Golden Hour Geese
Golden Hour Geese
She looks peaceful, but really she’s stalking the birds just outside the window.
In search of a sunset, I found a beautiful blue sky and wispy clouds.
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.
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.
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.
Freed 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
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.
For 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.
Newel Post and Pictures
Original Light Switches
Staircase—It’s awesome to have my hand on the same rail as the McCoys’ hands.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes the beauty is just at your feet.
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.
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.
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!
Personally, I want to be a member of the Long Hair Clan. 😀
Cherokee Indian Removal information.
Creek Indian Removal information. These are my people.
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!