The barber shop and more!
I took this picture as the coal train returned us back to the depot. Otherwise, it was hard to see the front of this from where we were touring.
We finished the Coal Mine Tour around 2:00 pm. We decided we had time to drive to the Sandstone Falls. The drive there was what we are learning, they are typical West Virginia mountain town roads! And by now, Bill is really sure a Class B won’t work for us. He is SUCH a careful driver….
Interesting view of the road. Bill said again, no way he would drive a Class B on these roads.
We still had hours of daylight after a good hour of enjoying another perspective of the New River. We looked to see what else might be on our way back to the hotel. After looking at the information from the Visitor Center, it looked like Grand View part of the NRG, would be a perfect stop. Close by was the Grand View Restaurant. And it was dinner time! It was a delightful diner where we felt like we were eating a home cooked meal.
From the official website, this sure made us want to go:
Grandview is a peaceful place to relax and unwind while enjoying outstanding views of the New River. From 1400 feet above the river at Main Overlook, visitors are rewarded with one of the most outstanding views in the park. On a clear day you can see directly into the heart of New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, including seven miles of the New River and its watershed. From Main Overlook visitors can also get a glimpse of some of the gorge’s unique cultural history. From here you see an active railway and the town of Quinnimont, where the first coal was shipped out of the gorge in 1873. Don’t miss the views from Turkey Spur Overlook, and be sure to walk the woodland trails….”
We were feeling that rocky mountain high! Oh, that’s the Rockies. These West Virginia mountains may not be as high, but they sure were invigorating! We were so energized by the clean mountain air and the fact my knees were cooperating! Come along and see how GRAND it is with us:
The trail head had an information board.
This is also a handicapped ramp so no one will miss it!
We appreciated the detailed board.
We didn’t see any evidence of bears on or near the trail. But we were all eyes and ears for them.
Oh it is GRAND!
Now off to the trail.
Grand View Rim trail.
Very nice trail.
Ok, a few roots and obstacles. But overall EXCELLENT.
Day 4 August 25, 2021 (Our last day)
Bill grabbed a brochure for a Jet Board trip on the New River. Another friend from West Virginia HIGHLY recommended Hawks Nest State Park. Since there were located in the same general vicinity, we saved them for this last day. As we approached the Jet Boat Trips location, I read that they are closed on Wednesdays! OH NO!!! Since we knew we couldn’t white water raft (we both had one bad experience), this looked like a really fun time without our fears. Here is the website in case you are ever in the area. It is something we must go back and do!
We then headed to the Hawks Nest State Park. Oh my, I just can’t explain how Bill is uncomfortable driving on a narrow road without yellow lines on the sides at a minimum but he also prefers the white line in the middle. It seems when there aren’t any markings, cars seem to come around the bend going much too fast and in our lane! We only made it about two miles to the state park. He had to turn around….
Next on our list was Nuttallburg. We needed more time here! This is an old abandoned mine preserved for historical sake. And bonus, a great hike was included! This was one of almost 50 towns that sprang up along the New River in response to the nations need for coal. It was “in 1870, England-born entrepreneur John Nuttall saw opportunity in the coal rich New River gorge and began buying land and building infrastructure along the Keeneys Creek drainage. When the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway was completed through the gorge in 1873, the town was ready for its arrival. Nuttalburg became the second mining town in the New River gore to ship the “smokeless” coal, processed from a mineral seam hundreds of feet above the river corridor and shipped to industrial cities hundreds of miles away….”
What most intrigued Bill to want to see this was the fact Henry Ford leased the town’s mines. In the 1920’s an effort known as “vertical integration” to gain control of all aspects of production, would provide the coal he needed for his steel mills. Visit this website to learn more.
We tried to drive to the Nuttallburg community. The road was just too hard to navigate to get there. Where we turned around, we saw someone driving “up” the road. We learned his house was for sale. He asked if we wanted us to buy it! We asked how he drives up and down the road as it looks like one lane. When another car approaches, each one has to hug the “wall” or the “cliff” – very narrow! He said you just do it! No class B for us on this road. We couldn’t even navigate it in our Honda Pilot. If you go to the Park website, it says the road is closed due to a dangerous washout! Sorry no actual pictures as I was hanging on and trying to encourage Bill he could make it! LOL
But here is a sample of the road, that was NOT on the side of a mountain. Hopefully, you can see a bit of hesitation one might have.
We meandered around a few roads like this trying to get to Nuttallburg. To the left was more of a cliff than this picture depicts.
Little did we know what a challenging decent of a hike we were going on to get there! We were all smiles starting out, but there was a point I was sucking air! I was just a tad out of shape since all my exercising was at sea level! Bill seemed OK as he really pushes his workouts….
The sign says Short Creek. We didn’t see any other info. We were looking for the trail head and were brought to this area.
We found the trail head about 2/10ths mile away.
Head House Trail. Nice but so steep, no other pictures going down-or up!
Lots of informational boards.
Love the info
Bill enjoyed reading all the information boards.
More about the Nuttallburg Mine
It was a very steep descent. To go to the river, it was considered VERY steep.
After we recovered from this hike, we still had lots of daylight. So now off to Thurman. We didn’t know much about it but there was a quaint museum. And even better was a volunteer to help us navigate around the area, gave additional history and was just a joy to talk with. He was actually from Florida but has been volunteering at this location for about 14 years, each summer. We enjoyed the history of the town and the displays. We took a walking “tour” afterwards – which lasted about 20 minutes
Thurmond, West Virginia, The Heart of the New River Gorge, was established by Captain William D. Thurmond and incorporated in 1903. Serving as a railroad town. Thurmond was at its heyday in the 1920’s with more coal running through it than Cincinnati, Ohio. Thurmond hosted the Guiness Book of World Record’s longest poker game, is one of Travel & Leisure’s coolest ghost towns in America, is where the movie Matewan was filmed, and is a put-in for the upper New River whitewater rafting community. Today, Thurmond is host for the Thurmond Triathlon and boasts beautiful trails for hiking and mountain biking with ample access to the New River for boating and fishing.”
This is the bridge you cross to get to the town!
All Bill could say was no way he could drive a Class B in WVA
After the museum, we walked down to the abandoned buildings.
This was once a vibrant train stop.
The trains fueled up here.
Once was a busy place, the Bank of Thurman.
Walking back to the museum.
A bit of history with a map.
Back across it to head back to the hotel.
Here is the Google Map that shows most the locations we visited. I did not include a driving tour we took as I didn’t keep the brochure. But you can see from this map, we covered a lot of territory! This will be one of our favorite trips!
Google Map of our West Virginia trip
I’m sure you have figured out why No Class B for us. I really was for a LOT of reasons, but this time in West Virginia helped us see clearly it isn’t for us. We had a GREAT time, saw so many interesting and fascinating things. This is what we loved about all of our adventure travels in our motor home. But clearly, we couldn’t have brought it to Beckley. In fact, while traveling full time, we drove through West Virginia a few times and Bill held his breath the whole time! He lived too long in the flat lands!
We left here saying we have to figure out how to travel, sightsee and hike. But next stop was a few days in Williamsburg with our grandsons. Then off to Newport News to my mom’s memorial service.
Psalm 115:16 The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth He has given to mankind.