My Midwest mindset often groups these states together — sometimes only two, but often three.
Are they Southern? They are certainly different from the “Deep South.” Does the Ohio River make the boundary?
These states certainly share a history. The mountains of one and all of the others were explored by brave men (and women) in the later portions of the Eighteenth Century.
During multiple trips to and through two of these states — to arrive in the third — mugs and magnets found their way into my luggage.
Rich history. Fine music. Sipping whiskey. Beautiful scenery. Presidents were born and lived here. Battles were fought.
Exact time is not clear — but I sense more travel to Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina in my future.