north from gilbert, wv

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Mon Jun 20 15:16:09 EDT 2005

US 52 about a mile then left and stay on road all the way down to the
mainline at Warncliff, WV. There you will hit dirt/sand/ballast r/w road
adjacent to the twin main. Just stay with it to your right (down stream),
rough at spots but damn interesting especially when one of the front wheels
is halfway up the ballast of a main. But, it is absolutely beautiful in the
shade on a sunny day and you will always be in the shade as the main follows
the river. Any time you have gone far enough just take the first road to
your right and follow back up the mountain until you reach US 52. Stay to
right, on the ridges, heading toward east/US 52. At US 52 always take a
left. At Taylorsville take a left up the mountain and down into Matewan. WV
49 takes you down river to Williamson along side the main. First thing out
of Matewan you will see storage tracks that are the original main which now
serve the Rawl Processing Plant (Massey) which will be one mile down the old
main (I think 4 storage tracks now). When you reach the golf course you will
see two tunnels (bored at different eras) of the main from Matewan which is
less than a mile from the mouth of these tunnels that has taken you many
miles to come around the mountain to see from the north end. You and the
double main will parallel into Williamson.

Lots of Kodak moments in the above.

Not really that much nerve needed to accomplish the above, more of an
adventurous spirit, right ??

Having been in the trucking business with a heavy emphasis on mine supply
deliveries I have a lifetime of travel thru this territory and still love
diving into the "back country" to check new views. Have turned around in
some very interesting "front yards; hogs and all". And yes I have had to
ask, "What the .... am I doing here". But I still remember each foray.

Had a Russian Intourist guide and his wife in this territory in 1991 and
they both remarked that "Poor people the world over have that same look and
walk. I had the choice of using I-64/ I-77 to get them to Charlotte, NC for
a New Years party or giving them a deeper look at America. They loved this
route after having been in all major cities and flying everywhere. Other
than an experience I think I wrote about sometime ago with some scrap iron
scavengers getting an overloaded tractor trailer stuck on the double main in
North Fork and suddenly realizing that our car was in line to be wiped out
if an unstoppable NS came charging into town it was a great "See America"
side trip. But, they loved it all and so did I.

Anyway, give it a go, you'll love it.

Oakie G Ford
Ironton, OH

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