Adventures in Geocaching: HMGT #14 Dils Cemetery aka McCoy Gravesite

Dils Cemetery is our stop in this installment of the Hatfield McCoy GeoTrail Adventure.


McCoy Gravesite Sign


See our white van way down there?

I had read about the uphill, mountainous hikes to the graves; I was a bit concerned.

Rightfully so, as it turns out. Good gracious—turns out all these mountain folks are buried, of all places, on mountains. Imagine that.


Dils/McCoy Gravesite

Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it. In Alabama, we have nice, flat cemeteries. Drive up. Get out of your car. Stroll to grave. Easy. No fitness required.

Not so in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Dils Cemetery was our first introduction to vertical burials. This uphill climb graveyard visit took us to the graves of Randal and Sarah McCoy, their daughter Roseanna of the Johnse romance fame, and various McCoy and Hatfield graves.


McCoy Headstone


Original Headstones

Also of interest is that Dils Cemetery is the first integrated cemetery in Eastern Kentucky.  Seems Colonel John Dils wasn’t a big fan of slavery, so he employed freed slaves and later provided burial spaces for them and their descendents.

Dils-Cemetery-Markers-HMGTFreed Slaves’ Graves

We walked about the graveyard, found the cache, and steeply descended the stairs to our car.

On a side note, when we arrived and got out of the car, a fireman and his daughter stopped us because we are from Alabama—I guess the Alabama plates and the Back-to-Back Championship magnet on the car tipped them off. His daughter wants to play softball at The University of Alabama, so we told them that would be a great choice. Roll Tide!

He also said that before the documentary came on TV, hardly anybody ever went “to that old man’s grave.” Now he said there are days he sees as many as 70 go see him in a day.

He helped an old woman go up there one day and spent “the most interesting three hours of my life with her.” She told him that Perry Cline could not have been involved as the lawyer because he was only 13 years old at the time. She also told him that Randal McCoy died after getting drunk and falling into a burning fire in the fireplace of a house that then burned down.

We heard various stories, and who knows what is fact or fiction at this point. All I know is that the whole deal is fascinating.


Sarah Syck’s Grave—what an interesting name.

Ready to go yet?

You can find more info here:


Adventures in Geocaching: HMGT #13 The McCoy House

Adventures in Geocaching: HMGT #13 The McCoy House

I’ve known about the Hatfield-McCoy Feud most all of my life. My interest was renewed when the show Hatfields & McCoys came on TV in 2012. It didn’t hurt that Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton were the main players.

When I discovered that there was a Hatfield McCoy Geotrail winding through Kentucky and West Virginia, I was thrilled to go there, in part to check going to West Virginia off my bucket list. After all, I love the shape of the state and the stories from there. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Nick Saban is from there. Roll Tide.

We started with the McCoy House, and I was thrilled that the caches are big red boxes. I do love a cache that’s easy to find.

McCoy GeocacheWhen I read on the plaque that the McCoys moved here to get away from the Hatfields, I didn’t have that quite click until we visited one of the other sites.

McCoy PlaqueFor some reason I didn’t realize that this is the actual house the McCoys lived in after they were burned out of their house on Blackberry Creek. We visited this site first, and it was the last site we came to when we ate at the restaurant the night before we left. We got to see the upstairs and heard some history from the employees. Oh, and the food was very good.

McCoy Plaque 2

McCoy House Floor

Original Floor

McCoy House Newel Post

Newel Post and Pictures

McCoy House Light Switch

Original Light Switches

McCoy House Staircase

Staircase—It’s awesome to have my hand on the same rail as the McCoys’ hands.

McCoy House UpstairsUpstairs view from the outside

DH and I found the history here to be remarkable. You should plan a trip here even if you aren’t a geocacher. Do you think you’ll make the trip?

Adventures in Geocaching: It was a Cold & Snowy Day

A couple of days ago DH & I made our way to a local nature preserve known as Cane Creek Canyon. We would have loved to hike, but since we were enduring cold blowing wind and wet snow, we just found the first, easy cache at the beginning of the trail.

Cane Creek Canyon

Airplane on a Stick

After we left Cane Creek, we stopped to photograph this plane on a stick. See Santa & Mrs. Clause in the pilot seats?









Next we found this cache which was in really great shape. That’s always a nice surprise.

Rock Grave















When we emerged from the woods I saw this rock pile grave. I wonder why some graves are like this. Do you know? There were 3 in this cemetery.


I really like finding caches in old cemeteries, and this was our second cemetery find of the day.













It’s fun finding caches in fence rows.
Arrowhead Gravestone

When I turned around, I saw this–an arrowhead gravestone. (I’ve masked the info.) I have never seen one like this before, and this is what makes geocaching so interesting–you never know what you might stumble across.

Melted Snow on a Spiderweb

Sometimes the beauty is just at your feet.

Flat Rock Community House

Another interesting location a cache brought us to was the Flat Rock Community House. This used to be a one room schoolhouse, but now it is used for voting. Out back of the house was another fun sight.


How many of you have ever used an outhouse? I have, and it’s a cold seat on a day like the one we were there!


We saw fields and fields of buttercups whilst we were out caching this day.

Jesse Owens Memorial Park

Our caching adventure took us to the Jesse Owens Memorial Park. There are other caches there, but this is the only one I found on this trip.

Oakville Indian Mounds

I’ve lived close to here all my life, but I didn’t know about the Oakville Indian Mounds until this caching trip. If you’ve never tried geocaching, you really should because it will take you to so many unusual places!

Indian Clans

Personally, I want to be a member of the Long Hair Clan. 😀

Cherokee Removal

Cherokee Indian Removal information.

Creek Removal

Creek Indian Removal information. These are my people.

Oakville Indian Mound

Oakville Indian Mound Information

What’s funny about our visit here is that we think we may have been driving on the walking trail, but honestly, it was impossible to tell. I think we were okay because trust me–it was so cold and windy there wasn’t a soul on the trail.

Geocaching is a marvelous adventure that took us on a several hour trek through several Alabama counties experiencing sights we would have missed otherwise.

Grab a GPSr and go!

Adventures in Geocaching: #2,000! 2K! I’ve Found Two Thousand Caches!

Okay. I know finding 2,000 geocaches isn’t that big of a deal anymore since some people can find that many in a year or two these days.

But me? It’s taken me since December 26, 2004–that’s 7+ years–to find two thousand caches. I’m kinda slow since on a normal caching day I’ll DNF (did not find) approximately 30-50% of the caches I attempt. Today was an anomaly since I found 100% of the geocaches I attempted!

Also, I don’t like to cache if it’s raining, extremely hot, or extremely cold. I also won’t cache most weekends since I prefer to spend time with my husband, a dedicated cache-hunting hater. (I love him anyway.) 😀

I love, love, love geocaching, and I’m so glad to have marked 2K down as a milestone now.

This cache is 100th Anniversary. I adore cemetery geocaches because I love old cemeteries. This one fit the bill perfectly since it has graves that are well over 100 years old.

See the Little Church?

How cute is that? I would NEVER have seen this little church if not for geocaching. I love this hobby/sport/addiction!

My 2,000th Cache!

I had actually found a cache here in the past, but it has obviously been archived. I contemplated skipping this one as my 2K in favor of something else, but when the golden hour of photography lit up this church in such an awesome light, I knew this was the one for my 2,000th.

Geocaching, thank you for over 7 years of joy!!

Adventures in Geocaching: A High Memories Day

As a geocacher, I love high numbers days. Mostly though, I don’t have those. What I really like is the kind of day I had today.

A high memories day.

Really, there was nothing overly special about today. It started out sunny and a little warm, but as the sun sank it got a little cold.

The caches were mostly easy finds, but I had a most outstanding caching partner.

Anytime a grandgirl comes caching with me, the day becomes a high memories day rather than a numbers day. It doesn’t matter if the caches are at spectacular locations or not.

It doesn’t even matter too much if we find all the caches or not, but finding is always better than DNFing.

It matters more to her if we find something other than a log in the cache, and happily, today she got to score a smiley face pin for her shirt. And that was from a micro cache.

Looking for the Cache

What matters more to me is seeing the smiling face of a grandgirl finding something she didn’t expect and getting to spend time with her that I wouldn’t have missed for anything.

Now that is a high memories day. Thanks, geocaching. You have given me that with all five grandgirls.

And for the record, we found 4 and DNF’d 2.

Adventures in Geocaching: Blinded by Ivy

Actually, I’m not blinded by ivy. I’m mostly just blind when it comes to finding caches, evidenced by my stats of 1,983 finds to 399 DNFs (did not find).

The local cachers keep saying they are going to throw an event for me when I reach 1,000 DNFs. That would be swell!

Anyway, on to the cache at hand. I had looked for this cache a couple of times before, but I didn’t DNF it because it was raining both times, so I felt like I didn’t give it the ole college try. Today I went back, and since the ivy–lots of ivy–where the cache is hidden is getting a tad ratty-looking from cachers pawing through it, I called the cache owner for help. I also knew I needed help because I had been called to help another cacher a few days ago, and he ended up DNFing the cache.

Turns out the cache had actually been placed by someone else, so I called him. After looking where he told me to, he said he’d come look.

I got in my car and waited. We walked to the location and he started poking around all the places I had looked. He even managed to step into a hole that sank him to his knee, and that right there is one reason why I’m a pretty terrible cacher. I won’t do such things.

After a bit more looking, he said, “Look here.” Well, wouldn’t you know it, it was right where I had looked before. You’d think anybody could see a plastic container with a red strip, but nooooo. Not me.

I apologized profusely for dragging him out in the 30ish degree weather to help me.

He knows I can’t see anything, but he came anyway to help me. I definitely owe him one.

All I had to do was walk up those steps and look to the left. Easy peezey unless you are a blind cacher like me.