Sunday, September 14, 2014

#69 Cumberland Gap and The Carter Family Fold

Did I mention we have had several rainy and cloudy days here in Big Stone Gap?  Looking at the weather forecast, we tried to pick the clearest day to visit Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.  To learn more about the history of this park and Cumberland Gap's importance to our country's westward settlement, click on the link.  When we arrived, our first stop was the visitor center for a map and then on to Pinnacle Overlook.

Skies managed to clear a bit for some good views at the Pinnacle Overlook.
The temperatures up here were cooler and we enjoyed lower humidity too.
We could see 3 states: Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

The Pinnacles Overlook was the only area we visited in the park other than the Visitor Center.  There is more to see here but we didn't take the time to explore all of what this interesting place has to offer.
On our way back to BSG, we did make a quick stop at Wilderness Road State Park.  Unfortunately the reconstructed fort was closed on this day but the park ranger said it was ok to walk around it.  You can also walk down parts of the actual wilderness trail blazed by Daniel Boone and Dr. Thomas Walker.

A view of the reconstructed fort.
Part of the actual wilderness trail.

On our way to Cumberland Gap we stopped at The Dutch Treat for lunch.  Their specialities are fresh made sandwiches, pastries, breads, cookies and cheeses.  It's located a few miles east of the Wilderness Road State Park.

Another item on our list of places to visit before we ease on down the road (to Asheville) is The Carter Family Fold.  After checking their schedule of upcoming events we decided to attend the September "Friday Footstompin at the Fold".  We were fortunate to hear the groups Big Country Bluegrass  and Wayne Henderson and Friends.  We really enjoyed the 2 bands, they were excellent.
This is the emblem on the front of their barn-like amphitheater. the groups

Big Country Bluegrass....fantastic!

The dancing was interesting to watch.  No, we did not participate.

 Wayne Henderson and Friends.  Mr. Henderson is the one wearing the blue cap.  He also builds custom made guitars.   I read his guitars are in the collections of Eric Clapton and the late Doc Watson.

Now, let me back up a bit.  I wanted to find a place to for us to eat dinner before we enjoyed our night at the Carter Fold.  Researching the limited restaurants in the area, I found Gasthaus Edelweiss.  With excellent reviews posted, I called the owner, Ingrid Carter and made reservations for 5:00pm.  When we arrived, we knew we might be in store for something special.
The building, constructed by her husband, looks like one you might see in Bavaria, not southwestern Virginia.

Everything in Ingrid's restaurant is authentic from Germany.  She even had on display some pieces of the Berlin wall.
I choose Zigeunerschnitzel.
Ron choose Jagerschnitzel.

Ingrid's homemade Apple Streusel.  I was not leaving without tasting a traditional German dessert.
Our dinners also came with fresh garden salads, homemade dressings and German rolls.  Ron and I  agreed, it was the best German food we have ever tasted..well actually it is the ONLY German food we have ever tasted.  It just happened we were her only patrons that night due to the popularity of the Friday night HS football games...she's booked Saturday night.  She shared with us some interesting stories about how she and her husband came to the area and of course how she prepares her traditional German food.
Yes, it was a memorable day.  We found some of the best bluegrass music in southwestern Virginia and a real taste of Germany.
More later..


  1. Wow! What a find! You were so lucky to have come across Gasthaus Edelweiss! It's not often you get treated like you were the only customer in the house :)

  2. We just LOVE German food. Jagerschnitzel is always my favorite. Mr. Carter did a wonderful job building the restaurant -- it really does look like something you'd see in Bavaria.