We traveled 2 sections today that are shown on Neal Hammon’s maps but at first didn’t seem logical to be original Boone Trace. They travel up and down mountains and through gaps which seemed more difficult than lower paths in the area. After a much more critical inspection of those lower routes it is plain to see they were artificially leveled with bulldozer and dynamite.
Along Stinking Creek, north of Flat Lick, we found remnants of a road running through cattle pasture and a neighborhood, which lines up perfectly with Neal Hammon’s map.
Farther south, John, Steve and I, climbed through Pogue Hollow. It was choked with brambles and downed trees. Deer and elk tracks crisscrossed on game trails and it was prime bear country. According to Hammon’s map, it was a passage for Boone and the pioneers. Today we really have no hope of finding remnants of the trace because of extensive logging and strip mining which has completely altered the topography. Even so, it is an adventurous hike in rough and wild mountains. We know pioneers traveled between these peaks and just need to picture in our minds eye the virgin timber they walked through.
These two sections are now clearer to us and a few more dots are connected. Even though these may never be publicly offered for travel, the question marks along Boone Trace are being replaced with exclamation points.
Tomorrow our project is Log Mill Road and on to Middlesboro.