Saturday, May 31, 2008

DBKP Road TRip to New River Gorge - part 2

-- (continued)
DBKP Road Trip #1: New River Gorge


US Route 19 carries traffic across the New River Gorge Bridge

An easy 20-minute drive south on 19 and we came to the New River Gorge, "The Grand Canyon of the East".

The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel-arch bridge, in Fayetteville, West Virginia, USA. With a length of 3030 feet (924 m), it was for many years the longest in the world of that type. Its arch extends 1700 feet (518 m). Part of U.S. Highway 19, it is crossed by an average of 17,000 motor vehicles per day. Its construction marked the completion of "Corridor L".

The New River Gorge Bridge carries U.S. Highway 19 over the New River and the CSX railroad at a height of 876 feet (267 m), making it the highest vehicular bridge in the Americas, and the second-highest in the world. (Before the 2004 opening of the Millau Viaduct in France, it was the highest in the world.

Scene from the edge of the New River Gorge

Every October, Bridge Day is held and thrill-seekers come from all over the world to--jump off the bridge?

The bridge is the centerpiece of Fayette County's "Bridge Day," during which the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic. Until recently, the bridge was half-open, with two way traffic. Security concerns have prompted the closing of the entire span to vehicles during the festival. This festival includes demonstrations of rappelling, ascending & BASE jumping, and is held every October on the third Saturday. Bungee jumping has been banned from Bridge Day since an accident in 1993. The bridge is within the New River Gorge National River and the National Park Service operates a visitor center at the northern end of the bridge with scenic overlooks and a staircase that partially descends into the gorge.

NEXT STOP: Gauley Bridge, WV

After snapping a ton of pictures, we headed down WV 16 to Gauley Bridge, where the Gauley and New Rivers merge to create the Kanawha River--which empties into the Ohio at Pt. Pleasant WV.

The best spots for taking pictures were, unfortunately, off-limits when we arrived at Gauley Bridge, due to road construction.

COLD water doesn't slow down when fortified with adult beverages

The picture above is the Gauley River, right before it joins the New River.

Even the wildlife was laid back

One interesting item was the rocks jutting upwards out of the river to form a small island, which was adorned with three crosses: the work of evangelist Bernard Coffindaffer, who died in 1993.

The Rev. Bernard Coffindaffer, a businessman turned evangelist who spent a fortune building trios of crosses beside roads in 29 states and two other countries, died Friday at his home here. He was 68.

The cause was a heart attack, his family said. He was a Methodist minister and a World War II veteran who fought with the Marines on Iwo Jima.

Something you don't see every day: Three Crosses in the middle of the river

NEXT STOP: Hawk's Nest State Park and the Mystery Hole

The route back to US 19 and home was US 60--The Midland Trail.

The Midland Trail, also called the Roosevelt Midland Trail, was a national auto trail spanning the United States from Washington, D.C. west to Los Angeles, California and San Francisco, California (though the Lincoln Highway guide published in 1916 states the original eastern terminus was in New York City). First signed in 1913, it was one of the first, if not the first, marked transcontinental auto trails in America.
The early routing of the Midland Trail, from east to west, began in either New York City or Washington, D.C. and continued through Richmond, Virginia and Lexington to Charleston, West Virginia; thence passing through Louisville, KY; Lexington, KY; Vincennes, IN; Salem, IL; St. Louis, MO; Sedalia, MO; Kansas City; Topeka, KS; Limon, CO and then to Denver, Colorado.

Along the way, some additional picture were snapped.

The Mystery Hole: we just had to stop

It was on US 60, west of Ansted, that we came upon the Mystery Hole.

This MYSTERY HOLE thing seems to effect different people in different ways depending on whether they cling to the new style education or stray to the plain old C.H.S. (common horse sense) method. We have noticed that the highly educated folks do ask more questions than the lesser educated ones do. Whatever these unidentified effects may be they are believed not to be a serious threat to those searching for fun and excitement.

The Mystery Hole promises to let the tourist "defy the laws of gravity". That sounded a little like Congress trying to defy the laws of supply and demand over gasoline prices.

Pictures from along the road on the way to Hawks Nest State Park.

Nestled in the heart of whitewater rafting country, Hawks Nest State Park encompasses 276 acres bordering a rugged section of the New River Gorge National River.

Long known for its panoramic views, the park offers a modern, 31 room lodge for the comfort of overnight guests.

View from one of the observation decks at Hawks Nest SP (WV).


At Ansted, a coffee stop was made and we ended up at Blue Smoke Salsa, right on the town's main drag--which is US 60.

While we were waiting for the coffee, we took the pleasant and super-friendly staff up on their offer to help make some of the establishment's renown salsa. So, this road trip wasn't all fun and games.

Mondo, slaving over a hot salsa pot

After purchasing some Jalepeno Pepper Jelly (the mild variety, although the Hot jelly was delicious), it was a quick picture with the Blue Smoke Salsa staff (below) and a 4-hour trip back along US 19 and I-79 (and various little connector) to home.

And back to work.

We're not sure where next month's DBKP Road Trip #2 will head to, so keep checking back.

[DBKP Road Trips will be 30-36 hour adventures by car, with a budge of $250 for food, gas and lodging for 2.]

by Mondoreb
11-National Park Service;
1-10, 13-23: DBKP

* Weston State Hospital
* US Route 19
* Summersville, WV
* The Need for $peed--it will cost you!

* New River Gorge bridge
*Bernard Coffindaffer, Evangelist, Dies at 68
* Mystery Hole
* Hawks Nest SP

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