We made many trips back to visit our Kentucky kinfolk. Bell County is very similar in topography to our current home in Henderson County, North Carolina. Both are located within the Appalachian Mountain range. [It is pronounced “latch” down here!]
During the Great Depression, my father joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and helped develop Pine Mountain State Park, just a few miles from where he was born. It is still a beautiful park. My favorite spot in the park is Chained Rock, overlooking Pineville. From below it looks like the massive rock, could spring from the mountain and tumble down to the town below. In 1933, the rock was chained to the nearby cliff to attract tourists.
In this 1956 photo above Dad, Don, & I pose atop Chained Rock. That day we also encountered a diamondback rattler coiled in the middle of the trail.
If you are ever passing through that area, it is well worth a visit to the park. When our kids were two, we stayed in some rustic cabins at the park with Don’s family, Mom, and Dad.
In 2009 Jan and I returned to Chained Rock to enjoy the same view – no snake. We also roamed cemeteries filled with hundreds of Partin tombstones. What a day! Two of my greatest passions: genealogy and beautiful mountains!