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Pilot Knob In The Novel

    I have covered Pilot Knob in a previous blog post. You can read that here. The landmark plays an important role in my book Swift. I made a recent visit back to that great spot recently just for the enjoyment of a good, brisk hike and to view the vast bluegrass area west of the mountain. 
Conglomerate rock of Pilot Knob is also the
mast head for my web site
    The mountain itself is quite amazing. It is perhaps the highest mountain on the western edge of the mountainous Cumberland Plateau. Here the last exposure of the sandstone and conglomerate sandstone are exposed on the very top of the mountain. This is what creates such a great lookout spot; like a ships pilot lookout. Immediately west of this  line of knobs that make a straight diagonal line completely across the state is the level land of the Bluegrass Region. The conglomerate rock is the same type that forms the Red River Gorge. It seems to me the quartz pebbles that make the conglomerate are more concentrated here at Pilot Knob and near by Rotten Knob. 
View west from Pilot Knob
    Pilot Knob, not yet named at the time, was the place that John Finley led Daniel Boone and others on the seventh day of June, 1769 to look west and see the beautiful level of Kentucke. John Filson in his book published in 1788 included an appendix entitled, The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon; containing a narrative of the Wars of Kentucke. "We proceeded successfully, and after a long and fatiguing journey through a mountainous wilderness, in a westward direction, on the seventh day of June following, we found ourselves on the Red-River, where John Finley had formerly been trading with the Indians, and, from top of an eminence, saw with pleasure the beautiful level of Kentucke... The buffaloes were more frequent than I have seen cattle in the settlements, browsing on the leaves of the cane, or cropping  the herbage on those extensive plains..."
In the novel Swift Pilot Knob plays and important role in the story. As  a historical novel based on Kentucky's pioneer history the explorations and activities of Daniel Boone, James Harrod and John Finley provide a great backdrop to the modern day explorers efforts to solve the amazing two hundred year old mystery of Swift's hidden mines. What Boone actually saw from the prominent knob that day in June was the level lands where the Shawnee Town of Eskippakithiki stood only sixteen years before. John Finley, scout and leader to Boone's 1769 trip had basically led Boone and company back to the place where he (Finley) had operated a thriving trading business with the Shawnee. Other posts on this site provided details on Finley and the events surrounding the last Shawnee Town in Kentucky. You can check that post out  here.
Rock shelter at Pilot Knob
    The mystery is set in motion when a couple hiking and exploring the Pilot Knob discover a map carved on the back wall of a rock shelter. The map, though mysterious to the hikers, proves to be too tantalizing and lead them on an adventure like none other they have ever experienced. The modern day discoveries and adventure is supported and information back filled with a consecutive story of  the activities of Boone, Finley and John Swift. The reader then can relate to how events unfolded in those pioneer days compared to what our characters discover today.
    I've been asked if there is actually a rock shelter at Pilot Knob. There is indeed as described. There are names carved under the rock shelter and some quite old dating back to pioneer times. There is no map carved into the rocks, nor turkey tracks on top of the outcrop. No silver arrowheads or dead bodies! Yes, I said dead bodies. Want to know more? Well, if you did not arrive at this blog site from my web site, please jump on over there and read a couple of chapters from my book. You can even order your own copy from the site. Check it out.
    This blog site is updated every two weeks, usually on Monday's. Not every post is directly about the book or Swift either for those of you who just do not care about history. Some posts are simply about some really cool (in my opinion) places around the state. The next post promises to be just that some really unique place.


  1. Awesome place! It's neat to awe places from the characters in the book. You could start your own "Swift" your bus!


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