Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Redbud: Ahha Spring!
Dirtbikes, roosters, redbud and dogdood: Its spring in the coal mining counties of Appalachia. Winding up, down and around the twisty country Road #421 from Hazard, Kentucky to Carr Creek, Virginia; there is not a straight or flat section for miles. Sprigs of pink, barns, log cabins, and modular units dot the hillsides. Some sloping yards are filled with roosters, each with its own tiny shelter. "Little Jerries," reflects Dave, remembering the Seinfeld episode when Kramer had a rooster that he rescued from cockfighting.Roadcuts expose jet black coal and we pass many mines tucked into the hills, and many mountain tops raw and exposed, or reclaimed in telltail green. At the US Army Corps campsite along the damned Carr River, guys at the picnic shelter are plucking a base, guitars, and banjo: the air fills with mountain music and a roadside banners reads, "Coal Keeps the Lights on."