Charleston, Babcock State Park, Thurmond and New River Gorge

Kids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - Click to EnlargeGlade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park WV - Click to Enlarge
Thurmond, WV, Train - Click to EnlargeNew River Gorge Bridge from Tunney Hunsacker Bridge - Click to Enlarge

Fayetteville, WV, and Beckley, WV

7/2/07 - 7/5/07

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4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!

Waypoints

 

Prologue

After many years I am learning to leverage my vacation days.  With the Fourth of July week this year, I could use three vacation days and two scheduled holidays (July 4, 5) to get a whole week off.  With the two weekends stacked up that meant that we could spend nine days for the price of 3.  That's a hard deal to pass up so I scheduled the time off late in 2006.

As the time drew near, we had to decide what we would do.  Since we'd taken a big road trip in March and April, we wanted to keep this trip closer to home and keep the costs down.  Many times Babcock State Park had come up in conversations with my friends.  After our two very positive experiences with Holly River State Park last year, I was confident that a trip down to Babcock would reward us with some quality time, great outdoor experiences, and all at a cost that would be reasonable.  The three hour drive looked easy.  It was all good.

I called the park and was happy to learn that they had a cabin that met our needs for Monday night through Thursday morning.  The kids would have their own room and other than that the cabin has the same amenities as the one we had in Holly River.  So I made the reservation.  Then Maria and I sat down and decided what we'd do for the time we were down there.

We decided a trip to Charleston, WV was in order.  After living in West Virginia for almost three years we had still not visited the state capitol.  We would be so close in relative terms it made no sense to miss it.  We decided to do that on Monday since the cabin would not be available until 4:00PM and we could check in anytime up until 7:00PM (with late arrival arrangements available as well).  This would give us plenty of time to make the drive down to the capitol and do a little sight-seeing and catch a meal.

For the next few days we identified some opportunities but left the order of engagement to be determined based on how we felt once we were there.  We put the following on our short list:

With that basic plan, we packed for a three night/four day trip.  I got each of the kids to pack their own knapsacks so they'd have a way to carry what they needed on the day trips, and to make loading and unloading a little easier on Maria and me.  On Sunday afternoon and evening, I installed the roof box on the Commander, organized the coolers and supplies we would need, and with the luggage packed, loaded the Commander.  This left nothing but to get a good nights sleep, complete a leisurely morning routine and hit the road, loaded for bear...

I have organized the account of this trip into four pages because of the number of photographs.  Below is a set of links to each day's excursion.

Activities

July 2, 2007 July 3, 2007 July 4, 2007 July 5, 2007
 Road Trip, Charleston WV Geocaching, Off-road to Thurmond, More Geocaching  New River Gorge, Long Point Trail, Fayetteville Fourth of July Fireworks  Babcock, Off-road, Beckley, Trip Home

 

 

Monday July 2, 2007

Road Trip, Charleston WV, Babcock State Park

 

We got on the road at 10:30 and headed south for Charleston via I-68 and I-79.  We were blessed with a beautiful day and made good time, reaching the State Capitol at 1:20PM.  We took a self-guided tour of the memorial and also the main building. 

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVMaria and the BoysMaria and the Boys

Maria and the BoysMaria and the Boys

The war memorial featured sections for several recent major conflicts.

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV Korean War Memorial
WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV Korean War Memorial

The grounds in front of the Capitol looked great.

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

Kids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

Kids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVKids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVKids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVKids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVKids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVKids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

Kids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

Kids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVKids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVKids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
Kids in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
Maria in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVMaria in front of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

It was deserted inside and out, with only an information desk staffed and a couple building maintenance workers here and there.  That left us free to roam.

Maria and Boys inside the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
Maria and the Boys inside the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVSenator Byrd, WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

 

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - Senate RoomWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - Senate Room

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - Senate RoomWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - Senate RoomWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - Senate Room

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - House of Representatives

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - House of RepresentativesWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - House of RepresentativesWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - House of Representatives

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - House of Representatives

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - House of Representatives

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV - House of RepresentativesWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

Tom on the back steps of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVMaria and Tom on the back steps of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
Paul, Maria and Tom on the back steps of the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVWV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV
WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

Maria and Paul at the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVMaria and Paul at the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVMaria and Paul at the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WVMaria and Paul at the WV State Capitol  - Charleston, WV

After we visited the Capitol building we went into the historic district of Charleston, checked out some shops and had lunch.  Then we got back on the road and soon reached New River Gorge where we chose Elliott's Bar and Grill at the Comfort Inn in Fayetteville.  We got a great meal.

After that we went back up the road to Babcock State Park.  We checked in at the headquarters at about 6:45PM, a few minutes before they closed for the night.  We got our key and went down to Cabin 6.  It was located at the end of one of the access roads, with a few short steps down from a large parking area.

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Parking and Woodpile

There was enough wood for a couple months all split and ready to go. 

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Tom (and Ted)

The cabin itself was perfect for our needs.

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Great Room - Click to EnlargeBabcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Great Room - Click to Enlarge

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Bedroom

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Kitchen
Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Kitchen

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, BathroomBabcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Back door off kitchen

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Great Room
Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Great Room

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Porch - Click to EnlargeBabcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6 Stairs - Click to Enlarge

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, TedBabcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, TomBabcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Great Room Fireplace

The kids took their bikes and got busy riding while Maria and I got things squared away and ready for the next few days.  Even though it was a nice summer day a fire in the fireplace drove the moisture out and took the edge of the cabin since it is in the woods and cooler than out in the sunny spots.  When the kids went to bed we sat and enjoyed the fire and planned out our activities for Tuesday.

Babcock State Park, WV, Cabin 6, Great Room, Paul and Maria with fire

Activities

July 2, 2007 July 3, 2007 July 4, 2007 July 5, 2007
 Road Trip, Charleston WV Geocaching, Off-road to Thurmond, More Geocaching  New River Gorge, Long Point Trail, Fayetteville Fourth of July Fireworks  Babcock, Offroad, Beckley, Trip Home

 


Babcock State Park GPS Data

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