Three Day West Virginia Road Trip

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Hill Creek Falls

Sue decided to retire her old Chrysler Sebring.  The replacement is a 2007 Volkswagen EOS.  It’s a hard top convertible and a lot of fun.  We got it not long before Memorial Day so it seemed like an ideal candidate for a road trip.

The new carWe decided to spend 3 days cruising West Virginia.  Bugsy was going with us and we didn’t really know how that would work out.  He does well in a car but was unknown in a motel room.  Speaking of motel rooms, it isn’t that hard to find a motel that takes dogs.  They will put you in a smoking room, though.  I guess they figure the smell is already so bad it doesn’t matter.

 

Friday night

We left Friday night and spent the night in Harrisonburg, VA.  It wasn’t part of the tour but we wanted to take Route 33 into WV.  By going Friday, we saved a couple hours for driving the crooked roads on Saturday.

Saturday

Our goal the first day was Lewisburg.  We planned to stay at the Brier Inn'd Home Page.  We drove that crooked Route 33 to Franklin and made a donation to the local fire department.  They were out with their boots collecting donations.  From there, we headed through Monterrey, VA to Green Bank and Cass.  I don’t care about the radio antennas in Green Bank but do like the trains at Cass. 

Shay locomotiveWe just wandered around Cass and watched the noon train for Bald Knob pull out.  On Our previous trips to Cass, we walked to the shop and to the old cars on the siding.  Now they have No Trespassing signs.  I guess the insurance company might have changed the rules.  There’s also a new place to stay.  I think it’s the Route 66 lodge or something like that.  It had been a coffee shop and was expanded to be a store, deli and lodge.  Normally, we’re in Cass to ride the train or ride bikes on the Greenbrier River Trail.  This time we were pretty much passing through. 

Black BearFrom Cass, it was back to the big road and heading toCranberry Glades Hillsboro.  On the way, I saw the sign to Cranberry Glades so we turned around and headed there.  As we drove to the botanical area, I saw several cars parked and on the road ahead of us.  In Yellowstone National Park, that would have been a “Bear Jam” and I figured it was here too.  Someone saw a bear and stopped.  The bear went up a tree and pretty much ignored us.  I got some pictures but nothing great.  He gave a graphic lesson on why climbing a tree isn’t a good way to avoid a black bear.

From the Glades, we headed to Lewisburg.  We made a brief stop at a store in Hillsboro but they didn’t have anything interesting this time.  We'd previously found some neat crafts there.

Renick ShelterOn the way to Lewisburg we stopped in Renick.  In 2002, we rode the Greenbrier River Trail in the rain.  When we pulled into Renick we saw a neat shelter and made a bee-line for it.  A nice guy name Al lived next door.  He stopped by and gave us some firewood and some cold ones.  We were initially going to camp in his back yard.  He told us to just stay in the shelter and to tell anyone asking that he said so.  This trip we drove back to the shelter and there was Al sitting outside.  We made a point of reminding him who we were and thanking him again.  This trip to Renick was much nicer than that one.  After this, it was only a short drive to Lewisburg.

The Brier Inn was our first opportunity to see what Bugsy would do at dinner time.  We gave him a treat, put him in his crate and left.  He barked his head off.  We came back and let him loose and left again.  Barking again.  At this point we moved his crate to the car, opened some windows and told him to go for it.  At least, he wouldn’t be bothering anyone.  We had dinner and he survived.

Sunday

Sunday we headed through town to Alderson.  Sue likes that area and I thought we’d check it out again.  We went through Alderson, Pence Springs and Hinton on our way to I64.  It’s a nice drive with most of it along the river.  From there we headed across I64 to Grandview.  It was a state park but was given to the Park Service as part of the New River area.  It seemed like a nice park with some great views.  

Tamarack in Beckley was next.  We wanted to see all the WV crafts and products there.  We’d been to MountainMade in Thomas but not Tamarack.  Its very nice and a little pricey.  It’s right on the interstate so is easy to find.  We only spent a half hour and $15.  It’s hard to spend a small amount like that.

New River BridgeGoing north from Beckley, we went to the New River Bridge.  If you don’t know about this, check the link for Bridge Day.  They bungee jump and parachute from it one day each year.  I can’t imagine it but they get big crowds. 

Hawk’s Nest State Park was next.  It turns out to be pretty small.  We drove in the entrance and out the exit without realizing it.  We had to go backView of the river in and park.  The lodge looked nice and has a pool.  There’s a tram you can take to the bottom but I don’t know if they let  you get off or if it’s a round trip only.  The view is impressive.  You have to walk the steps to Lover’s Leap to get the good view though.

At this point the new car was out of its break in period.  Why is that important?  We were told not to use cruise control for the first 1,000 miles.  We really wanted cruise control to be near Summersville.  They are legend for their willingness to write speeding tickets.

Cherry RiverWe spent the night in Richwood.  Why Richwood?  Why not?  The Four Seasons Lodge is just out of town and either was going to be nice or had a good web site.  Turned out they were on the Cherry River.  The rooms were only OK but the setting was very nice.  Sue really liked the place.  She enjoys just watching the water go by.  They also had a small area with tables where you could eat near the water.  They had a couple of grills too.

It turned out that dinner was hard to come by.  Chinese, pizza or one other place.  We went for Pizza Hut.  While waiting for it, we decided to get something for breakfast to save some time.  I figured breakfast bars.  Sue went shopping and came back and said I didn’t give her enough money.  I wondered what kind of breakfast bars cost more than $12.  She had bagels, cream cheese, milk, paper plates, plastic ware, and cantaloupe.   Oh yeah, a box of breakfast bars.  Women can complicate things.

MondayHill Creek Falls

Monday was time to go home.  We went to the Falls of Hills Creek on the way.  We’d been there before and liked it.  We finally saw the Upper Falls.  They’re hard to get to from below but the boardwalk lets you look down on them.  The lower two falls are 45’ and 63’.  They’re very pretty but you have to go down a lot of steps to see them.  Actually it’s coming up the steps that causes the problem.

Seneca RocksFrom there, we changed plans and headed up Scenic Route 150.  It’s a pleasant drive and very pretty.  It would have been better if it wasn’t so hazy though.  There’s trails all over the place so the hiking must be good too. 

We headed North to Snowshoe and cut across to Cass.  Lunch in Route 66 and off to Seneca Rocks for our last stop.  We went home through Petersburg, Moorefield and Wardensville.