Pioneer Coal Mine Tunnel Tour
In this episode, we are heading to northern Pennsylvania to coal territory, land of the roots of my wife's family. My wife's grandmother lived her whole life in Ashland in the north central part of the state. Ashland was one of many small towns known as the patches, that dotted the landscape along the coal seams that brought a way of life and defined the region.
First, we stopped for lunch at a famous local hot spot since... well, since forever. Danny's Drive Inn diner was the local hang out where my wife's parents dated and you can still get the famous burgers and fresh cut french fries that made it a Saturday night must back in the day. The kids were a little confused, looking for the drive through window where you order by number and the scary plastic clown that they normally identify with burgers & fries. We sat on the original round stools at the counter and devoured the famous fare, as countless patrons before us. The kids were impressed because you just can't get this great tasting food and atmosphere in the commercial dominated fast food world back home. Sorry if this made you hungry!
Now on to the tour, a .75 mile ride straight into the mountain on the original mine train and track that once carried the workers to the veins of black gold. I was a little worried about Katelyn, because underground adventures that are dark and damp just aren't her scene. Tyler was game and with his help we encouraged her on into the darkness. The rail ride was loud and creepy with cold water seepage dripping throughout the long passage through the solid rock tunnel. The temperature inside the mine is always a constant 52 degrees cold year round!