We spent a few days at the New River Gorge national park. There used to be coal mining towns all along this river until the early 1900’s. Now those towns and mines are all nearly abandoned. We first went to Thurmond which still has 5 people living there. Then the next day we went to Nuttallburg and hiked down to the empty coal mine and conveyor. Coal would be blasted from the mine, sent down the long conveyor and then dropped right into railway cars. Oh also some coal would be baked at high temperatures and turned into coke- a more pure clean-burning form of coal. We collected some chunks of coal and they actually burned! We also hiked a trail called Endless Wall which took us right to the edge of the gorge. There’s a very tall bridge on the gorge and once a year in October, they allow people to walk across and also allow base jumpers to jump of the bridge! Well, I think we’re starting to get into the South…people are starting to talk funny here.