Sandy Ridge tunnel (the other one) – north portal

Finally!  Thanks to diligent map work by my hiking buddy, a way was found to get to this northern portal of the other Sandy Ridge tunnel.  It wasn’t easy. It was a bumpy drive down a long graveled road, across a strip mine, then down to the valley floor. After that, there was about 100′ to drop from the road to the last ledge before getting to the rail bed (the rails are long gone), then maybe 30′ of hanging from saplings and stretching to reach a foothold…from which I slipped and got my butt all muddy and wet (drove home sitting on a sheet of plastic…not the first time, either).  Then, there was a slog through mud and running water to get just close enough to the portal to take the picture below.  Not shown is the  cataract coming down the right-hand side of the mountain…lots and lots of water. 1958 is the date on the lintel.  Oh, and the climb back up the rock cut was even more fun.  But I got the picture.  Enjoy.  Later note: I went back to near the tunnel entrance (I wasn’t even going to get down into that cut again) to do a proper GPS reading (my Garmin had, for some unknown reason, reset to a weird map datum the last time).  Here it is: 37.037311, -82.189956.  Going on back down the road, we found a place where a side road joins the railbed, now a rather dicey road of its own.  The second picture is looking back toward the tunnel from the intersection.  You would have problems walking in to the tunnel from here because of the large growths of wild roses and the average annoying briars.  Back behind me, the road continues for maybe a half mile or so and ends at a strip mine.