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Saturday, May 18, 2013


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Today is the day SAM and ME will attempt to cross over the West Virginia Mountains...the 8% 5-mile long hills beginning at the town of RAINELLE and ending at the GAULEY BRIDGE where the NEW RIVER the process, we will spend two nights in the magnificent HAWKS NEST LODGE at the top of the longest steepest mountain...luckily for SAM and ME, this is mostly down hill...with just enough transition over the tops of a number of lush green hills to remind us that in order to walk DOWN, we must first and always climb up.

Please say HELLO (again) to Mayor Andy.

Mayor Andy sends SAM and ME on our way up SEWELL MOUNTAIN...the first of the long steep hills beginning in "her" town...RAINELLE.

Please click click on any photograph...especially when reading a map.  Our route across West Virginia is outlined in "yellow"...ending at the Ohio River town of GALLIPOLIS, Ohio.

Main Street...RAINELLE, West Virginia

Please say HELLO to the driver of one of the monster 18-wheeler gravel dump trucks which pass SAM and ME all day long.  This unfortunate driver's engine has blown a water hose, losing all his anti-freeze.  He had the spare hose, but did not bring along anti-freeze, so is waiting for help to arrive.  He says "water" is not acceptable in place of anti-freeze as it congeals the coolant in the engine.

This spot is at the top of the first of our long climbs up SEWELL MOUNTAIN.  It took us over 1 hour to walk and roll this the amazement of the truck driver, who said he passed us as we started up..." must have run up, says he" fact, I did feel as though we had been running for hours...WOW...8% is S T E E P.

SEWELL MOUNTAIN Baptist the crest of the first of three sections of the long climb over the mountain.  Seems the actual mountain has many "ups and downs", making it seem as though US 60 actually climbs two or more mountains.  The truck drivers, however, claim it is all one observation error !

First plateau of SEWELL MOUNTAIN. 

To go DOWN, one must first go UP.  This spot is the top of one of the three or more individual hills riding the undulating crest(s) across West Virginia on US 60...a most dangerous road for SAM and ME to transit.

Click see the lawn mower operator cutting that fast field...he hides near the first of the old barns.

Through this roadside screen of trees, unending steep hills form the crest of SEWELL MOUNTAIN...and far beyond...beautiful to look at...a doozie to walk over.

The home of Larry, whom we meet below.  Larry, recently divorced, has moved back onto the mountain into his recently deceased Father's home.  Larry, in addition to being a glass blower for commercial glass applications, such as thin glass tubing used in blood work...Larry is also an accomplished song writer and vocalist...

Larry, performing his not-yet-complete song..."The Long Road Home"...which he says he might dedicate to SAM and ME.

A truly very good song writer and performer...if SAM and ME ever achieves the status to earn musical support, Larry would be my first choice to produce / perform it.

I am holding the camera ...way up over our heads... of a great number of new friends.

Please say HELLO to LISA...riding down US 60 on her lawn her way to Larry's house.  Lisa is recovering from a 4-wheeler accident caused by a deer running into and bowling over her vehicle, resulting in a head injury...Lisa's goal:  to get back her Driver's License, so she can drive her car instead of her lawn mower.

SAM and ME beside the OLD STONE HOUSE Info-sign.  During my walk last year across these same mountains, I took the side road to visit Old Stone House. 

Please say HELLO to John...whom I met last year.  John owns a successful lumber retail yard just across US 60 from where we stand.

Always nice to meet up again with old friends.

Shingle building...BAPTIST CHURCH.

The Red Flag on the vertical rod is to locate the Fire Plug under the Winter snow pack...just so the snow plow will not run it over.

Arriving at HAWKS NEST STATE PARK, the Lodge is located on the edge of a steep canyon hill overlooking the New River.  A Gondola travels from the Lodge to the bottom of the hill to the river.  Jet Boat cruises are available, as well as trails along the river. 

Actually, I did not have the time to look around much.  My entire evening - as well as all the next day - was spent trying to process photographs and complete my tardy blogs (3 days late)...all to no avail as there was virtually NO VERIZON signal...certainly not adequate to process photographs.

I did, however, have a great time visiting with employees and other lodge guests, including a "workshop" group from GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY, who were fighting against large corporations "blasting" the tops off West Virginia Mountains to get at the thin coal seams the process destroying the ecology and - it is said - causing serious medical issues to local residents.

Dining Room view of the New River Gorge.

Cuisine was superb.  Breakfast is complimentary...must admit that I received a bit more attention from Steve, Restaurant Manager, as he and I spent many hours chatting.

Steve and his management staff SHIELA and TERRY.

As mentioned, I have been made welcome and extremely comfortable at HAWKS NEST LODGE.  Steve would not accept my $$ in his restaurant...and even insisted I stay a second night - Steve's TREAT -, so that I could catch up with my blogs.

In the morning - of the second day at HAWKS NEST, will walk SAM down the final 8% hill...this one nearly 15 miles long in a series of sharp drops interspersed by many short steep climbs.

Our destination for tomorrow is the Historic Hotel in the river-side town of GLEN FERRIS, where I had dinner last year and look forward to spending the night this year.

The city of CHARLESTON, West Virginia, is only 30 miles from Glen Ferris.  Charleston will be our next destination, where I look forward to visiting with the "Seniors" of the town of HURRICANE


Aimee said...

Great pictures, and so glad you have met more wonderful people along the way!! Looking forward to hearing of your walk to Charleston next!

Anonymous said...

Looking for your visit. To hurricane seniors Dallas lovejoy I eat there every day

Missy said...

Bruce the man at the coal truck s a local from my area (ironic). I give him a picture of it

Anonymous said...

From the Truck driver with the blowed hose! ( that was my daddy) Said he wished you a Happy Early Birthday the day he met you and Happy Belated again! He lives probably 2 and a half miles from where you stayed at on Missys porch that night. He has been thinking and wondering how you were doing and Missy told him about your blog! He will have me checking up on you to check your progress! He said to tell you it was a pleasure to meet you and to stay safe on your journey!