Guided by a symphony of commands, the tires of my V-Strom 650 carve graceful arcs along the ribbon of pavement draped at the base of a rock wall. A different type of carving, to be sure, than that of Yellow Creek, whose efforts helped form nearby Cumberland Gap. At the moment, however, I could care less about semantics.
Pewter clouds blanket the horizon as my wife, Sharon, and I head toward eastern Kentucky for a three-day whirlwind camping tour featuring some of the Appalachian Mountain’s most notable geological features. Aiming for a predicted break in the rain, our round-trip tour includes stops at Breaks Interstate Park, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, and Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Budget camping is the underlying theme for the tour, though Mother Nature soon lobs a grenade at that idea.
Upon arriving at Breaks Interstate Park near dusk we make a quick pass through the campground. Rain begins to fall as we scan the campsites, and with the temperature expected to set a record low we make the difficult decision to begin our “budget” tour with a stay at the lodge. We were hoping to squeak by on about 0, but the new target is 0. The tour doesn’t officially begin until the morning, and we hope that the transgression will be pardoned.