Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Dragon Slayer: A Ride Deep into Coal Country

While in Pikeville a couple of days ago, we picked up a map of Appalachia's motorcycle rides.  This is no small area.  Appalachia stretches from Northern Tennessee through eastern Kentucky as far east as Ohio and north as southern Pennsylvania.  Needless to say, there are a lot of square miles and a lot of different motorcycle rides. 

Today we are headed north on US 119; this road is God's gift to Motorcycle Riders. After making the turn on KY 160, wet stopped in Lynch, Kentucky, at an old Coal Mine, part of the National Mining Museum. We are cold, so some coffee and to warm up was right on time. The Lamp House Coffee Shop was the right place at the right time. So after a cup and a walk around the old train station, we are on our way.

Today our main goal is to ride the Dragon Slayer KY 160 from Lynch, Kentucky to Big Stone Gap, Virginia. This runs up and over Black Mountain, the highest point in Kentucky. This road is very challenging because of the change in elevation and tight winding curves. This ride reminds me of the Tail of the Dragon with better views. We stop at the top of Black Mountain for pictures and a great view.

Once off the Mountian, we stop in the picturesque town of Big Stone Gap for lunch. This town that sits in the Powell River Valley is a gateway to Appalachia. After a great lunch at Curklins, a fun place with outdoor seating, it serves the regular bar fare with various lunch specials. We plan our way back to the gap.

We decide to head back up the mountain on US Highway 421 from Pennington Gap, VA, to Harlen, Ky. This is a much different road with long sweeping turns on an excellent 4 lane highway. Once in Harlen, it's back down US 119 to the gap. It was a good day. Tomorrow is our last we plan to go out with a blast.

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