Where is the Bus? 2009 travel blog

Drive to Charleston, WV

National Road info board

the old national road bed

entrance to park


Fort Necessity--not very big is it??

French info board

British info board, remember at this point Geo. Washington is a Brit

surrender info board

entrance to Friendship Hill

info board

house info board

Friendship Hill



West Virginia State Capital building, Charleston

entrance to Beckley Coal Mine and Company Buildings

All the houses were the same--3 rooms, no plumbing

typical house

bachelor's shantys were all the same also....


....inside, kinda like summer camp

every coal camp had a church

I read where the Protestants preached the first Sunday, the Methodists the...

..the Lutherans the third Sunday--but everyone went every week

superintendents info board

now we're talking nice house

schoolhouse info board

two room shcoolhouse

This is Sonny..he worked in this mine from 1949 to 1960

"This is where we're going today"

going into the coal mine

vein of coal under rock

one ton car, piece of 2X4 had a small brass tag nailed...

..this is Sonny's ID tag, #53--they got paid 25 cents for each...

carbide lamp

Sonny lights the carbide light--that's how much light the miner had

ceiling pin-to hold the top of the shaft in place


bridge info board

we took the scenic drive-from rim to bottom, across the New River,...

another info board

bridge from the rim

the new bridge from the old

lots of white water on the New




nice water fall

The bus is in Charleston, WV parked


Drivers Log: 192 miles this leg, 8415 miles total

How we got here--see Google Map "Drive to Charleston, WV"


Before leaving Uniontown, Janet took off in the Honda to visit Fort Necessity National Battlefield. It's 1750. England and some Virginians want to open up the territory along the Ohio River between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River. France thinks they should have the right to this land because it is between New France (Canada) and Louisiana. So in 1753, a 21 year old George Washington leads a small group of soldiers to Fort Necessity to talk things over with the French, and tell them to withdraw. The confrontation at Fort Necessity during the summer of 1754 was the opening battle of the French and Indian War.

Janet then went to Friendship Hill National Historic Site. Albert Gallatin, not exactly a household name. But a guy who was very influential in the development of our young country. Born in Switzerland in 1761 to an aristocratic family, Gallatin came to America in 1780. He becomes a land speculator in 1783, Pennsylvania State Senator in 1790, US Senator in 1793, US Representative in 1795, US Secretary of the Treasury in 1801, devises a plan to finance the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, becomes US Minister to France, and later Britain. Friendship Hill is the house he built in western Pennsylvania.

We then hitched up the Honda and drove to Charleston.

Sept. 15--While the bus is getting an oil change, we drove over to Beckley to tour a coal mine. That was a lot of fun. This mine was open until 1960, then turned over to the city of Beckley. The mine opened for public tours in 1962. Very interesting.

After lunch we drove over to see the New River Gorge Bridge. This is the longest single span bridge in the US, and the second highest bridge. Before the new bridge was built, a car had to drive down the canyon wall, cross the river, and drive up the other wall, taking at least 45 minutes. Now it only takes a few seconds to cross the gorge. The New River is actually a very old river. The most accepted estimates show this river has been in it's present course for over 65 million years!! Some rocks exposed here are 330 million years old.

We got back to the truck/bus shop around 4:30, paid our bill, and made a nice dinner.

And the adventure continues,


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