During the summer of 1971, we spent a long weekend in June with friends on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. It was my first visit there and a memorable one for sure.
One of my friends had a boat, and the weather was perfect, so we spent the entire weekend exploring Lake Cumberland from one end to the other, over 100 miles. As shown in these photos, the lake is a long, curvy reservoir created in 1952 when the Cumberland River was dammed up at Wolf Creek.
According to Wikipedia, the explorer Thomas Walker of Virginia in 1758 named the river, but whether for the Duke of Cumberland or the English county of Cumberland is not known. The Cumberland River was called Wasioto by the Shawnee Indians, who lived in this area. French traders called it the Riviere des Chaouanons, or "River of the Shawnee" for this association. And at the headwaters of the river in the Appalacian mountains, Thomas Walker also discovered the Cumberland Gap. Danial Boone led settlers through the passageway to cross the mountains as they headed west.
But I digress! Our Cumberland experience involved trying to water ski for the first time. We quickly mastered the sport as envisioned in this photo!
After a fun-filled weekend, late on Sunday afternoon, we were loading the boat back onto the trailer, preparing for the long trip back home. A girl was in the boat and needed help getting out. As I was helping her out, she placed her hands on my shoulders and as I lifted her out of the boat, the skin on my shoulders under her hands literally slid off due to severe sunburn. Ouch, ouch! That girl is now my wife, so the pain was quickly forgotten and fortunately did not cause any long term skin problems on my shoulders (so far).
For several summers thereafter, we would travel with friends back to Lake Cumberland, most of the time renting a houseboat that could be floated around the lake. I’m just glad we didn't have social media and camera phones in those days, otherwise this ad shows how it would have gone down! What happens at Lake Cumberland stays at Lake Cumberland!