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Rose Bud and Beckett Mountain

November 10th, 2013 · No Comments · Family, Travels

After we’d barged right into a funeral and managed to wiggle a free tour out of the Rozark Roasterie, we moved on the family history portion of our trip.  Have I ever told you that Ed’s race is “Hill-folk”?  Well, that’s how he refers to himself anyway.  You see, he’s one of those lucky individuals who’s got Hillbilly genes running through both sides of family like a veritable cesspool.   Mr. Kenneth Hughes, Ed’s biological father, came from the hills of Virginia and is the namesake of our middle son, Kenny.   Ed’s mother, Nanette Flynn (Hammond), hails from Arkansas, specifically Beckett Mountain.

Nan’s been gone for years now but anyone who ever spent time with her can tell you that regardless of what you were talking about, if you were there for any length of time sooner or later, she weaved her stories back to Beckett Mountain.  We can all recite the stories about crossing the Devil’s Backbone, the lost infant children, the harsh conditions of live in those days, the final home of the Flynn’s which was there at the end of Flynn Road, and the fun she had defying her grandpa and playing on the creeks along Devil’s Backbone.  Maybe that’s where all the orneriness in the family comes from?  Yes, let’s go with that, blame it on Grandma Nan!!

Cousin Jeri was kind enough to take the time during our recent trip to give us a quick refresher on Rose Bud and help us find the long winding road across the mountain to Devil’s Backbone.  Thank you, sweet lady!  Our trip through the area wouldn’t have been nearly as satisfying without that insider knowledge!

After we visited the roasterie, we headed just up the way and found Flynn Road along with his great grandparent’s home at the very end.

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We located the St. Mary’s Historical Cemetery outside of town.

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We’ve heard these names from Nan thousands of times over the years.

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It would be difficult to live in a time where nearly half the children born didn’t survive.  There were so many small headstones scattered throughout the cemetery, some were next to their parents and some were marked with simple small stones.

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We spent some time walking through and finding the graves of Ed’s relatives.  Although he recognized some names, there were probably dozens more that he didn’t know the names but are still all connect through the fabric of small community.

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We found both sets of his great grandparents.

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Of course, considering the area we were in, there were a LOT of Presley’s!

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We left the cemetery and traveled to Beckett Mountain Road where we began the climb.  No, this isn’t the Rockies, but it’s truly a gorgeous drive and it was the one time I allowed Ed without rebuff to wonder out loud, “Can you imagine making this climb in a covered wagon?  Or an old pickup truck?”  Mom used to tell us of the sheer cliff drop offs which we couldn’t really see but Cousin Jeri told us that they were really overgrown, leading to a false sense of security.  Sure enough, when I looked over and saw the solid thickets of trees then really focused on the slope of the ground rather than the trees, I could tell it was a straight drop off the edge!

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Then we hit the switchback.  I sort of knew what to expect because I’d zoomed in on Google Earth (thank God for Google!) and it was obvious we left a graded “road” to travel on two tire tracks through the Devil’s Backbone and across the creeks.

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I think this berm is supposed to keep you from heading over?  You can’t tell but this is where is went STRAIGHT down over the edge!

 

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I think I’d be nervous if my kids were sneaking off to play on these cliffs too!

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Started down the other side of Devil’s Backbone.

 

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The first creek was dry but we could see water over the second one.

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We made it across just fine and that was the end of the drive.  What a gorgeous wonderful cool trek over the mountain!  So glad we took the time to journey over it.

 

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