Day 09 Roanoke to Charleston WV
This morning we wake and have breakfast and hit the road with the intent to make it to Fayetteville WV. We have been a little disappointed with Roanoke as we thought we would have found more American History there but it seemed to have fallen short of our expectations. But we move on.
As we enter West Virginia, the scenery noticeably changes. The landscape is quite mountainous and green and lush which we like a lot and so do our cameras. We stop at the first Visitor Center and aquire as much info as we can and keep moving on.
We come to a small town of Beckley and stop to visit a Coal Mine and are just in time for an actual tour into a real Coal Mine. Quite the experience guided by Don Barnett, an actual Coal Miner of some 35 years in the mine. He regales us of the stories of the mine and has us singing songs such as “Sold Our Souls To The Company Store” and “Working In A Coal Mine, Going Down Down Down” among others and told us of how it was like virtual slavery as a coal miner. He had our hearts as he told us how it was. We also meet with “Ron Dawn Trucking” in the coal mine and we had to have a photo with them!
But the trip moves on and we do also. We head north towards Fayetteville and the “New River Gorge National Park and Preserve”. We cross the bridge, which doesn’t seem like much when you’re crossing it and stop at the Visitor Center on the other side. Then we take a short hike to photograph the bridge we crossed and the bridge is massive, easily as big as the new bridge that spans the gap across Hoover Dam.
We are shown the road to take that goes to the bottom of the Gorge and across the river where you can see the bridge from below and we head out on the 45 minute drive. Once at the bottom, we walk across the one lane bridge at the bottom to photograph the Gorge Bridge and are not sorry we took the drive. It is a simply gorgeous view!
Once back up on the highway, we head in the direction of Charleston, West Virginia, and shortly into the drive, torrential rains hit us and thunder and lightning surround us. We find out later that half dollar size hail also surround us but we are lucky not to experience that. Driving becomes difficult but we brave the storm and carry on. Within an hour the storm abates and we arrive in Charleston and check into our hotel, a Wyndham, near the Coal River.
We locate a restaurant, “Angela’s, On The River”, for dinner and it is a quaint place right on the Coal River in the Historic Chilton House. It was a quite lovely place and after dinner, Angela herself met us and chatted with us for quite some time, having heard that we were almost finished with our quest to visit all 50 States. She was quite a charming lady and not short on hugs! If you ever find yourself in Charleston, West Virginia, you would be well served to look her up and be her guest!
But it’s that time of day again where we bid the daylight adieu and lay our heads on our pillows for the night! See you all tomorrow!