Visiting Kayford Mountain

Summer of Solutions Hartford

(These images are in a “gallery” format, so if you click on them, you can see them full size)

During the annual Grand Aspirations August Gathering in West Virginia, we went on a tour of Kayford Mountain with the Keepers of the Mountain Foundation. Started by Larry Gibson to protect the mountains and stop mountaintop removal, the foundation and Larry’s family look after a 50 acre piece of land that is surrounded by 7,500 acres of mountaintop removal sites. Larry was offered millions for his property, but refused to give it up. This gift, and his lifelong dedication to stopping MTR has provided the public a rare access point to see the destruction caused by mountaintop removal mining.


(Panorama by Joe Gorman)

 If you are unfamiliar with the process of mountaintop removal mining (or MTR), it is a particularly destructive and hazardous type of strip mining, where the tops of…

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Back to Work

I’m sitting on a beach in South Carolina. It’s been three days since leaving August Gathering. My grandma is inside, watching TV with her caretaker. The horizon line is an extended blur in the haze, somewhere between the dark water and the dark sky. I’ve seen two shooting stars.

An ancient fossil becoming coal, exposed by blasting

An ancient fossil becoming coal, exposed by blasting

I’m having that odd realization that the things I’m seeing – stars, the ocean – exist on a scale beyond imagination. Somewhere across all this wind and water there is another mass of solid land. Quite possibly, someone else is on the edge of that mass, looking towards ours and wondering what it’s like over here. Continue reading