Friday, July 22, 2016

Life is Good...until it is not!

     Today, I will continue the comparison of our June 2016 trip to Union, West Virginia in search of the DeHart homestead and DeHart Cemetery with my aunt's trek from 1988.
     Great Expectations shared a few photos, a few similarities and the differences to our route to Union, West Virginia.
     My aunt's notes had  a very detailed map of the way they went to find the DeHart land. 

We left the Confederate Monument and started driving south. Knowing that Knobs Road was on the north side of Union, we came upon it quickly. Is this great, or what?  We followed this road as my aunt described as narrow, winding and with lots and lots of trees. We marveled at how Bonnie and Al had driven these mountain roads in a motorhome. She described the road as having houses on both sides of the road. We, too, saw houses. She said they continued going up around corners with a house built along the road every once in a while. I thought there were quite a few houses. This should have been a clue that maybe we didn't go far enough out of town, but I figured in 28 years the area could have built up some.
     Later, as I reflect, I think we should have driven on farther out of Union. However, when we came to a road that went off to the right, I was sure we should take it. The road got narrower and was actually awful.  We kept thinking of Bonnie and Al in their motorhome.  This one lane narrow mountain road was a challenge even for us 28 years later in our car. We drove on.  Along the way the only life we saw was a man in his farmyard moving hay bales with his tractor. We drove on. Finally, we concluded that we should have driven farther up Knobs Hill Road. Eventually finding a spot in the road where we could turn around, we retraced our route.  I took some pictures of the thick trees, the no trespassing signs and the narrowness of the road.  As we passed the farmstead, we decided to stop and ask the fellow if he knew the name DeHart.  He did not know anything helpful since his family was not originally from the area. He pointed to the house just a few yards away and said that Mrs. Reynolds might know since she had always lived around the area.
     I walked up the little knoll to her home. She was very kind and welcoming and fit many West Virginia stereotypes that I could think of.  She was sorry her late husband was not there because he knew all the history of the area.  I was sorry her late husband wasn't there to spend the long hours of each day with her.  Her existence seemed very lonely.
     After gathering what little information we had, we were ready to head back to Knobs Road, take a right and continue on searching for the DeHart Cemetery.  We were close. We just knew it.  Life was good.
     And then it wasn't. We had a problem. My husband had turned the car off so he could join me while talking to our farmer friend.  Back in the car, it wouldn't start.

County Road 10/7

Mrs. Reynold's home

 And it wouldn't start. And it wouldn't start. The car is 1.5 years old. Why wouldn't it start?  Our farmer friend, John, and my husband tried everything they could think of doing.  Soon, I felt like John was our new best friend.
     As with the adventure of Bonnie and Al, we wondered if we would ever find the cemetery or get acquainted with the little town of Union, West Virginia.  It looks like there is another episode to this adventure.

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