As we planned our route through West Virginia it appeared that we would have an opportunity to visit the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV. The Stonewall Resort is the result of a public-private partnership between the Corps of Engineers, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and Benchmark Management. Most people are aware of the Stonewall Resort, a five-star facility, but don’t realize there is a campground too. The campground is five-star as well with full hookups, daily trash pickups, and a newspaper delivered to your site every day. Through my company, Implement Improvement, I facilitate the Leadership Development Program for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Pittsburgh District. In the past we have conducted the initial retreat at the Stonewall Resort and Stonewall Jackson Lake and Dam. I have always wanted to return here when I wasn’t working so I could enjoy the facilities and the area.
One of my past students, Kit Kessler, is in charge of the maintenance for the Stonewall Jackson Dam and he gave us a personal tour of the facility. As opposed to the earthen dam at Summersville Lake, Stonewall Jackson is a dam constructed from fourteen concrete monoliths embedded into the bedrock. Stonewall Jackson is a flood damage reduction project to reduce flooding in the town of Weston and the surrounding area.
There are galleries inside the dam because of the concrete construction. Kit led us through the galleries, describing the equipment and its use in the dam. In the equipment gallery we saw the valves that control the release of water below the dam. At this level we were 45 feet below the surface of the lake. In the inspection gallery we saw how they monitor the water pressure at the base of the dam. At this level we were 42 feet underground. It was a very interesting tour that not everyone has the opportunity to experience.
Saturday night we treated ourselves to dinner at the resort’s Stillwater Restaurant. It was a great place to eat and offered a view of the lake.
The day before we left, we hiked one of the trails in the park that provided us with views of the lake, a mix of new and old forests, and one of the old apple orchards. It was wonderful weather for a hike and a great way to conclude our visit.
We pulled out early on Tuesday and drove up US-23 through Columbus and Findley, OH. We spent the night at Van Buren State Park, just north of Findley. Pulling into small campgrounds in midweek is nice as we had the whole campground to ourselves. While at Stonewall Resort we determined that we had a problem with our refrigerator that I couldn’t fix, so we contacted Marlette RV that was on our route in Michigan to see if they could squeeze us into their schedule as we drove up north. They were able to help us out(although they had to order some parts and we will have to take it back to them at a later date) and we arrived at Pat’s brother’s farm in Bad Axe shortly before 5:00 that afternoon.