Bill Ramey was There!

I am really going to miss Bill Ramey.  It seems that Elkhorn City is losing some of its great ones.  It is impossible to cover impact that Bill had on our community. So I will hit just a few high spots.
Founders Day EC

Founders Day EC

Rodney Ruth, another great, and Bill’s best friend, spoke of Bill at the funeral. Rodney’s basic point was that Bill was “there” for Elkhorn City.  Bill loved Elkhorn City and was always at every event helping promote Elkhorn City.
However, when Rodney said Bill was there, his definition of “there” was more than most people know.  Bill was there at the planning. Bill was there at preparation of the event.  Bill was at the Event.  Bill was there after the event, either helping collect the garbage, taking down the tents, and just making sure everything was back the way it should be.  Yes, Bill was there when the idea came up, when the grunt work was needed, and he was there long after the politicians and elected leaders went home early.
Bill was also the founding father of the Elkhorn City Area Heritage Council, Inc., The Heritage Council started after a conversation in which Bill told me that he wanted a historical society in Elkhorn City.  So I did what I could and with the help of numerous other great people we started and we have not stopped.
Bill loved the Elkhorn City Cemetary and along with Nina Aragon was the reason the Cemetary was inventoried and placed on the list of Kentucky Historical Landmarks.  He is also the person who pushed and helped us get the William Ramey historical marker at the Caboose and all the other historical markers that followed.  Bill, along with Rodney was also the heart of the Elkhorn City Park Board.
Yes,  I have to agree with Rodney … Bill was there, and being there is what really matters! In Fact, he will always be there.   We need more Bill Rameys!
PS … I picture Bill in heaven digging up St Peter’s yuka plants while George Anderson, St. Peters head lawn man mows St. Peter’s lawn … and Bill drink a cold Pepsi for me.

Lessons learned form West, Texas and Boston

This is a guest post by James Lauren aka James Allen-Polley.  It is a facebook status update that I thought when straight to some big issues facing us all.  Here is James.

 

“I have refrained from political posts for a while. West, TX changes that for me. West is why we have the EPA. West is why you should be scared shirtless of Rand Paul, Ron Paul, and other proponents of corporate deregulation.

35 people are dead as a result of corporate negligence and deceit. Many more are injured. First responders will be covered in chemical burns, and 10 first responders are already included in that death toll. 

My heart goes out to Boston, but Boston is an act of madness, we cannot prevent the events precipitating the decision to Bomb a marathon.

What we can do is start having man hunts for people who profit off risking the lives of their workers, and start charging the responsible parties with manslaughter. The truest punishment for these people is not a fine, but to have to admit and explain to the world that they are responsible for the deaths of dozens, injuries to hundreds, and for hitting a community to its core.

Then again, nothing changed and no one cared after Upper Big Branch took 30 lives, nothing why should anything change now?”

Elkhorn City Trail Town: The Trans-America Bicycle Trail

Elkhorn City is located on one of the most famous and well traveled bicycle Trails in the United States.  

Lets take a bike ride on the Trans-America through Pike County!
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The Trail comes into town form the Breaks Interstate Park on Highway 80 (Patty Loveless Drive) The Trail turns at the traffic light and follows Route 197 (West Russell Street to Elkhorn Creek Road)  to  Ashcamp and Route 195.  At Lookout the Trail goes across Poor Bottom Road up the mountain and down Chaney Creek Road to US 23.  The Trail then follow US 23 North to Penny Road at Virgie going across Abner Mountain into Floyd County at Wheelwright.
The Trail thru Eastern Kentucky

The Trail thru Eastern Kentucky

The TransAmerica Trail, also called U.S. Bicycle Route 76, was established by the Adventure Cycling Association for the celebration of the U.S. bicentennial in 1976. At that time, the organization was called Bikecentennial, a name many old-timers still associate with the TransAm Trail. This is still the greatest and most-travelled route crossing America.
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The trail starts at the Atlantic Ocean in Yorktown Virginia and crosses Virginia, Kentucky, and the mid west before reaching the Pacific Ocean at Astoria Oregon. The route passes through the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
Because it takes little-traveled back roads, the route is longer and hillier than if you took the major roads. The route is 4,262 miles long, plus side trips and detours which could add several hundred more miles.
The Trail is noted for its focus on America’s heartland, scenic diversity, and historical interest.
The Kentucky section of this national trail is more than 600 miles long. It runs west to east though the center of the state from rural Crittenden County at the Ohio River to the mountainous Pike County.
 
A Map of the entire Transamerica Route across Kentucky can be found HERE!
Past post involving the Trans-America Bicycle Trail

Elkhorn City Trail Town: The Pine Mountain Trail

This is the next post in the Elkhorn City Trail Town series today I want to talk about the Pine Mountain Traill.  If you want to read the first post in the series on the Blue Line Trail and Riverwalk click HERE.
The Pine Mountain Trail is open with contiguous trail from the Breaks Interstate Park to US 119 at Jenkins, Kentucky. It is designated in two sections for a total of 42 miles. When traveling from North to South you begin in Elkhorn City and travel the ridge to Jenkins.
The Birch Knob Section of the Pine Mountain Trail begins at the Russell Fork trailhead in the Breaks Park at Elkhorn City, Kentucky and follows the Pine Mountain ridge line 13 miles to Birch Knob, the highest point on this section of trail.  Water and primitive camping is available here with an overnight camp shelter.  Continuing southwest for 13 miles is the trailhead at US 23 at Pound Gap at Jenkins, Kentucky.
Brich Knob over view
Elkhorn City sets at the northern most end of the Pine Mountain Trail, the Pine Mountain Trail head is at Carson Island near the Blue Hole pay lake near the border to the Breaks Interstate Park. Numerous people have been enjoying using the trail head for the past four years. I myself have seen hikers from all over the United States near the trail head and in downtown Elkhorn City.
Brich Knob Elkhorn City Close up
The trail from the trail head into Elkhorn city is Carson Island Road to Patty Loveless drive and into downtown Elkhorn City. It’s at this point that the Pine Mountain Trail also intersects with the Trans-America Bike Trail and that the new Pike Energy Trail which is going to be the connector trail for the Great Eastern Trail leaving  Elkhorn city on its way across Pike County to Matewan West Virginia.
Here is a link to the Birch Knob Section of the Pine Mountain Trail.  PMT Birch Knob Section Map
Next in the Series will be the new Pike Energy Trail

Elkhorn City Trail Town: The Elkhorn City River Walk and The Blue Line Trail

This is the first post in a series  highlighting the Trails in and around Elkhorn City, Kentucky.

Mural Under the Cantrell Bridge by the Russell Fork

Mural Under the Cantrell Bridge by the Russell Fork

The Elkhorn City River Walk—also called The Blue Line Trail, referring to the City’s railroad past—was constructed by local residents and artists from all over the world. The theme of this scenic 15 minute walk is the protection of the natural environment that residents hold dear. The entire community—children, youth, adults, and retirees—worked together to revitalize their town.

Let’s take a walk.

The first stop is the (1) Red Caboose & Wm. Ramey Historical Marker and (2) Waterfront Park, a bird habitat with viewing decks above the Russell Fork River. An artist from Japan used stone from a local quarry and concrete to make (3) sculptural seating benches, behind the US Bank (4) The Nature Garden and Butterfly Habitat, designed by a California artist, contains native plants from the region. Ducks swim under the bridge and fish break the water surface as they feed.

Fishing, swimming, picnicking, sunbathing and inner-tubing area is part of a day’s play here at the Waterfront Park.

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Don’t miss the (5) Children’s Mural with a child’s eye view of local nature as you head toward the Historic District via the (6) Walking Trestle Bridge across the river. Visit (7) the Railroad Museum on the other side and if you’re lucky talk to a retired railroad worker. Continue toward Main Street and the public library, a good source of family genealogy;  (8) the Old Bank Building; and (9) the Artists’ Collaborative Theatre with its seasonal schedule of plays. Nearby is the Daniel Boone Historical Marker.

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Turn left and you are on Charles Cantrell Bridge, heading back to the Waterfront Park.

Next post will be on the 1976 Trans-America Bicycle Trail which travels through the heart of the downtown Elkhorn City running along West Russell Street and turning on Patti Loveless Drive running toward the Breaks Interstate Park