The photo gallery below augments yesterday’s observations about eastern Kentucky. The photos highlight what visitors see traveling through the region, and some of the people they may meet if they stop to get acquainted. I hope you enjoy them.
[Click on the first photo to enter the gallery presentation. Captions are below the photos.]
Cumberland mountains shrouded in low clouds
Near parks and upscale communities newcomers build homes high on the mountain sides
Railroads go through most towns, near streams. Homes scatter along the tracks.
A railroad passes over a small county road. A one-lane culvert serves to funnel traffic under the tracks.
Towns and cities grow up the hillsides when the low-lying land runs out. The roads up switch back and forth.
An old building in Pineville shows off balconies that look unreliable today
Some items for sale in a department store in Pineville
Owners of a Mexican restaurant made and dressed this snowman in front of their business
A food bank in Harlan, KY. Homes occupy the nearby hill.
Red Bull is the beer of choice in eastern Kentucky, according to some new friends. Ford pickups and coal bumper stickers are even more common.
Harlan Pawn shop is loaded with inventory. The coal economy is suffering, and customers are not reclaiming their pawned items. At the same time, others lack the money to buy them.
An old garage chiseled out of a hillside in Harlan. The homesite is above, up the hill.
A neighborhood with homes stacked against the hillside. A United Methodist “opportunity store” with used merchandise is at the lower right.
A view of Harlan from partway up the hillside. This view is almost the same as shown in the introductory photos of the TV program, Justified, which is set in eastern Kentucky.
Eastern Kentucky has many fine homes, especially near major recreational areas.
A typical, tidy country home in eastern Kentucky
Tidy, but needing repairs
Tidy home, needing repairs, nearby church in background
The ubiquitous from porch. Home is only a few feet off the road.
Many homes, especially away from town, are surrounded with junk and used cars.
On rural side roads, small communities spring up. Some homes are manufactured homes, others were built with standard construction.
Small automobile graveyards dot the rural regions.
Earth moving equipment is common, reminding visitors how difficult it is to build in this region.
Boys posing in a tree, Cumberland Falls State Park.
Visiting Cumberland Falls, local women bring their boys who need to burn energy.
Cathy was panhandling in Pineville. She described her violent first husband (now dead from an accident), and showed off the scars on her legs and stomach from the many injuries he inflicted. She receives disability payments.
Two men in Harlan were moving furniture in a local school.
In Harlan, William was heading to the food bank and stopped to talk.
A Baptist church, small, close to the road, near the South Fork of the Cumberland River.
A Faith Holiness Church on a rural road south of Harlan. Again, close to the road and small.
A Full Gospel Pentecostal Church of God, about a half mile from the previous Faith Holiness Church.
Are you ready to meet God?
Religious signs are common along the backroads of Kentucky.
Nailed to a tree.
Hand lettered, nailed to a tree.