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


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

Dils-Cemetery-McCoy-Family-Gravesite-HMGT

McCoy Gravesite Sign

Dils-Cemetery-stairs-climb-HMGT

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-Cemetery-HMGT-stairs

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.

Dils-Cemetery-headstone-Randal-Sarah-McCoy-HMGT

McCoy Headstone

Dils-Cemetery-Randal-Sarah-McCoy-Original-Marker-HMGT

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.

Dils-Cemetery-Sarah-Syck-HMGT

Sarah Syck’s Grave—what an interesting name.

Ready to go yet?

You can find more info here:

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3QE8B_hmgt-14-dils-cemetery?guid=3919e2b3-65d0-472b-873a-07e99cf3c077

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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?

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3QEPW_hmgt-13-the-mccoy-house?guid=fec7ad5c-b147-47c9-8336-03b7fe7d5f4d

Disappearing Skills: Maps


In one of my classes with my international students today, I was telling them about the dream trip DH & I took in 1999 to Yellowstone National Park.

In the course of the conversation, they wanted to know how we got there.

“What do you mean, ‘How did we get there?'”

“How did you get there?”

“Um, by car.”

“No, no–How did you get there?”

“Well, we certainly didn’t have a GPS.”

“So, how did you get there?”

I just looked at them.

“We used a map.”

Triptik Map

“A map?”

“Yes. A map,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Oh, that’s so dangerous!”

“What?!” I couldn’t believe my ears!

A map? Dangerous?

Really?

“Haven’t you ever used a map?”

“Oh, no!” That is too dangerous!”

Honestly! They’ve never considered using a map, never heard of a AAA Triptik, and have never pondered the possibility of setting out on a trip with just a map in hand and no GPS.

Truthfully, I still like a paper map to show the big picture. I love my GPS (I have 6 of them, after all, 8 if you count the ones on our iPhones), but there’s something reassuring about a paper map that a GPS just can’t provide.

Teaching continually opens my eyes in many ways, but today takes the cake.

Maps. Dangerous. Who’d a thunk it?

 

Fake Spring Break


Today is the first day of Spring Break.

It’s been spitting snow all day.

It was 38 degrees.

The wind chill was 28 degrees. In Alabama.

I had to get our taxes done.

We have to get a new AC/Heating unit put in later this week. (The one that’s kaput is only 5 years old.)

If I had thought this through, I would have gotten my sister, and we would have gone to her condo in Florida after I rescheduled the above tasks.

Sea Oats

On the upside, we are getting a tax refund. Nice, since it’s our money anyway.

How has your first day of Spring Break been?

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?

Geocache

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Posts

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.

Outhouse

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!

Buttercups

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!

Don’t Miss the Little Very Important Things This Christmas


We celebrated Christmas on December 16th this year due to a variety of reasons. It was wonderful for many different reasons including no pressure for anyone to have to be celebrating with anyone else on that particular day. You know how it is—go here—go there—go everywhere—and have a hard time enjoying any of it. We’ve all been there.

So, this year, no pressure. Just a day, albeit early, to enjoy Christmas.

We did all the usual things—ate too much, bustled about, and then settled down to open the ridiculous number of presents. We start out rather organized with each one opening a gift at a time, and then descend into a kind of anarchy where there ensues a bit of pell-mell opening of gifts. Chaos. Lovely.

After all the presents were opened and the adult children with our grandchildren were heading home, I hear a small voice.

“Aren’t you going to open this present?”

“What, Little Baby?”

“Are you going to open this one?”

She pointed to the one lone remaining gift.

GG#3 Gift

“Is this for me?”

“Yes.”

Now, I had thought this gift just had candy that she had confiscated from a stash I had in the kitchen, so I didn’t think it was very important.

Boy, was I wrong.

Grandgirl #3 looked at me with her big brown eyes, and I could see that I had committed a grievous error.

I had overlooked her gift that she had made just for me.

This child had spent hours painstakingly sticking pins through sequins and beads making an Alabama ornament just for me.

GG#3 Ornament

And I had just left it sitting there.

When I opened it, tears sprang to my eyes. I’ve never received such a gift.

This child never ceases to amaze me. She will work hours on end on a project and then hand it to you like it took her two minutes to complete.

This one took the cake, and I almost missed it.

Please don’t miss the little important things coming your way this Christmas.

What Men Know That Women Don’t


English: A backpack leaf blower

A backpack leaf blower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes the difference between men and women becomes crystal clear to me.

DH and I helped out friends today by blowing the leaves off their driveway, walkways, and patio. The leaf blower ran out of gas, and instead of just refilling it with gas, DH had to mix up a concoction of oil and gas.

On the way home, we had this conversation:

Me: “Why can’t you just put gas in a leaf blower? Why does it have to be oil & gas mixed together?”

DH: “Because a leaf blower has a 2 cycle engine.”

Silence.

Me: “Well. I know so much more than I did.”

DH gathering his thoughts.

DH: “Cars, and lawn mowers for that matter, have 4 cycle engines which means that they . . . and the square root of 25 is 5 and pi can carry to infinity and the astronauts didn’t overshoot the moon because the quadrant of quantum leaps equals supercalifragilisticexpialidocious which lubricates the internal engine . . . and that’s why you have to mix the oil & gas in a 2 cycle motor and not a 4 cycle motor.”

More silence.

Me: “Ah. Thanks, Dear. It’s clear to me now.”

He gave a great explanation, really, but I still have no clue except that I’d be scared to death to mix oil and gas for fear of blowing up the garage. I am amazed that he just knows this as a matter of fact.