2017-10-25 / Families & Friends

A few idiots can ruin scenery for all others

By IKE ADAMS

I’ll start out by apologizing to all the Richards, Scotts and Amys whose names are not public garbage scrawled onto the guardrail at one of the few places motorists can pull off the road and take in the majestic views from near the top of Pine Mountain.

Points East

But there’s a Richard somewhere who loves an Amy so much that he was willing to commit a crime to prove it. Ditto for a certain Scott. I have already forgotten who Scott loves that much so the object of his affection is not going to be publically humiliated in this week’s newspaper. Or maybe it was Scott who loves Amy and Richard loves somebody else. The details don’t stick with me but the crime does.

In any event, Richard, Scott and Amy are only three of at least a dozen other names branded onto this particular guardrail by idiots who don’t seem to realize that they are using Magic Markers to turn their names into garbage every time they deface public property.

Unfortunately, public name trash is not an eyesore peculiar to Pine Mountain. Just about any place you pull off the road in Kentucky you will not have to take more than a few steps to find something defaced with somebody’s name. It’s the human equivalent of a dog peeing on a fire hydrant or a vehicle tire except the evidence is, if not permanent, far longer lasting and, consequently, far more disgusting.

I’m not sure why I persist in ranting about stuff like this. It’s not that much different than bemoaning the fact that Garrard and Madison counties have significant populations of idiots who throw their garbage out their car and truck windows and think nothing of their contributions to making the landscape look like a pig sty. Until we find a way to actually catch them in the act of doing it and see to it that they serve a little jail time along with a hefty hit on their wallets, their behavior is not going to change.

At least I have seen no evidence that pointing out the obvious in newspaper columns has done anything to reduce the number of dirty diapers, fast food containers, junk food wrappers, beer cans, etc., that accumulate on the roads in my neck of the woods. Shame is obviously not a cure for sloth and lunacy.

In the meantime, if you love fall colors, there will be no better time or place to enjoy them than the mountains of eastern Kentucky over the next week or so.

Loretta and I were on Pine Mountain on October 15 but we were at least a week too early because there were only hints of reds and yellows showing here and there on the dark green palette. Nature photographers know that what it needed most to color up was a good rain and a touch of frost. The mountains have had ideal amounts of both since we were there.

I doubt that Mr. Parkinson will be willing to make the trip again without putting up more of a fuss than I’m willing to contend with, but I’d sure love to do it.

I’d go to Whitesburg, have breakfast at Pine Mountain Grill, spend an hour after the meal trying to herd my wife out of the gift shop, then head south on U.S. Highway 119 toward Cumberland. At the top of Pine Mountain, I’d hang a right onto the Little Shepherd Trail (Google it) and I stay on it until sunset. I’d spend the night at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn (Google it) and the next morning I’d decide on whether I wanted to catch the sunrise back on the Little Shepherd Trail or meander across Black Mountain into Appalachia and Big Stone Gap, Va., before heading back to Whitesburg to see the moonshine distillery and turning Loretta loose in the shops on Main Street.

You will not need to worry about the vulgar, senseless graffiti causing you much disgust because, at least so far, Richard and Scott have not found a way to advertise their love lifes by spray painting the sides of entire mountains. On the other hand, these two morons are probably celebrating the fact they got their names in the paper.

I’m betting that poor Amy is not all that thrilled about it.

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