THE WORD FROM NEW YORK: WE’RE BEAUTIFUL!
The Midland Trail “is a drive of magnificent scenery, compelling history and luxury beyond compare”. So wrote travel journalists Jan and Michael Stern in their Summer 2003 article for Vision, “See America the Beautiful … By Car”.
Published in New York as a magazine for Cadillac owners, Vision not only offers advice and information on the time-honored automobile itself, but encourages the discriminating owner to take his or her prized possession to places with as much class as the vehicle that motors them there. The New River Gorge wins high honors for its scenic grandeur: “No natural chasm this side of the Grand Canyon is as dramatic as the New River Gorge slicing a thousand feet deep through forested mountains.”
The Sterns take the reader through two pages of Trail history and attractions, beginning with the Greenbrier, through the Gorge, and into Charleston (“We love poking around the old and new neighborhoods of this car-friendly city”) and the “awesome” golden-dome Capitol and, since Trail scenery can make one hungry, for a good, hearty West Virginia breakfast at Kanawha City’s Southern Kitchen.
Car & Driver Discovers Midland Trail
America's favorite sports car magazine paid a very special visit to the exalted Midland Trail. The Midland Trail has always been a "Haven" for sports car enthusiasts everywhere. This fall Car and Driver sent seven top sports cars for a journey along the Byway to compare performance.
Car and Driver sported seven professional drivers in seven sedans sharing traits of price, size, body configuration, and five-or six-speed transmissions. These upper-class hot rods were descendants of five countries with price ranges of about $34,000 to $40,000.
Although the winding roads of U.S. Route 60 require steering, the BMW lacked tension that would have produced even higher scores. Nevertheless, the supreme traction, stability, engine, gearbox, and brakes landed it in the top dawg position. Making it's way to dead last was the Lincoln LS. "Lucky number seven" may have brought forth the greatest length and wheelbase, but it provided this pack of prowlers with the smallest engine. The contradictory information recovered in this study was the Lincoln's excellent balance and virtually neutral steering in deadly curves.
Among the response letters published in the following months, was MTSHA's own President, Geoffery Skaggs:
I am the current president of the Midland Trail Scenic Byway Association. Our group promotes markets the Midland Trail (U.S. Route 60) by enticing the motoring public to drive this beautiful two-lane blacktop through West Virginia.
So you can imagine my eye-popping surprise to see the article written by Brock Yates and his posse about whipping those sports sedans through our mountains.
Instead of sneaking in and out like the Delta Force in Tora Bora, if I'd known you were coming, I could have arranged all sorts of hospitality. I could have shown you where the "gun free" beer joints are, where to get hot dogs with chili and slaw, the towns without radar, bowls of pinto beans with slabs of cornbread, and other mountain delights.
Geoffery Skaggs, Mayor,
Ansted, West Virginia