We crossed some big mountains driving from Abingdon to Breaks Interstate Park, then some winding, narrow roads through coal country, where you quickly see the difference between a hollow and a valley. A hollow, or holler as they are locally called, is just a narrow crease in the mountains with coal mining houses filling the crease. Coal mining is a tough life, but some people love living in these rugged, beautiful mountains. Coal accounts for 20% of US energy production today, but in 2014 accounted for 40%. The effects of these changes are readily seen in little towns where many businesses are closed and buildings abandoned. Somebody got rich on coal, but it wasn’t these people.
Stopping at the little park store, we checked in. A nice man and his son guided us to our site in a golf cart, while Cindy delivered firewood in another cart. It’s a nice campground with full hookups, and we were pleasantly surprised to find good cell phone reception. Tired from yesterday’s activities in Abingdon, we set up, hooked up and took a nap. Our friends, Sandra and Ruff pulled in as we were napping. Soon they were settled, so we built a fire in the solo stove and caught up on events and travels. We went up to the lodge for dinner. We sat right in front of a huge picture window with one of the best views in a restaurant anywhere. Ruff and I split a catfish dinner, fried okra, soup beans and rice. Martha ordered a hamburger and Sandra barbecue. Everyone enjoyed their meal. We closed down the restaurant with one shared piece of lemon meringue pie.
In the morning we did a short hike to the “Tunnel View” where the railroad cuts right through the mountain!