08 October 2013

"As a foretaste, in the three and a half miles crossing Little House and
Big House mountains, one ascends 2,200 feet, descends 1,400, climbs
again 1,600, and goes down 2,000 feet on the far side. Beyond lie steep
and narrow ridges athwart the way, paralleling each other like waves at
sea. Ten distinct mountain chains are scaled and descended in the next
forty miles. There are few "leads" rising gradually to their crests.
Each and every one of these ridges is a Chinese wall magnified to
altitudes of from a thousand to two thousand feet, and covered with
thicket. The hollows between them are merely deep troughs.

In the next thirty miles we come upon novel topography. Instead of wave
following wave in orderly procession, we find here a choppy sea of small
mountains, with hollows running toward all points of the compass.
Instead of Chinese walls, we now have Chinese puzzles. The innate
perversity of such configuration grows more and more exasperating as we
toil westward. In the two hundred miles from the Greenbrier to the
Kentucky River, the ridges are all but unscalable, and the streams
sprangle in every direction like branches of mountain laurel."

Kephart Our Southern Highlanders

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