The Beauty Around Us

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West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 3 of 9: Mount Hope

As I wrote in my last vacation blog post, when we returned to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center parking lot, after viewing the New River Bridge from two observation decks, it was still early morning.  We discussed the possibility of checking out of our hotel a day early, as we had seen all we hoped to see during our stay in the Fayetteville, WV area.  We checked the weather report and saw that we would encounter rain en route Maggie Valley, NC (our final destination).  Travel on our scheduled departure day, though, looked rain free.  We decided to stay the night.

In the early afternoon of May 11th we drove to Beckley, WV to eat lunch at The Outback. I ordered a 6 oz. Sirloin Steak with a loaded baked potato and side salad. Bob ordered a 9 oz Sirloin Steak with a grilled lobster tail, served with broccoli and a side salad. We ordered a Bloomin’ Onion as an appetizer. Lunch was delicious and very filling.

After lunch we stopped at Tamarack, which was located very near to The Outback. Tamarack features a red peaked roof and landscaped grounds that internet sources say draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. This large arts and crafts facility sells West Virginia craft products, such as wood, glass, textiles, pottery, metal, jewelry, as well as specialty food items, fine art, and West Virginia books and recordings. We visited only to see what was inside the building with the red peaked roof that we pass whenever traveling in this direction. The craft products, etc. were all nice, and we oohed and ahhed over a few items. Willpower stopped us from making any purchases.

We stopped in Mount Hope on our way back to the hotel. Mount Hope is located on the Coal Heritage Trail.

_LG14435 4x6New River Smokeless Coal Portal

 

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Ornate fountain and a large block of the once famous New River smokeless coal.

_LG14446 4x6The houses along Main Street were lovely.

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_LG14448 4x6Mount Hope looks pretty much as it did in the early 1900’s.

A man who was at a business establishment called Peggy Sue’s made a point of coming out of the bar to tell us about the gas station in town at which Hank Williams died. He said the station was blocked in by trucks now. We drove through town but didn’t see the blocked-in station to which this man referred.  I did read an account of Hank Williams’ ghostly night ride, and Mount Hope is mentioned in the account.

Upon returning to the Fayetteville area, we stopped at Dairy Queen for a peanut buster parfait (me) and a butterscotch dilly bar (Bob) before returning to the hotel.

I kept seeing Facebook posts from family and friends in Pennsylvania who wrote about rain and thunderstorms. Up to this point we had been experiencing beautiful weather on vacation, not one drop of rain.

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Our luck was about to run out.

All was good, though, because we were in for rest of the afternoon and evening. We even ate dinner in our hotel room. Dinner was light, after the hearty lunch we ate earlier in the day. We ate a picnic lunch – chicken salad with crackers, pineapple and cookies. According to the weather report, we will probably travel in rain for a short time on our way to North Carolina.

In my next vacation blog post, we arrive at our final destination — Maggie Valley, NC.

5 Responses to “West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 3 of 9: Mount Hope”

  1. Lorraina

    Enjoy reading of your travels, you guys sure know where to go and have a good time. Also loved reading your link about Hank Williams last ride. Although i’m not a country fan I think Hank sort of paved the way to todays music. Strange how so many musicians have such dramatic endings. Glad you went through Mount Hope.

    Reply
  2. C.E. Kesler

    The gas station you referred to about Hank Williams, is in the lower end of Mt. Hope on the left going toward Oak Hill…. that night, the driver of his car with Hank in the back seat stopped there to ask directions to the hospital in Oak Hill. We are all pretty sure Hank had already passed, in the back seat of the car when he stopped… My first cousin Galen, was at that station the night it happen and witnessed this story, and his account of the story is accurate, we think he died right before he got to that filling station, in the sharp curves right before you get to the filling station, which was then a Gulf Oil station, odds are he died in the car while traveling through Mt. Hope. My house was just behind the Gulf Station, was born and raised there and Galen Kesler’s house was just behind our house.

    -C.E. Kesler

    Reply

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