#10 Red Ridge Tunnel

16 miles south of Elkhorn City, 1,359′ from portal to portal.  The refurb date has eroded away on both sides.  We’re just south of Goff Tunnel, very near what turned out to be the now-lost town of Steinem.  We had accessed the tunnel down a semi-private one-lane road, which went past a couple of houses.  We pulled up to the railroad (CSX has access rights to the property, as we found out), got out and took some pix.  On our way out, we saw a stern looking man watching us from the side of the road, near one of the houses.  Judging this to be the property owner, we slowly stopped and Lee jumped out of the car with the topo map and began to explain what we were doing and pointing to the tunnel on the map.  The man, surprisingly, looked relieved.  “I thought y’all were hunting ginseng!”, he said.  After that, things went swimmingly, with the man telling Lee that his mom (the man’s, not Lee’s), who lived right next door, was a amateur historian of the area.  They proceeded on to the other house (I stayed in the car…this was Lee’s show and I wasn’t hearing any tunnel chatter) and had a ten-minute or so talk with the woman.  That’s how we came to know about Steinem and the cable car system that brought coal from across the valley to be dumped into a tipple there at the town and later dumped into coal trains heading south to feed the mighty industries of the blah blah blah. On to Sykes Mill Tunnel.

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