Black Mountain, Kentucky 06-01-04

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      highpointersclub
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      [Ed: Imported from Americas Roof ‘Summit Trip Reports’ forum]
      [By: Jerry Bresnahan on November 8 2004 at 6:36 PM]

      I visited Black Mountain, the Highpoint of Kentucky at 4145 feet, on Tuesday, June 1st, 2004. It was my 24th state highpoint.

      After climbing Clingmans Dome, TN, earlier in the day, I arrived at Black Mountain, KY at 6:30PM with the help of the directions provided in the Winger’s and Holmes’ guidebooks. It was cloudy and 63 degrees. The local radio was announcing severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings in the nearby areas. As I reached the crest of the hill of SR 160, and turned left onto the narrow, winding road that leads to the summit, I passed about a dozen local good ole boys talking and drinking beer by their pick up trucks. They may have been employees of the coal company winding down after a hard days work. I did not see anyone else on the road to the highpoint or at the highpoint itself. The gate was locked, and the employees were gone for the day, so I parked my car at the fork in the road and walked the remaining short distance to the summit. Noone checked to see if I had submitted my waiver. The highpoint of Kentucky was not very impressive but it was certainly not my least favorite highpoint, as it seems to be with many highpointers. For me that distinction would have to go to Delaware. I would much prefer to be in the wooded mountains of Kentucky, even if there were a few buildings and towers around, rather than having to drive through heavy traffic, past many crowded shopping centers, in order to get to the highpoint of Delaware, which is in an ordinary flat suburban neighborhood. The views from the summit of Black Mountain were nil but I noticed some nice vistas from a couple places along the road leading up to it.

      I didn’t stay too long but the good ole boys were all gone by the time I left Black Mountain. Instead of going back south on SR 160, the way I came, I continued north through the town of Lynch. By the looks of the condition of the roadway there is very little traffic on SR 160 north of the highpoint entrance. There were many stones and rocks lying undisturbed in the roadway, and the edges of the pavement were worn and crumbling in many areas. It appeared that flooding from runoffs from the mountains when it rains is causing this. Small streams run along the side of the roadway undercutting the pavement. Lynch and the nearby area seemed to be very poor and rundown. Coal mining does not appear to be a very appealing or profitable way of life, but I certainly have to respect how hard these miners work and the courage it takes to do their job. I continued north, driving through Hazard, KY. There were no signs of the Dukes, and I was especially disappointed in not seeing Daisy. I stopped for the night at the Motel 6 in Georgetown, KY. The next day I continued driving north to my home in Algonquin, IL.

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