Mini Cooper club member shares thoughts of trip

After recovering from an eventful weekend for visitors flooding Harlan County, visitors and locals alike have shared their favorite moments from April 9-11 on social media with numerous pictures and videos.

From Goldwings, Mini Coopers and Jeeps to paranormal tales and pizza, visitors to Harlan County unanimously say it is the place to be, including recent visitor Thomas Rector.

Rector said Backroads of Appalachia treated him and his friends to an “incredible weekend” in Harlan County as his Mini Cooper club came in to tour the historic mountains, visit local merchants and take part in a ghost walk in downtown Harlan.

“If you’re somewhere within 300 miles of Harlan County Kentucky, don’t wait another minute to plan a long weekend there,” he said. “I was there this past weekend (April 9-11) for a MINI car club weekend, and I cannot begin to convey how much we enjoyed the area!

“The hospitality afforded to us during our time in Harlan County was without peer. We all look for opportunities to ‘give back’ by supporting charitable groups, but why not try giving back to the community by helping Harlan County become a destination? It’s well deserved.”

Rector made a post on Facebook about the time he and his friends spent in Harlan County, noting “every local person we encountered was friendly, gracious, curious and overly hospitable.”

Although Harlan County and others in the surrounding region have been struggling with job loss and crumbling economy, Rector said Harlan’s efforts to shift the economy toward tourism is a “brilliant stroke.”

“Harlan County is a beautiful, peaceful and friendly little corner of our country and should be experienced by all us city folk so we can better understand that life is more than traffic, work stress, money, crime and frustration,” he said. “Speaking for myself, our escape to Harlan was everything we wanted and more than we expected. I can promise you that I’ll be back with my family very soon.”

Rector encouraged others through his post to book a stay somewhere in Harlan County, such as the Benham Schoolhouse Inn, for a weekend or full week.

“You will not regret it,” he said. “Here’s wishing you and your county townsfolk the very best as you rebuild your economy.”