Day 8 Begins – Rightly Dividing The Road

Walking Began 7:54 a.m.

Well we must have made up all the time we needed so far because we are waiting outside Pineville and had to slow down.  I guess we’re ahead of schedule for a reception waiting for us this morning.

The welcoming attitudes for us and this hike have been great.

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” Sir feburey the 11th 1796

after my Best Respts to your Excelancy and famyly I wish to inform you that I have sum intention of undertaking this New Rode that is to be Cut through the Wilderness and I think My Self intiteled to the ofer of the Bisness as I first Marked out that Rode in March 1775 and Never Re’d anything for my trubel and Sepose I am No Statesman I am a Woodsman and think My Self as Capable of Marking and Cutting that Rode as any other man Sir if you think with Me I would thank you to wright mee a Line by the post the first opor- tuneaty and he Will Lodge it at Mr. John Miler son hinkston fork as I wish to know Where and When it is to be Laat [let] So that I may atend at the time

I am Deer Sir your very omble sarvent

Twenty one years after Daniel established Boone Trace he penned this letter to Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby. Shelby was looking for someone to improve the road into Kentucky from Cumberland Gap. Boone applied for the job. His request went unanswered.

He didn’t get the job and by the fall of 1797 the new road was finished. This new wagon path was called the Wilderness Road and went from Cumberland Gap to Louisville. A portion shared space with Boone Trace, but divided in the area I am walking through today which is Bimble, KY.

A search of “The Wilderness Road” on the internet will pull up many pages that tell the story of Boone’s road building trip in 1775, when actually, the Wilderness Road was a state government project in 1797 that Boone was not involved with. No doubt his 18th century celebrity status continued to bring settlers into Kentucky and attaching his name to the road would be similar to the way we honor important people today with their moniker on a highway. However the 2 stories get mingled and credit is misplaced as to who built the road and who is honored by the road.

So, as I reach Bimble I have been following both Boone Trace and The Wilderness Road (Hwy 25e) but I am looking for the fork that divides these two routes. With help from the sly research of John Fox I can find it and I can show it to you. In the satellite picture below is Callihan Loop, a residential road just north of old US 25e. I have placed an arrow pointing to a swath of green that stands out from the landscape. What you are looking at in this 2 dimensional image is actually a gully and the green swath is the bottom of the gully. It is also the scarred land from thousands of horses, cattle and people who traveled Boone Trace on their way to the bluegrass of north Kentucky. Pretty cool huh?

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