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Program 802

1. Sunflower Sundries
2. Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
3. building the Pine Mountain Trail
Season 8 Menu

Robertson County

For more information:
Sunflower Sundries, 5021 Dividing Ridge Rd., Mount Olivet, KY 41064, (606) 763-6827

Producer/editor: Joy Flynn
Videographer: Frank Simkonis
Audio: Brent Abshear

Farm-Fresh Soap

Homemade products at Sunflower Sundries

It’s tough to make a living these days by running a small family farm. But Jennifer Gleason and her Robertson County family have found a way. Since 1992, they have operated Sunflower Sundries, a thriving mail-order business that sells soaps, jams, jellies, mustards, and other products that they make themselves. And the benefits of their cottage industry extend beyond their own 60-acre farm: Neighbors supply some of the ingredients and are paid to help with tasks like wrapping the soaps.

All the ingredients are natural—Sunflower Sundries jams, for instance, use only fruit and sugar, with no artificial filler added—and grown using organic methods. They are then converted into the final products, from rhubarb marmalade to a line of spicy mustards, using recipes and techniques handed down through generations.

Marshall County

For more information:
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, 113 Administration Dr., Gilbertsville, KY 42044-0069, (800) 325-0146

Producer/videographer: Dave Shuffett
Editor: Jay Akers

Western Wonderland

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park

Our next segment is a brief tour of Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, on Kentucky Lake in Marshall County. It’s one of the most popular parks in the state system, and even this short overview demonstrates why: It offers extensive choices of accommodation, including a lodge, cottages, campgrounds, and even a lighted airstrip and “air camp” where you can camp close to your private plane, in an area blessed with an abundance of recreation options. The nearby Land Between the Lakes nature preserve offers hiking trails and a chance to see the wildlife, while the manmade lakes themselves make the region a mecca for water-sports enthusiasts.

Host Dave Shuffett gets a guided tour from Park Manager Frank Waggoner and talks about some of the amenities with Business Manager Kevin Branham.

Letcher County

For more information:
Pine Mountain Trail Conference, c/o Letcher County Cooperative Extension Service, P.O. Box 784, Whitesburg, KY 41858, (606) 633-2362

Producer, videographer, audio, editor: Gale Worth

Trail Blazers

Building the Pine Mountain Trail

Our final segment is for those who like their recreation a little “rougher.” At the other end of the state from Kentucky Dam Village, volunteers are building a trail that will connect several other parks—Breaks Interstate Park, Pine Mountain State Resort Park, and Cumberland Gap National Historic Park—and give hikers access to some of Eastern Kentucky’s most spectacular scenery.

Expected to take 10 years to complete, the construction of the Pine Mountain Trail is a mostly volunteer effort, organized and supported by a broad coalition of local and state government agencies and private groups. When they’re through, they hope, the trail will stretch 120 miles through Bell, Harlan, and Letcher counties. At the time of our visit in fall 2001, about 28 miles had been completed, and a group of volunteers from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL was hard at work marking routes, clearing vegetation, and hand-grading to control water flow.

Volunteers also did a lot of political legwork, promoting the idea of creating a new state park—120 miles long but only 1,000 feet wide—along the route of the trail. That work paid off in early 2002, when a bill authorizing the purchase of land for the park passed the General Assembly and was signed into law by Pine Mountain Trail booster Gov. Paul Patton.

Formed about 270 million years ago, Pine Mountain is a 125-mile-long ridge, slightly more than 3,000 feet high at its peak near Whitesburg. Because the terrain is rocky and rugged and the only natural break is at Pineville, where the Cumberland River passes through, it has always been a formidable barrier to human movement. Settlers generally went around rather than over it; even today, population patterns in the area show its influence. As a result, Pine Mountain has remained relatively wild, and today it hosts the greatest diversity of plant life in Kentucky.

It is also a land of impressive rock formations. In the photo, Dave checks one out with Shad Baker of the Letcher County Cooperative Extension Service.

SEASON 8 PROGRAMS: 801802803804805806807808
809: Simple Pleasures and Hidden Treasures810811812813

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