Friday, December 30, 2011

Black Mountain

Kellisa's 5th State Highpoint

Black Mountain, Kentucky

June 2006

Black Mountain is located deep in coal mine country. In fact, coal mining is done on the upper portions of Black Mountain. Because a coal mining company owns the summit, a waiver needs to be completed and returned prior to your visit. You will be signing away all rights, yours and surviving family members if anything happens to you on Black Mountain.

The day Kellisa and I visited, the mountain was trapped in the clouds which made the long, winding mountain roads slower than normal. A guidebook is essential because the summit and it's turnoff are not marked by a sign on the highway. The correct road leads toward the "FAA En Route Radar". Shortly after the radar station the road turns to dirt and it can usually be followed directly to the summit area. However, a gate blocked the road on our visit and we had to hike the short distance to the actual highpoint. Kellisa was still small enough for a store bought jog stroller and I was able to tip it back as we went under the gate. We continued up the muddy road for a short distance before arriving at Kellisa's 5th state highpoint.

Disabled visitors should plan for the gate to be locked and have a plan B. If I can't tip Kellisa in her chair under a gate, I usually set her on the ground while I struggle to get her chair/stroller to the other side. Preferably, I can get it under or around and lifting it over the gate is the last option. I then pull Kellisa under the gate as she normally laughs at my struggles before lifting her back in her seat. Disabled adults may require two people to help. I would also recommend a tarp to set on the ground in case it's wet like our day on Black Mountain.

 Highway near Black Mountain

 Narrow road leading to the summit area

 The road beyond the "normally" unlocked gate to the summit

 Kellisa at the summit

Father/daughter at the summit

Building and towers on the summit

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