July 2: Lunch at the Frosty-ette in Sand Gap, Kentucky

Among other things [g].

I got a late start this morning, in part because it took me 45 minutes to find the Lexington AAA office in order to pick up the next round of maps. Suffice to say that I did finally find it, but criminy. And, yeah, I’d looked it up online last night. Fat lot of good that did me.

So it was after eleven by the time I left Lexington. About twenty miles down I-75 at the town of Richmond, I escaped from the freeway and hit the back roads again. About five miles after that, I spotted a sign that said Richmond Battlefield County Park. But the sign below was what caught my attention.

Out front of the Richmond Battlefield Museum.  I meant to ask what the deal was, but I forgot.
Out front of the Richmond Battlefield Museum. I meant to ask what the deal was, but I forgot.

There was a museum in an old house, telling all about the Civil War battle of Richmond, Kentucky (as opposed to the much bigger battle of Richmond, Virginia), which took place in 1862, and which the Confederates won (for all the good it did them in the long run). They had a really cool map with lasers showing where the Union and Confederate forces marched in from, and where they fought and so forth. I’d never seen anything quite like that before, in all my museum-going over the years (and with all the battlefields, from Culloden to the Little Big Horn, that I’ve visited). The curator in me was rather impressed.

The laser map at the Richmond Battlefield Museum, with the lasers.  The red is Confederate, the green is Union.
The laser map at the Richmond Battlefield Museum, with the lasers. The red is Confederate, the green is Union.

But the quilt sign was a bit misleading. There were a couple of quilts on beds, but that was about it.

And so I drove on, deep into the Appalachian foothills, probably winding three miles for every mile I went forward, through lots of beautiful, bucolic scenery.

Scenery along U.S. Route 421.
Scenery along U.S. Route 421.
One of the at least fifty Baptist churches I saw along the way today.  There were also a few Pentecostal churches, and one Catholic church, but other than that...
One of the at least fifty Baptist churches I saw along the way today. There were also a few Pentecostal churches, and one Catholic church, but other than that…
Another view, this one along Kentucky Route 11
Another view, this one along Kentucky Route 11
My first kudzu of the trip.  Shudder.  I feel so sorry for the trees trapped under there...
My first kudzu of the trip. Shudder. I feel so sorry for the trees trapped under there…

In the tiny community of Sand Gap, I saw a bunch of cars parked in front of something called a Frosty-ette. It was getting slightly late for lunch, so I stopped. It wasn’t the best hamburger I’ve had on the trip (that title still belongs to the hamburger joint in Escalante, Utah), but it was pretty darned good. And the chocolate shake for dessert was lovely. I also got to chat with some locals at the one picnic table, and I think I’ve acquired a new like on my Facebook page today.

The road wound on, little state highways, until I reached U.S. 25A, which goes over the Cumberland Gap into Tennessee. I stopped just short of the gap (the southeastern equivalent of a western pass) for the night, in the town of Middlesboro, because tomorrow morning I want to explore the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. This is the route the earliest western settlers like Daniel Boone took to get over the Appalachians.

The approach kind of reminds me of going over Snoqualmie Pass. It’s a low pass (only 1600 feet) with those big broad sweeping curves I associate with I-90 over Snoqualmie. The scenery is entirely different, but it just feels the same, somehow.

Headed up to the Cumberland Gap.
Headed up to the Cumberland Gap.

I managed to get hold of both Mary (CatMtn) and Morgan today, too. I will be spending the 4th with Morgan and her husband near Fort Bragg, and then going on to Mary near Greensboro the next day. I’m really looking forward to seeing them all.

Pretty soon I won’t be heading east anymore.  I’ll be headed north to Canada, eventually.