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Cumberland Gap | The Old Roads
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Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap

Here’s a look at one of the oldest roads in Tennessee and Kentucky — the one that goes through Cumberland Gap. Yes, that Cumberland Gap. The one Daniel Boone used. The Wilderness Road. Of course this is from 35 miles away, but the deep cut in the mountains, which scientists now believe was caused by a meteor strike, is pretty clear. There are quite a few clear views of the gap around my old home town. This one is from Beacon Light Road, and yes, there was once a beacon up there, off to the right of this shot somewhere. I remember seeing its remains — it was long since out of commission and falling apart. I recently learned that this was Airway Beacon 20, one of a system of beacons (and large concrete arrows) that pointed the way for mail planes back in the 1920s, before radio communications. The arrows were painted yellow, and the beacons were there for night travel, both pointing the way to the next beacon. And now you know.


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