Monday, April 23, 2012

Ride for a Reason, Matewan Massacre, Dirt Days and More!

It is a LOT to look forward to…. Hey folks, Big Jim Charles here, coming to you from the heart of HMT country. It is sort of a dreary, cold day here, not too different than many we had in the winter. Sort of hard to believe that we had such beautiful spring weather for so many weeks last month! Oh well, even if todays skies belie the fact, springtime is here …. And summer is right around the corner…. Sooo… If you are a lingtime rider, you know what that means… Basically it means that now is a great time to make your plans to hit HMT Country for the Adventure of a Lifetime. Every year in the HMT area there are all sorts of great events going on both on and off the trails of interest to our visitors. One of the next great events on the trail is courtesy of the Mud Buddies Foundation. The 2012 Ride for a Reason is taking place May 5th on the Little Coal River trail system, right off Route 119, just south of Charleston. For a modest $25.00 (all proceeds going to the foundation), you get lunch, two full days of riding fun with an included HMT Riding Event Permit Wristband, and a chance to win prizes including helmets, riding pants, gloves, jerseys, etc., as well Hatfield-McCoy TrailFest packages and HMT prize packs. Register in advance by calling 1-800-592-2217, or register on-site the day of the event. If you follow our blogs and our Facebook pages, you are already aware of Mud Buddies and I predict you will here even more about them in the future. Basically the Mud Buddies foundation of Gilbert WV makes guided, no-fee All Terrain Vehicle rides available for those affected by disabilites who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the great outdoors in that manner. Each ride is customized to the interest of the riders. Perennial longtime visitors Mike and Susie Rasmussen came up with the idea a few years ago, wanting to help the children of friends back home in the Northern state they came from. When it was unfeasible there, due to terrain and geographical reasons, they did what many HMT riders dream of. They moved here. Along the way they set up Mud Buddies and went about making even more friends, as well as making dreams come true for many kids who otherwise would not get to enjoy HMT the way the rest of us do. Mud Buddies had their first ride in June of 2011, and they have been bringing in people from other states to ride and making rides possible for local people with disabilities. For more information check the Mud Buddies homepage at When I was in college, a history teacher asked us how many of us had seen the classic John Sayles film “Matewan.” I noted that I not only saw the film, I grew up about 25 miles away from that historic coalfields town. History buffs and film buffs alike are aware of the story of the famed Matewan Massacre, when Matewan’s lawnman Sid Hatfield and Mayor Testerman stood up against hired “detectives” (bounty hunters) following an incident where Hatfield refused to evict coal miners from their homes. The miner operators hired Baldwin Felts “detectives” (known locally as gun thugs) to do the job. They were run out of town initially, only to come back later- setting off a spectacular gunfight that was just as dramatic as anything in the Old West. Well, if you are in town around the weekend of May 19, you too can experience the thrills and excitement of the gunfight that made history! Every year a group of reenactors from the local area put on the Matewan Massacre Reenactment. For more information call (304) 426-4239. The reenactment is in the historic town of Matewan and takes place on the streets where the actual events happened. The reenactment play is presented annually on the Saturday closest to May 19th - which is the anniversary of the Matewan Massacre. . Logan is also rich in coal fields history too. Usually around the weekend closest to June 21 Chief Logan State Park hosts West Virginia Days with historical reenactors, vendors, music and more. Prior to that, however one of the big Trail events will take place starting the week of June 13. Dirt Days is the only event throughout the entire year where you can ride directly to over 200 miles of trails at the ROCKHOUSE and BEARWALLOW trail systems. During Dirt days, it is not uncommon for folks to just ride the 15 or so miles between one trail system and the other. Through the rest of the year, you have to sled your ATV, UTV or Dirtbike from one trailhead to the other. Remember, it’s always a good idea to make your reservations WELL in advance if you don’t want to be left out in the cold. Dirt Days is a week of summer fun from June 13 - 17, 2012 when you too can enjoy the world famous Hatfield McCoy Trails by day, end enjoy more fun in the evenings at the Thunderblast facility! All Packages include: * Continental Breakfast on * Free Game of Golf Friday & Saturday * Drag Racing ( Non-Competitive) * Dirt Days T-Shirt * Mud Pit obstacle Course * Dirt Days Decal * Bonfire * Scavenger Hunt for $300 * Texas Hold'em Poker cash or $400 warn winch * Wheelie Contest (for Prizes) * Hatfield McCoy Koozie * Door Prizes $1,000.00 worth * Hatfield McCoy Key Chain * 2 Poker Runs (Cash Prizes) Youth 18 & Under Bring Your Fishing Poles !!!!!!! * Fishing Tournament ( Time will be set) * Miniature Golf Tournament * Jumping Jamboree, Playground, & Horseshoes, * Ping Pong, Biliards, Soft Toss, Volley Ball & More. Register Now By Calling : 304-752-3255 (Ask for Lelia) Weekdays 9:00AM to 5:00 PM 304-752-0102 or 304-583-7777 After 5:00 PM & Weekends. Leave your name and phone number and someon will call you back as soon as possible. You can check out our new Facebook :!/pages/Dirt-Days/217462288284815 For more information check out Remember a whole summer full of events coming your way, in HMT Country....Don't forget, May 5th for the 2012 Mud Buddies Foundation Ride for a Reason, May 19 the Matewan Massacre Reenactment and in June a whole week of fun with Dirt Days on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.

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