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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ABC Wednesday: T is for Tamarack

Tamarack is located in Beckley, WV and includes a wide variety of works by West Virginia artists, crafts people and cooks.
Tourists tired of trekking on trails can toddle in for food to taste, a performance, or a little shopping. There is a theatre for music and other shows.
There are galleries which include works by WV artists. The driftwood sculpture above (Early Dawn) and below (Forest Guardian) are by Karen Sparks (Nicholas County)
I think the ladies sitting below look tipsy and they made me titter.
There are artisans in residence who work in studios at Tamarack.
If you are visiting Beckley, WV and torrential rains threaten to drive you indoors you can spend a long time looking around Tamarack and not see everything.
I could take a long time looking at pottery which I enjoy. There were traditional styles of pottery as shown below and also some very unusual styles too.
I also like the way some of the sections overlap with a mixture of types of products.
I would be tempted by the wooden bowls if I could afford the tags with the price.
I also enjoy mixes of glass which I bet would tinkle if tapped.
Try as I might I think I've worked all the T words I can into this post about Tamarack. Although come to think of it, the pieces of patchwork quilts could qualify as tiles of a type. Also, we did have a tasty lunch and although they had trout on the menu, I had something else but can't recall what it was.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

That's My World Tuesday, Thurmond WV

The scenery on the drive to Thurmond, WV was pretty but it's nerve wracking because most of the roads allow traffic in two directions but only have room for one car.

Fortunately we didn't meet any cars because the only option would have been to back up to the few spaces with room to pull over, or I guess you could play chicken and see who blinks first.
In the case of the bridge into the Thurmond you can see across and wait if you see a car already on the bridge.
One side of the bridge is for cars and the other for trains.
Thurmond was once a busy prosperous town. With the advent of diesel locomotives and less coal mining in local mines, the population shrank to its current size of 7 people as of the latest census.
The Thurmond Depot (yellow building above) has been restored to serve as a park visitor center and museum. Much of the land around the Thurmond area is a part of, and managed by, the New River Gorge National River Park services.
What was once downtown Thurmond is now empty buildings.
There was a time when the Thurmond bank was amongst the most prosperous in WV.
The only people we saw when we visited Thurmond were people who were working on the train tracks.
According to what I read online they have trains running on the old tracks for park visitors but nothing was opened when we were there.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Weekend in Black and White: Old Railroad coal building

This is an old railroad coal building in Thurmond, WV. Although no longer used it remains as a reminder of the past.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

SkyWatch Friday: Green White and Blue

More shots from the road a week or so ago.

I always take a lot of sky shots when I'm on the road and don't have to drive.
There is often so much variety in terms of sky shots when the car is moving.
I also think this time of year tends to be good for clouds against blue which I like.
The contrasting greens from the landscape are also appealing to me.
Even the grays can be beautiful.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ABC Wednesday: S is for Scenic

Sometimes slipping away for a scenic road trip is soothing for the soul.
I am not sure if the men were soldering the train tracks but let me pretend they are.
I surely do like the scenery in the mountains. My heart soars and my spirit sings.
I used to love to stride and hop across stones in creeks and rivers but even in warmer weather I don't risk that at this point in my life.
I am able to take a lot of steps to reach a particular view, although much more slowly than in years past. The photograph below only shows about 20 percent of the steps we took on this one path. I'm actually more secure on paths with steps than the trickier trails I used to hike on. Some of the other trails on this trip winded through the forest on overgrown dirt, rocks, and root paths which aesthetically I prefer but requires more caution not to slip. I only had one sticky moment where a root tried to trip me but I managed not to fall. Actually Bill steadied me which helped.
If your brakes start slipping it's nice to have a steep incline for runaway trucks. I suppose runaway cars can use it too.
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Monday, May 23, 2011

That's My World Tuesday: Beckley Ehibition Coal Mine

We recently went on a vacation to the West Virginia mountains and when one of the days was too rainy to hike, we visited the Beckley Exhibition Coal mine.

It was just as well that we had a day in between hike days because I needed some recovery time physically and there is a lot to see in the Beckley area.
The part where you go into the mine, you ride on cars along the tracks and we had a very interesting miner giving historical information while we were down in the mine.
The shot above includes the coal camp church and the gray building is a mining family house. They have restored coal camp buildings to give visitors an idea of what life was like. On the far right of the picture you can see part of the children's museum.
I noticed several birds on the cross above and below is a closeup of one of them. After hearing how down in the mine canaries were used in the past so that miners would know they had just enough time to get out if the canary died due to lack of oxygen, I was happy seeing that birds were flying freely around the restored camp.
Maybe they should have a statue to commemorate the canaries who saved lives and incorporate bird seed for the visiting birds. Just a thought.
The shot above and below are inside the gray restored mining family house.
The next shot is of a bachelor miner's dwelling which is very sparse.
Below is a a shot of the outside of the superintendent's house which is larger than it looks in this shot.
There is enough room in that house to show the kitchen, parlor, dining room and several bedrooms and also have a reproduction of a one room school house, doctor's office, barber, post office etc in the same building.
It is interesting how they give an idea of a traditional mine camp from a former era.
The shot below is a child's room in the superintendent's house and included toys etc but I couldn't get a shot of the whole room. It struck me that the child's room in this house was much larger than the whole house the bachelor minor's were provided with.
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