Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adventures in Appalachia-Part Two

Part One is here.
It snowed from the second we hit Kentucky all the way down into the southeastern corner where we were headed. Snow is no big deal for three tough Yankee drivers. We laugh in the face of snow. As long as we're on flat, Yankee land, that is. Snow in the mountains is another story. We crawled down the roads, some of them hollowed out from the very mountains. Even in my exhausted and emotionally drained stupor, I still marveled over the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. My first view of them I will never forget. They kind of creep up on you; you don't even realize you're climbing up until you catch a glimpse of the view through the trees. Trees and mountains as far as the eye can see.

Exiting the highway in Corbin, we saw a barbecue place and gas station or two and that was about it. Coming from Flint, which has a population of about 114,000 to Corbin, which has about 7,500 was kind of a shock. And we weren't even at our final destination yet. (Note: Pineville has about 2,000 residents.)

We continued along 25E, winding our way around mountains and slower moving vehicles, looking for salt trucks or even sand trucks to no avail.

Finally we reached Clear Creek Road, the road that would bring us to college and our new home. On the left were a group of trailers that looked like they had been dropped out of the sky and were haphazardly perched along the roadway. On the right was a golf course, snowed in for the winter.

We got to the school and were greeted by a man in overalls who was driving a little tractor with a snowplow attached to the front.

"School's closed for the snow," he called.

We parked our moving van and the two cars in the empty lot.

"You'll never make it up to your housing area in this!"

The tired, vicious snakewoman in me had a little inner monologue: Let us at least try! We've been on the road for 13 hours! Get out of our way! I will drag this van up the mountain!

The real me just stood there, staring at the snow covered mountains.

Overall man (later introduced as Mr. Fain) showed us into a little building just off the main school. A sign over the door proclaimed that it was the Foxes' Den. Inside were mailboxes, vending machines, and oh, sweet Jesus, couches. We all collapsed. Surely students and faculty alike came in and out while we rested, but we were happily oblivious.

Finally, the road to our temporary housing was clear enough for us to pass. Leaving our van at the school, we traversed the twisting road up to a little house set apart from the rest of the school buildings.

The Missionary Apartment.


Granny on the Web said...

That is one seriously cold-looking photograph. So glad your journey is nearing completion... it all sounds wonderful and challenging.

Keep us posted.
Love Granny

Woman in a Window said...

The snow can be daunting, especially with such new terrain, but all in all you made it safely.

Octamom said...

Love your writing and can't wait to read more of the adventure!


Snowbrush said...

Sarah, you have the unheard of honor of being the only blogger I know in Tennessee who doesn't have the word Tennessee in her blog title. At least, there's one!

Becky said...

This is so great! I love your writing.

Janet said...

I will always remember my first reaction to the Appalachian mountains, because I have it again every time we come home.