For those of you who follow me over on Facebook you all know of my fear of swinging bridges and heights. Well on Friday I quickly learned of another fear. I was in Mingo County on business and when I was leaving a clients home I hit HOME on my GPS and it told me to leave a different way that I had gone there. BOY OH BOY was this an adventure.
The GPS had me go through the Dingess Tunnel that is close to the Laurel Lake Park. I had never gone through this tunnel but I saw other people driving through it so I just got in line and drove through it too. I was quickly regretting this decision and I will NEVER go through it again. I had no idea how long and narrow this tunnel would end up being.
This the description of the Dingess Tunnel from another website.
“This 100 year old, former train tunnel was converted into a highway tunnel in the 1960’s and still serves the public today. The Dingess Tunnel is just under a mile long and is rumored to be haunted by the victims of train accidents from its past. Driving through the tunnel is an adventure in itself. The tunnel road is only one lane wide so those driving through the tunnel must drive slowly, flash their lights and blow their horn to warn travelers at the other end not to enter. It’s like going on a fun house ride without ever getting out of your car. Don’t worry though. There have been very few accidents at the tunnel and its lots of fun.”
Source of information- Dingess Tunnel
This was not fun. The tunnel is so narrow that you couldn’t stop your car and open your car door even if you wanted to. The sides of the tunnel are very jagged and rough. You quickly realize that you are deep beneath a mountain and feel as if you are going to suffocate at any moment. If someone tries to enter the tunnel from the other side and you meet in the middle there is really no where else to go but for one of you to put your car into reverse through this curvy tunnel. Check out this youtube video that I found. I did not take this video myself.
The tunnel is very dark and during most of your time inside the tunnel you can’t see any light at the other end. I honestly felt ill and in a panic while traveling through this tunnel. I could tell by the people in front of me that this is a tunnel that they travel through often and had no qualms doing so. I have the utmost respect for the people who live in these rural areas. They are the nicest people who are always there to help their neighbors. They have learned to depend on each other and they have a tight knit family ethic that can not be divided.
One thing that I have noticed in Mingo County is that many of the homes are built on the side of the mountain. After I left the tunnel I had to take many back roads to get back to the main highway in order to come home. The roads were very narrow and the driveways that exited to the side definitely gave me moments of fear. You could tell that there was a home over the side of the mountain and that there was a driveway made there but you would have to go by faith that once you drove over the side of the narrow road that your car didn’t fall off into the abyss because you could not see the driveways.
So tell me. Would you drive through the tunnel?