Junction with US 23 -- Hindman -- Somerset -- Columbia -- Glasgow -- Junction with US 31W-68; 274.6 m., State 80.
Hard-surfacing throughout being completed ( 1939). Limited accommodations except in larger towns.
This route passes through a region of primitive beauty and grandeur, where stillness fills the valleys that are shadowed on all sides by bluegreen mountains. Some of the patches of cultivated land -- mostly cornfields -- lie on steep slopes between stands of virgin timber and end on the rims of steep cliffs; others huddle along the streams below.
Far back from the main roads and almost hidden in the coves or on mountain sides are dilapidated log cabins, which usually consist of a single large room and a lean-to, with puncheon floor, a heavy plank door, a large stone chimney, and one window with a single sash. Often there is a narrow porch in front. Built long ago of green timber, the average cabin has shrunk and sagged until there is hardly a square joint, a perpendicular face, or a level place in the structure. Puncheons have warped, leaving wide cracks in the floor, and the rived shingles have curled and been patched repeatedly. The limited amount of clothing not in use hangs from nails and pegs on the walls between bunches of dried beans, strings of peppers, dried apples, and gourds. There is usually an almanac in the cabin, but no clock, for "What does a man want with a clock when he has a good crowin' rooster?" A kerosene lamp, frequently without chimney, or a twisted rag stuck into a bottle of hog grease, furnishes illumination. Tables and chairs are homemade, and beds are few -- regardless of the number of people in the family. In the yard stands an ash hopper for running lye to make soap, and a large iron kettle for boiling clothes and soap, for scalding hogs, as well as for a variety of other uses.
The woman of the mountains leads a difficult life, while the man is lord of the household. Whether he works, visits, or roams through the woods with dog and gun, is nobody's business but his own. If he converts the corn that his family laboriously cultivated on the steep mountain side into whisky, his wife never thinks of asking "the law" to force him to keep it for family support. A spirit of personal independence and belief in his rights as an individual are distinctive traits of the mountaineer. He is entirely unable to understand any interference in his affairs by society; if he turns his corn into "likker," he is dealing with what is his. In spite of extreme poverty and an environment beset with trying, often hazardous conditions, the mountaineer