August 6, 2013
What a busy day!
Our first activity is a trail ride around the hills and dales, forests and meadows of the Glades. Imagine Natalie’s surprise when the horse for her ride has the same name as her twin--Molly!
The horses are beautiful, the weather is grand, the trail is scenic, our trail guide is excellent--we couldn’t ask for a better ride.
After lunch we drive to the coal mining ghost town of Nuttallburg, which is now part of the New River Gorge Historic District which is protected and managed by our National Park system. The road to the town is called a County Highway, but it is only one lane wide most of the way, it is very twisty, and in many sections it is unpaved. Not surprisingly, we only saw three other people there the whole time we visited.
|the tipple which carries coal from the mine to the rail track|
The town was built by an English entrepreneur, John Nuttall, in the 1870s. He had been working in mines in England since he was eleven years old, and saw the opportunity to make big money with the “smokeless” coal that could be mined here, once rail lines were planned to go through the area. The town became famous in the 1920s when Henry Ford decided to try to vertically integrate production of his cars, and leased the town. He gave up on the vertical integration idea when it became clear he could not control the railroad. The property went through multiple owners after Ford, and production eventually ceased entirely in 1958.
There are lots of historical markers throughout the site explaining what the ruins used to be and how coal was processed there. It is a great spot to hike and learn history at the same time.
We made it back to the Glades just in time for Natalie to take a cool dip in the pool before dinner.
The people we helped with geocaching at dinner last night were at a table near ours at dinner in another resort restaurant tonight. They went white water rafting in the Lower New River today, and they had a very rough ride--the whole family was thrown into the water in some wicked rapids that folded the raft, and most of the people in the other rafts in their group were also thrown out of the raft. This made us feel great that we have booked our trip tomorrow on the Upper New River, where the water is not so rough.