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We're going to go for a walk now on the RAIL TRAIL. These trails were once used by the railroads, but the tracks have been removed, and now the trails are used by hikers, bikers, walkers and runners.

One thing we did see on the rail trail were some old coke ovens.

I remember many nights when driving somewhere, I would watch them burn as we drove past.


In case you've never heard of coke ovens, this is what they do. They turn coal into "coke", not the kind you drink.
Coal is placed in the "coke" ovens and burned at a very high but controlled temperature. At the end of the burning cycle, water is poured over what is now coke. This, of course, makes the coke cool and crack. The coke is removed from the ovens, and loaded onto rail cars. The oven is reloaded with a new batch of coal which self ignites because of the heat retained within the walls of the ovens.
Coke is mostly pure carbon and burns at a much higher temperature than coal.
The steel industry was the major market for the coke.

I don't know if you can see the difference, but in the picture on the left, my brother-in-law is holding coal. In the picture on the right, he is holding coke. Coal is darker in color and more dense. Coke is lighter in weight and color...sorta looks like a sponge. We found these pieces while walking on the rail trail.

We're heading back to the car and of course, the kids ran ahead, and left their autographs carved in the dirt. (I just couldn't resist.)

Well, I think we've come to the end of our journey. I'm going to leave all you good people and go visit with my family. I hope you had a good time and I'll see you back at the Drifters Club. Ya'all have a safe trip home.

The links I promised you way back at the beginning of the tour are listed below.

Here's two really good links to visit. I will add more as I have time. To return to this page, use your back button. Thank you.

Oil and Gas Museum
This is the most wonderful site. It's loaded with pictures and gives great information.

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia
This one may take a while to load, but it's a good one. Check this one out for more HILLBONICS.

Ya'll come back now.

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