Friday, March 14, 2008

A day I won't soon forget. Witness to a Plane Crash!

You know, you see things like this on TV and read about them in the newspapers, but you don't expect to be an eye witness to an airplane crash! I'm still shaking. And it has been several hours now since it happened.
Jim, Pam, Terry, Grizz & myself were doing mostly trail riding and some clean up work down at WTOP (for those that don't know what that stands for it means, Wilderness Trail Off-Road Park).
Terry & Pam had just split off with us because they had to go home to get ready to attend a meeting of another ATV club, Mountain Trails. Grizz, Jim & myself were going to go by the water tower and make our way over to the other side to the Mud Bowl.
We saw this small airplane that was going really slow and low.... and I do mean LOW! It looked as if it was trying to land. I won't go in to details here but the next moment we saw it go down. We all knew it had crashed.
Jim and Grizz took off toward where they thought it had landed. I stopped for a second to call 911. I would say that the call came in no more than 30 seconds after the plane went down. Maybe that was what helped to save his life. I hope so.
There was one man in the plane. He was alive when I got there. I'm here to tell you I was scared to death. I couldn't bring myself to actually look to see him. I was afraid to look for what I might have seen.
In an attempt to make a long story short, I went down to the intersection of the road on 1344 to wait on the rescue people to get there and lead them to the crash site. I know one thing... Miss Kitty can run off and leave a fire truck sitting in my dust! I had to almost stop a time or two waiting on them to catch up. BUT then I guess driving what they were and hauling what they were that they can't keep up with something like an ATV.
By the time I got back up to the crash site, they had the gentleman out of the airplane. He was hurt, not sure how bad but at least he was alive. The fire truck/ems people called for an air rescue to come to the site. It took about 20 minutes for it to get there. The rescue squad had gotten there shortly after the fire trucks and attended to the mans injuries. They loaded him into the back of the ambulance and waited with him there till the air rescue arrived on site.
From what I was reading at the WYMT news site they took him to UT Knoxville Hospital. I wish that I had a way of knowing that he will be OK.
Before I go any further I have to mention that not only was it the three of us at the crash site, but Brandon & David were on the other side, near the Mud Bowl and came over too. All 4 of them pulled the man out of the plane. They arrived there while I was down waiting on the rescue squad. I'm still so shaky that I'm having a hard time remembering it all. Or should I say put everything in the order of events? Yeah that's it.
I'm going to try to call Knoxville tomorrow to see if I can get in touch with any of the mans family to make sure that he is OK. I pray that he will heal from his injuries and will be alright. It is so remote up there that if someone had not seen him go down I'm not sure how long it would have been before someone found him. And with him being in the shape that he was, I'm afraid to think of how he would have been if it had been a long time. I'm sure that he wouldn't be alive.
Well, that is what has happened in my part of the world on Thursday, March 13, 2008! Sure hope it does not happen again anytime soon!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wilderness Trail Off-Road Park!

It is official..... we have a name! The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of naming the new ATV/UTV/etc park.... Wilderness Trail Off-Road Park! For those of you that have no clue what I'm talking about here is a little bit of background on what is going on in Bell County Kentucky (Middlesboro).

We are located in Bell County KY, which is located on the Kentucky/Tennessee/Virginia state line, in the shadow of the famous Cumberland Gap, where Daniel Boone opened the Gateway to the west via the Wilderness Road. Also home to Middlesboro, KY, the town built inside a meteor crater.
We are deep rooted in Appalachian tradition and southern highland culture. Corn bread and coal mines. Log cabins and over-alls. Front porch conversations and deals sealed with a hand shake. And of course, a down-home, come-on-in-and-grab-a-plate attitude. No matter who you are or where you are from, the people of the mountains of southeast Kentucky will treat you like next of kin.
We in Bell County are blessed with breath-taking mountain views and some of the best trail riding the world has to offer. The coal and lumber industries have left us with trails of all kinds and of all difficulties. From level gravel roads with spectacular views that are great for beginning riders to rutted out, rocky log roads that would make even the most experienced riders get chicken skin (that's goose-bumps in mountain talk)...Bell County has both and everything in between. Mud, dirt, gravel, rocky creek beds...whatever you want in a trail riding experience, we got it.
Great mountain views. Great trail riding. And great people. We invite you to come on down to the mountains and experience it first-hand. We know that once you do, you'll be back for more.

To the locals, it has always been known as Mountain Drive.
A pristine stretch of land in eastern Bell County comprised of beautiful plateaus, roaring mountain streams, and deep hollers.
On top of the mountain you get the feeling of almost being in the old west...on a primitive frontier landscape. Rolling, grassy fields and scrub brush...and yes...even cattle dot the landscape. Wilderness as far as the eye can see. Then you look beyond the pastures and you immediately realize...You're on top of a mountain! A glance to the north will give you a view of the Pine Mountain Range...And looking to the south will offer a view of the towering Cumberland Mountain range.
Mountain Drive has been extensively mined and beautifully reclaimed over the past half century. After coal and lumber operations ceased on the property, large sections were leveled and reclaimed as pasture land, in an area where flat pasture land was a luxury of the highest degree.
Through the generosity of Asher Land and Mineral, our club has obtained the right to develop 9,000 acres of this property into an off-roaders dream come true. The future park will stretch from the Colmar region in the west to the end of Hances Ridge in the east, with more land hoping to be added down the road to connect in with the already world famous trail riding in Harlan County. The entrance will be the locally-famous "Bridge To Nowhere"...which will now be a Bridge to Somewhere. Somewhere beautiful.
The park is also bordered on the north end by the famous Cumberland River and will be accessible from our trail head area, where visitors can enjoy some great kayaking an canoeing, as well as river smallmouth and walleye fishing! And speaking of fishing, Mountain Drive also has numerous ponds that contain largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie, which our visitors can fish on the terms of catch and release. All that is required to enjoy some great fishing is a valid Kentucky fishing license!
As a club we are also planning on developing camping and picnicking areas throughout the property.
Mountain Drive, Now known as "Wilderness Trail Off-Road Park" offers riding of all kinds...there is truly something for everyone. For beginning riders, you can cruise for hours upon end on easy, flat gravel roads...taking in the sights of the beautiful mountain ranges on either side and watching all kinds of wild life. For those who enjoy a bit more of a thrill, Mountain Drive also contains miles of wooded trails, ranging from easy to extreme. Pick your poison!
What about mud you might ask? Allow us to introduce you to the Mud Bowl.

A redneck Roman coliseum if you will...The mud bowl is not for the clean-at-heart. This huge mud pit is bordered by walls on the side for spectators to cheer you on...And enough mud holes of various depths to get you as muddy as you wanna get! And this is only one of many mud pits that Mountain Drive has to offer!
Our club also has plans to develop a huge rock garden for all the rock crawlers that want to test their skill and also have plans to develop a race track for thrill seekers to lay claim to bragging rights!
Mountain Drive will soon enter a new phase of it's life. It will host people from all around the world who desire to get the full southeast Kentucky experience. The club will do upkeep on the trails and also keep the park free of litter and will set up trash cans throughout the area.
The best part of this area for visitors to our area is the cost of riding this beautiful land...FREE. That's right...there will be no charge to ride any of this land.
As of now we are in the process of mapping the trails and going through the development phase. We are working hard to have this land opened up to the public as soon as possible.

All riders will ride under KRS 411.190 - "Ride at your own risk"

For the most part the park is open now.... but there is still work going on almost on a daily basis. WE are working hard to get things cleaned up.. trails mapped and cleared of trees, brush etc.

For information on where to stay and other things to do while you visit our wonderful area you can go to .

Please come visit us for a wonderful ride and some amazing views of our part of the world!

Monday, March 10, 2008

No riding this past weekend, but did some club work.

The weather wasn't that great this weekend for riding so some of the club members got together at Terry & Pam's house to do some much needed club work on Sunday. They had already cut out and primed boards that will be used for "Trail Markers" and needed members to come help paint on the numbers and decide which number will go with which trail.
The main trail that connects both sides of the park will be known as "hc Route 66"... the sign markers for that trail/road will even look like the old sign markers for the famous Rt. 66! Now as for how long any of them will stay in place before they are either stolen or shot to pieces who knows!
The Holler Crawlers have their monthly meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday) at Pineville. Topics to be discussed are the plans for the Benefit ride for Sean & King that were killed on duty back in January. We will also be voting on the new name for the newest ATV Park in Bell County. The two choices will be #1. Wilderness Trail Off-Road Park #2. Wilderness Road Motor-Sports Park. Personally I like #1 the best. I think it tells it all.... anything form of transportation that is considered "OFF Road" is welcome there! In my mind if you say the word "Motor-sports" I think of RACING, like they do at Bristol. But I'm only one person with only one vote. I've got the voting slips printed up and ready to hand out at the meeting. I'll come back HERE on Tuesday night after I get home to share how the vote went.
Well it is now less then 2 weeks till my husband and I go up to Hindman, Ky. to take the ATV Safety course. I'm looking forward to it myself. I just hope that it isn't freezing cold. I've got enough clothes that I can put on to stay warm... Jim with his health issues has a harder time of it than I do.
Well for now that is all the news about riding or club activities. Not a whole lot, but I'm sure that as the weather improves that it will change!
Till next post.... Ride Long, Ride Hard but always Ride Safe! WEAR YOUR HELMET!