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Day 1 – This package begins with your arrival in Beckley, WV, high atop West Virginia Turnpike. Check in to your local hotel for a three night stay.
Your group will first visit the Tamarack Craft Center, where you have time for shopping amongst all the West Virginia made products. Then you experience a unique culinary demonstration guided by Greenbrier-trained chefs. It begins with an overview of cooking techniques and skills, and includes a gourmet meal featuring some of the items you learned about. Plus recipe cards and shopping coupons.
Day 2 – This day’s adventure into The Coalfields is completely narrated. The morning begins at the Beckley Exhibition Mine where the tour takes you below ground. Under the supervision of an experienced veteran coal miner you travel 1500 feet beneath the surface riding in an authentic “man car”. From the mine entrance, to the old working areas of the coal mine and back you explore the history of low-seam coal mining; from the hand-loading days into the era of modern mechanization.
In addition to the underground mine tour, you explore the historical coal camp. Here you find the lovingly restored Coal Company House, Superintendent’s Home, Pemberton Coal Camp Church, and the Helen Coal Camp School. It is a true representation of early 20th century coal camp life.
This afternoon continuing south, deeper into the Coalfields you visit the town of Pocahontas, VA. Here the mine is 13 feet tall, where as the Beckley Mine was a low seam of about 4 feet. The town of Pocahontas is also unique. This was a company owned town that was literally abandoned once the mine closed. Today the building’s resemble the bleached bones of a whale left to rot on the beach. While just a short three miles away you find the town of Bramwell, WV. Around the turn of the 20th century, some 14 millionaire coal barons lived in this town filled with beautiful Victorian and Tudor mansions.
Dinner this evening is at a popular local restaurant and is followed by a fitting show. Tonight (as available) you enjoy the one-woman show “Coal Camp Memories.” It is a poignant, occasionally humorous, but realistic look at a girl’s life in the Coal Camps. The scenes represent events from her life at the ages of 6, 16, 26 and then a reflection on her life from the age 60.
Day 3 – This day features another full day of narration but with a focus on the New River Gorge. First stop is the Bridge Overlook Visitors Center where you get a visual realization of the great distance from the top of the bridge to the bottom of the gorge (876 feet).
Next you visit Hawks Nest State Park. Bordering a rugged section of the New River Gorge National River it is known for the panoramic views. One of which is from Aerial Tram that takes you down to the shores of the New River. Here you board the New River Jet Boat for a 30 minute adventure to just below the Bridge. This high speed cruise on the “Miss M Rocks” is the perfect cruise for a White Water Rafting Chicken.
Lunch today is on own in the Hawks Nest Lodge Dining Room with it’s wonderful view. Then your guide will take you to the Glade Creek Gristmill in Babcock State Park, one of the most picturesque spots in the State.
Your next stop is at Daniels Vineyard in Beckley, a family owned estate winery built on land that was once a golf course, they now grow 14 varieties of grapes here. Our visit includes an overview of the operations and a tasting of selected wines. Ending the day is a very nice in a local restaurant.
Day 4 – Depart for Home.