Feb 232011

A roadmap to destruction

Below are a series of road trips to view mountaintop removal sites in Kentucky. Directions for the trips come from a pamphlet put out by Lexingtonian Dave Cooper.

–From Pikeville, take US 23 South for 12 miles. Turn right onto KY-1460 (Virgie Road). Go 0.7 miles to see an active mine on your right.

–From the Pikeville Wal Mart on US 23 take US 119 North towards Williamson, WV, for 7 miles. 1Onemile past the Bent Branch exit look for an “EQT” sign on the right. Turn right on the access road to see active mining.

–To see a coal slurry pond, take the Hal Rogers Parkway to Hazard, KY, then take KY-15 North for about 6.5 iles. Turn left into the Coalfields Industrial Park and drive 1.5 miles–stay on the main road–to see the pond on your left. Go back to KY-15 and turn left, then go 0.7 miles and turn right to the Wendell Ford Airport. Go up the hill and bear right at the Y. You can see an active mine towards the back and homes built on a reclaimed mine site.

–From Hazard, take KY-15 South for 15 miles. Pass over Carr Creek Lake and immediately turn left onto KY-1231 North. Travel uphill 3.4 miles and park at the beige utility shack with a blue roof to see a huge valley fill and MTR.

–From McDonalds in Whitesburg, take US 119 South over Pine Mountain. At the bottom, turn left onto KY-932. Go past Bad Branch into Virginia. Keep going. At B&J Grocery go straight onto VA-707. One mile later turn right through an iron gate, then immediate left. Park here and walk up to the blue water tower.

–In Harlan County, take KY-160 fro Lynch over Black Mountain into Virginia. Go down the mountain, then turn around in Inman, VA. There are incredible views of MTR ont the Virginia side of the mountains.

Weather’s getting nice. Take a drive, see for yourself.

Visit the website www.mountainroadshow.com for a downloadable document with detailed driving directions, commentary, photos, Google satellite and video links.