We wanted to spend some time driving the West Virginia roads in the area, and we had been provided a little booklet Scenic Drives of Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia. During our two excursions away from the Fairgrounds we had traveled several of these roads, so Tom looked for and chose a completely different road still in the immediate area. Of all the roads he could have selected he decided to follow one of the “lesser” back roads – not even on the scenic drive booklet. We were told that the “Wrong Turn” movies had been inspired by these mountain hills, and I was not too excited about being too far off the main roads! Tom highlighted our route in yellow.
As we followed Route 63 out of Ronceverte down to Bluestone State Park, we saw many signs of flooding along the Greenbrier River: high, chocolate-colored river, mud washes on the roads and in residential yards, emergency vehicles, mud covered displays in small business windows, washed out trees, clothing hanging in treetops, repairmen in bucket lifts, stacks of newly delivered lumber, signs advertising flood relief . . . . all pointing to the devastating flood that was just one week ago.
Airstreamers had plunked right down in this area just as the flood-waters were happening, and rather than cancelling the rally, people went to work helping the besieged town and area residents. Thousands of dollars were donated for flood relief, and Airstreamers pitched in unloading supply trucks and helping to rip out flood swollen business interiors for thousands of man-hours. I ran into a woman from the Humane Society who saw my Airstream credentials and ran up to give me a hug. They had so many displaced animals to care for and a donation of over $700 from Airstreamers bought food and cages and helped with placement of pets into foster homes.
During our drive we stumbled across a little park that was the location of miner John Henry’s contest against a steam-driven rail spike. I doubt you can read part of this story from the picture. John Henry was the miner that challenged a steam-driven rail driver, threatening to eliminate his job, to a contest. Many think the story of John Henry was a folk story -- but it was 100% true and this little celebrates his win. The statue of John Henry was magnificent.
We also drove through a portion of the Bluestone State Park and checked out the campgrounds. Tom declared he would not bring our 23’ Airstream there to camp because of the very narrow roads, tight turns, and steep hills. Heading back we passed through another portion of the New River Gorge National Recreation area and stopped at a visitor center. Then, back to Interstate 64 and a 20 mile drive back to Lewisburg. A nice little scenic loop road that I think they ought to add to the book!
We arrived back at the fairgrounds by 2:00, and continued the day and evening with customary rally stuff!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown