were found at Natural Bridge State Resort Park in the 1950s.


    Natureal Bridge from Lookout Point.jpg
    Natural Bridge as viewed from Lookout Point


    The park was originally founded as a private tourist attraction in 1895 by the Lexington and Eastern Railroad. In 1910, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad company acquired the land when it purchased the Lexington and Eastern Railroad. In 1926, L&N's President Wible L. Mapother turned over its approximately 137 acres to the Kentucky State Park Commission, making the Park one of Kentucky's original four state parks when that system was established the same year. There are over 20 miles of trails over uneven terrain from moderate to strenuous difficulty, including trails to White's Branch Arch, Henson's Cave Arch, and other scenic areas. Some of the most famous sites are the arch itself, "Lovers Leap", and "Fat Man's Squeeze". The park's 0.5-mile "Original Trail" to the natural bridge dates from the 1890s. Other trails include the 7.5-mile Sand Gap Trail and the 0.75-mile Balanced Rock Trail. Five miles of the 307-mile Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail run through the park, including the Whittleton Trail which connects the park to the Red River Gorge Geologic Area.

    Natural Bridge has several unique sandstone rock formations. "Fat Man's Squeeze" is a narrow passage in the rock formation that leads to the bottom of the arch. Balanced Rock is a huge block of sandstone balanced on the edge of a cliff near the Natural Bridge. The "Balanced Rock", is located on Trail #2, not far above Hemlock Lodge. In the early days of the Park, it was called the Sphinx because, when viewed from the correct angle, it crudely resembles the Sphinx in Egypt. Although it is now called the Balanced Rock, it is in fact a pedestal rock - a single piece of stone that has weathered in such a fashion that its midsection is narrower than its cap or its base. This formation is one of the biggest and most perfectly formed examples of a pedestal rock east of the Rocky Mountains.
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    We’ll ride past the Great Saltpetre Cave a couple of times on this ride. The Great Saltpetre Cave is a notable limestone cave located in Rockcastle County. Robert Baker discovered the cave in the late eighteenth century. A stream ran through the cave, and was wide enough so that oxcarts could be used to bring the saltpeter above ground. However, torchlights had to be used to light the cave so that workers could mine the saltpeter from the ground.

    At the cave, calcium nitrate, also called niter, is leached from dry soil. As with most saltpeter caves, the land above the cave is a hardwood forest-covered plateau. Typically the saltpeter would be sent to Lexington, Kentucky to be made into gunpowder.

    During the War of 1812, it served as an important source of saltpeter, one of the vital components of gunpowder. Sixty to seventy men were employed to mine the cave of its saltpeter, deemed necessary as British blockades prevented saltpeter shipments from overseas. Many of the workers at the cave were slaves. To a lesser degree the cave was also mined during the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War. During the later war, the Union soldiers that worked at the cave also lived in the cave, due to its 58 °F year-around temperature giving respite from cold winters and hot summers. Now for a quick chemistry lesson, black powder is a simple mixture of powdered potassium nitrate or saltpeter, charcoal and sulfur. Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula KNO3. It is an ionic salt of potassium ions K+ and nitrate ions NO3−, and is therefore an alkali metal nitrate. Potassium nitrate is one of several nitrogen-containing compounds collectively referred to as saltpeter or saltpetre. Major uses of potassium nitrate are in fertilizers, tree stump removal, rocket propellants and fireworks. It is one of the major constituents of gunpowder (black powder). In processed meats, potassium nitrate reacts with hemoglobin and generates a pink color. Black powder is the earliest known chemical explosive. The sulfur and charcoal act as fuels while the saltpeter is an oxidizer. Because of its incendiary properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms, artillery, rockets, and fireworks, and as a blasting powder in quarrying, mining, and road building.

    Gunpowder was invented in 9th-century China and spread throughout most parts of Eurasia by the end of the 13th century. Originally developed by the Taoists for medicinal purposes, gunpowder was first used for warfare about 904 AD.

    For a time, ending in the 1970s, Great Saltpetre Cave was a commercial cave, and was open not only for tours, but also for ballroom dances, a museum, and weddings. However, the guests would often damage the cave formations by taking souvenirs. Some would also leave their names in the cave, the most notable of which was Daniel Boone.
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    Today the cave is owned by the Rockcastle Karst Conservancy, as part of the 300-acre Great Saltpetre Preserve, off Kentucky State Route 1004. Overnight camping stays are possible upon request if the requester belongs to certain organizations. Artifacts from the cave's mining days are still visible at the site.
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    We'll pass through and past Livingston, KY. The first post office at the site was known as Fish Point and opened in 1840. The Louisville a& Nashville Railroad reached the settlement in 1870 and named its station after James Livingston, a local landowner. The post office was renamed Livingston Station in 1879 and, following the city's 1880 incorporation, Livingston in 1882. Very interesting little town to visit......enjoy.
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  13. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut wannabe Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    783
    Location:
    SW Indiana
    rockcastle river.jpg

    Just south of Livingston you'll have the opportunity on Knobby Q track to cross or visit the Rockcastle River. I have tried to get across at this crossing many times over the last ten years. This summer the water was finally low enough for us to try.........an we made it! Yeeeeehaaaaaw! 20190810_154418.jpg The river has two forks, the Middle Fork, which forms in southern Jackson County, and the South Fork, which forms in Clay County. They meet at the Jackson County line and flow south, forming the southeast border of Rockcastle County. It makes up the border between Pulaski and Laurel counties before flowing into the Cumberland River.

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    Knobby Q is a short cut to Camp Wildcat and the gravel road on the east side of the river is a lot of fun........but this crossing can be really really deep.......proceed with CAUTION!
  14. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut wannabe Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    20190507_143300.jpg

    Early in the civil war, the Lincoln administration knew well the importance of keeping the border state of Kentucky in the Union. Any Rebel armies operating successfully there could encourage secessionist sympathies. In late 1861, a Confederate force of around 6,000 men under Brig. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer entered the southeast corner of the state just north of the Tennessee border and occupied the strategic Cumberland Gap. To counter Confederate moves in the area, Union Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas sent a detachment under Col. T.T. Garrard to secure the ford on the Rockcastle River, establish a camp at Wildcat Mountain, and obstruct the Wilderness Road passing through the area. Garrard informed Thomas that if he did not receive reinforcements, he would have to retreat because he was outnumbered seven to one. Thomas sent Brig. Gen. A. Schoepf with a brigade to Garrard, bringing the total force to about 7,000. On the morning of October 21, 1861, soon after Schoepf arrived, some of his men moved forward and ran into Rebel forces, commencing a fight. The heavily fortified Federals repelled the Confederate attacks. The Confederates withdrew during the night and continued their retreat to Cumberland Ford, which they reached on the 26th. A Union victory was welcomed, countering the Confederate victories at First Manassas and Ball's Bluff.
  15. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut wannabe Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    20190507_150348.jpg

    The Battle of Camp Wildcat (also known as Wildcat Mountain and Camp Wild Cat) was one of the early engagements of the American Civil War (Civil War). It occurred October 21, 1861, in northern Laurel County, Kentucky during the campaign known as the Kentucky Confederate Offensive or Operations in Eastern Kentucky (1861). The battle is considered one of the first Union victories of the Civil War, and marked the second engagement of troops in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

    On April 15, 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called upon the States remaining in the Union to provide volunteers to suppress the insurrection in the seven States which had seceded from the Union by that date. Pro-Confederate Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin refused to send troops, but since the majority of the members of the Kentucky General Assembly were pro-Union, Lincoln's call for volunteers did not prompt the State to secede. On May 16, a Kentucky legislative committee recommended that the State remain neutral in the conflict and Governor Magoffin proclaimed the State's neutrality on May 20.

    In elections on August 5, 1861, Kentucky voters returned a veto-proof majority of pro-Union members to the House of Representatives and Senate. On August 6, 1861, Camp Dick Robinson, a Union camp, was established near Lexington. On September 2, 1861, the Kentucky General Assembly raised the U.S. flag over the Kentucky State Capitol at Frankfort.

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  16. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut wannabe Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    SW Indiana
    images.png

    Just down the highway from Camp Wilcate is Wildcat Mountain Off Raod Park........Trails from mild to WILD! Stop by if you are looking for a place for some off road fun.

    https://wildcatoffroadpark.com/

    New, family friendly, 2,000 acre off-road park that will accommodate all off-road enthusiasts. We have over 100 miles of trails with the greatest sites in theSoutheastern United States. We are conveniently located 2 miles from I-75 off Exit #49.

    We have trails for the novice rider all the way up to the most experienced rider.

    Park office is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.Trails are open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

    The park is closed on Christmas Day only

    All visitors must check in at the Park office before parking and entering the park to ride.

    Camping and Cabins available
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  17. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut wannabe Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    783
    Location:
    SW Indiana
    sheltowee red river bridge.jpg

    The Sheltowee Trace Trail is a 323-mile National Recreation Trail that was created in 1979 and stretches from the Burnt Mill Bridge Trail Head in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee to northern Rowan County, Kentucky. The trail is named after Daniel Boone, who was given the name Sheltowee (meaning "Big Turtle") when he was adopted as the son of the great warrior Chief Blackfish of the Shawnee tribe. Daniel Boone was captured by Shawnee Indians while making salt in an area close to the present-day trail.

    The trail is primarily in the Daniel Boone National Forest, but also takes visitors through the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, two large recreation lakes (Cave Run Lake and Laurel Lake), and many wildlife management areas. All but the southernmost 45 miles are in Kentucky.


    Several sections of the Loose Nut 2019 tracks follow along the Sheltowee Trail........lots and lots of fun!

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    The trail is multi-use with certain sections, allowing horses, mountain bikes and all-terrain vehicless in some designated sections. Using off-road motorcycles, SUVs, 4x4, ATVs and even mountain bikes in certain areas can result in equipment confiscation and fines. While the southern terminus was moved in 2014, the trail into Pickett State Park remains open for those that wish to exit on that trail or wish to walk further down the scenic Rock Creek


    Most of the non-motorized sections of the Sheltowee Trail are clearly marked.
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    The Trace was started by a US Forest Service landscape architect Verne Orndorf in the mid-1970s. He envisioned the trail for foot travel only, gaining inspiration from local Sierra Club members who wanted a long-distance footpath in Kentucky. Today, the Trace has an active non-profit, the Sheltowe Trace Association (STA), that actively helps build new trail and maintain existing trail for the public good.
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  18. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut wannabe Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    783
    Location:
    SW Indiana
    One of Saturday's suggested gas stops and offering several restaurants for lunch is McKee. I'd suggest the Chicken Hut or Opal's.....but there is a Dairy Queen if you like franchize type places.

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    Next gas after McKee is a long way..........if you've got a little tank, you better fill up! Lots of GREAT knobby sections after lunch on Saturday! Yeeeehaaaaw!
  19. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut wannabe Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    783
    Location:
    SW Indiana
    20190506_132454.jpg

    Sunday will be a much easier ride with only one real KNOBBY sectiton shortly out of the gate.......it's a real humdinger with some monster mud holes and a few rather technical rocky sections..........stay on the main track and you'll get to enjoy some of eastern Kentucky's finest gravel roads and curvy lanes and easy creek crossings and a really cool cave (bring a flashlight)........remember if it has rained much, many of the creek crossings become impassible.

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    Suggested lunch stop is in Somerset. Somerset was first settled in 1798 by Thomas Hansford and received its name from Somerset County, New Jersey, where some of the early settlers had formerly lived. Somerset became the Pulaski County seat in 1802, and it was incorporated as a city in 1887. A significant Civil War battle was fought in January 1862, at Mill Springs (now "Nancy") about 8 miles west of Somerset, and a museum is at the site. A smaller battle was fought nearby at Dutton's Hill in 1863. In 1875 tracks for the Southern Railroad were completed and Somerset saw a sudden population growth and an increase in industry. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, library services were provided by the pack horse library. The completion of Lake Cumberland in 1950 transformed Somerset from a sleepy rural community into one of the largest recreation centers in Kentucky, drawing more than 1.7 million visitors annually.

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    This is going to be a GREAT ride! Some of the best Loose Nut Knobby sections ever. Some scenery and hills that will have you wondering if you're back on the Missouri Loose Nut tracks............Yeeeeehaaaaaw! Hope to see you there!
  20. Backerthebiker

    Backerthebiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    130
    Location:
    Good Ol' Southern Indiana
    Man, I wanna be a Loose Nut when I grow up!

    Great story of the area, and awesome supplement to the ride! Can't wait to go!