Sunday, May 28, 2006

Almost forgot W.Virginia

Just a little bit out of order here, it seems as if I forgot all about West Virginia, we spent a week in a resort right across the street from Pipestem state Park. This is in the mountains and pretty much in the middle of nowhere but a very beautiful nowhere.We came across a lot of neat thing just wandering any road that we could find; the first was Pinnacle Rock St Park. This is a natural formation and is where the rocks when rising to form the mountains this section turn 90 degrees and shot up.Its probable about three hundred feet high and yes we did climb it, it took awhile and we had to make a lot of stops on the way up but we made it, did I mention that there are stairs on the other side. It's still a helluva climb but the view from up top is worth it, no picture you have to climb it yourself.

Another road took us to a little roadside park, which is right over top of the Big Bend Railroad Tunnel. This tunnel was started in 1870 and took three years to complete the entire mile, about half way through construction; the new steam drill was invented and brought to this sight. Everyone was amazed at the speed except for one man who challenged the drill and operator with his sledgehammer and chisel. The contest started and by the time it was over the man had beat the machine, he then walked a few feet away and dropped dead, giving us the legend and ballad of “John Henry the Steel Driving Man”. I’m not kidding we really found this place.

While following a little road along side the Greenbrier River we found the Graham Cabin, built by Col.Graham in the 1770’s it was the site of a Shawnee Indian Attack in 1777 where is daughter was taken captive. The Col spent eight years following tips until he located and bought back his daughter.

Our last day in the resort we figured that we should drive across the street and see what was at the State Park and we’re glad we did, there are two lodges there one on the top of the mountain and the other in the bottom of the gorge. We decided to visit the one at the bottom of the gorge, a grueling three hours hike down the trail dug into the side of the mountain or a five-minute ride on the tram.

The lodge is right on the Blue River and has a nice dining room and miles of trails if you’re up to it, we were just going to do lunch but of course the dining room is closed on Tuesdays. It was right about then that Cathy noticed the sign that said the tram shuts down at 1pm on Tuesdays, good thing cause we never would have made the six-hour hike out.

The nice thing that the lodge does is the Tram ride is FREE, on the way down, when you're ready to leave and you go back to the tram to get on their is a ticket booth, Four dollars a head to avoid the walk back up. Pretty tricky, but if you eat at the lodge the ride up is free.

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