Yesterday, things were finally starting to feel normal again at home. Traci took the kids to her parents’ house to do some Easter stuff, and I went for a 4-wheeler ride to Kenilworth so I could do some hiking. It was sprinkling lightly on the ride up there, and as I began my first hike near the old coal tipple northeast of Kenilworth, it got a little heavier. I had seen in Google Earth what looked like a trail going up the mountainside above the coal tipple, and I wanted to check it out. I parked the ATV above the tipple and started scrambling up the steep mountain. Very shortly after I started hiking, I ran into a foot trail that was lined on either side with rocks. I was somewhat surprised to see that, and I figured that the trail had to lead somewhere interesting. It basically petered out before reaching the top of the ridge, however, and all I found on top of the ridge was an old firepit. I hiked along the top of the cliff band at the top of the ridge and found a nice spot with a good view down onto Kenilworth. I placed a geocache there under a boulder, then worked my way back down to the ATV.
My seat was soaked when I got back to the 4-wheeler, and I wiped it dry with a towel that I keep in the gear bag, then rode up Bull Hollow. The rain turned to snow as I gained elevation in the canyon. I’d previously seen a huge pile of coal and overburden from a mine high up a steel slope above the road in the canyon, and there was also what appeared to be a tram grade leading down from the mine. The tram grade never meets up with the road, though, and I’d never before had the time to scramble up to it to check out the mine. I parked the ATV under a pine tree to keep it dry this time, then hiked up the steep, loose hillside to the old tram grade. A lot of the grade was overgrown, and some the mountainside had fallen and buried portions of it, but it was still relatively easy to follow to the mine. Although the mine opening was buried, it wasn’t difficult to tell where it had been because there was a wide, flat spot where the piles of overburden and coal were the deepest. Beyond that spot, there was no overburden and no signs of the tram having proceeded beyond that point. There wasn’t much to see there, but it was still interesting trying to imagine a mine portal and ore cars operating nearly a hundred years ago. I placed another geocache there, and it’ll be interesting to see who’ll work hard enough to go visit the same spot. I hiked back down the tram grade to the ATV and took some photos of some nearby electrical transformers near another buried mine portal, then rode home in some heavier rain than I’d seen previously during the day. Torrey and I were cold and soaked, but it was worth being able to get out and do some hiking that I’d wanted to do for a while now.
GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Earth .KMZ Format)
GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Maps)