Day 60 – West Virginia’s Midland Trail

I posted day 59 yesterday and it said published but I noticed this evening it was in draft form, so I reposted.  Day 60 – still in West Virginia – is below:

Ok, so I couldn’t find Lucy’s last night, so I stopped by the local liquor store and asked where it was located.  The gentleman behind the register suggested if I wanted food that I should skip Lucy’s and go to the sports bar called Spare Time at the bowling alley.  Either I ordered the wrong item, Lucy’s made him mad, or he has a stake in the bowling alley.  I’m always leery of ordering a chicken sandwich at places I haven’t been, but the bartender said they were good, so I ordered the ranch chicken fillet sandwich.  I should have known fillet meant pressed chicken parts, not breast, GAG!  In their defense, the onion rings were good and quesadilla and wings that other patrons ordered looked tasty as well.

This morning I needed to review my proposed course and make sure I was on track as I have made a handful of adjustments along the way, so I got a bit of a late start.  I believe, however, I have worked in a free day which I suspect I’ll need for maintenance soon – oil, tires, and engine inspection.  I started out the day with a historic walking tour of Lewisburg which included a stop at the Carnegie Hall, the Old Stone Church, and the Confederate Cemetery.

The Carnegie Hall is one of only three buildings named after steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.  The hall, built in 1902 with a large donation from Carnegie, was a gift to the former Lewisburg Female Institute, now the New River Community and Technical College.  It sits across the street from the Old Stone Church, which is the oldest continuously operated church west of the Alleghenies.  The church was built of limestone in 1796 and its surrounding

Cross is brown area along the top of the fence line

cemetery contains gravestones dating back to such time as well as a cache hidden in a tree on the edge of the property.  Originally remains of 95 unknown soldiers that died fighting in the Battle of Lewisburg on May 23, 1862, were laid out in the church and later placed in a trench on the south wall without ceremony.  After the war; however, the soldiers were moved to the Confederate Cemetery just up the road and buried in a cross-shaped common grave.  The vertical length of the cross is 80 feet while the arm is 40 feet.

After my tour of Lewisburg I took 60, also known as the Midland Trail to Babcock State Park where Scout, Petey and I went for our afternoon hike past a reconstructed gristmill, aside a stream, and around Boley Lake.  The path, covered in fallen leaves, was extremely slick in the hilly areas, thus the dogs got to spend a large amount of time off leash while I focused on balancing.  The lake was almost an emerald green and especially peaceful.

My final stop before heading to Charleston, West Virginia was at the Canyon Rim Visitor’s Center at New River Gorge.  The New River Gorge Bridge, some 876 feet above the river, is the world’s longest single-arch steel bridge and the 2nd highest bridge in America.  It took nearly four years to construct in the 1970s and cost $37 million to build.

I weaved down the mountain on Midland Trail like kids zig-zag through cones during a soccer drill.  Upon reaching the water’s edge, I passed by several mining plants and mining towns before reaching Charleston.  I don’t believe I’ve seen a coal mining plant previously, and I look forward to backtracking along 60 again tomorrow.

My first Walmart destination turned out to be a pharmacy at the University of Charleston, so I had to find a second location.  A few minutes after I pulled in the lot and parked in the remote area of the lot, a car pulled up next to me.  It seems as though someone inevitably parks near me every night, so I just thought to myself, who is parking this far away from the store…oh well, I’ll just move after I go for dinner or a movie tonight (I’m right by a Red Lobster and a theater – we’ll see how the night unfolds).  I went about my business typing a few things in my GPS, looked over and found out the guy wanted to know where I got VANilla!  He has been looking for years.  I didn’t catch his name, but we talked for a while.  It turns out he is a car fanatic and was once married to “MRS. West Virginia”.  I almost asked him if he wanted to join me for dinner, but he had his car running and I wasn’t ready to eat yet.  Maybe next time!

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

4 thoughts on “Day 60 – West Virginia’s Midland Trail

  1. VANilla is famous now ! As she should be.
    Sounds like you’ve had a great week. Never been to W. Virginia. Who knows…maybe Lucy’s wouldn’t have been as good as Spare !
    Love the pics of Scout and Petey.
    happy trails.

  2. Me thinks the guys are using VANilla as an excuse to talk to you!

    Another fascinating post. Love the history reviews and pictures.

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