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Week of November 17, 2019 | Globetracker Week 4 Map

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Since, we missed Louie in Alaska. We had no idea where to go next. Uncle GT called us on Friday and told us he received an odd text message, sent from an unknown number.

Coal 4 U in WV former Pres. Clinton 1st name with "son"

Meri and I thought about that clue (and looked at a detailed map). The abbreviation WV stands for a state. It must start with a "W" - Wyoming, Wisconsin, Washington, or West Virginia. What do you all think? Hmm - if it is a WV, must be West Virginia (W for West, V for Virginia). Now onto the 2nd part of this clue, the former president was Bill (or William) Clinton. If you add a "son," it would either be Williamson or Billson. Look at the map (below) and see if you can find either of these cities on the map of West Virginia.

     - Geo


Map of West Virginia
This map shows many of the smaller cities and towns of West Virginia. Can you find Williamson or Billson? Is the town on the eastern or western side of the state? What states border West Virginia (click to see the map of the entire US)?


Did you figure out where we are? If you guessed Williamson, you are geographical geniuses! We just arrived here last night. We are off to learn more about this city, why Louie would be here, and WHERE he is! What could this town have in common with a small town in Alaska, anyway?

Holy Idaho! For a town that neither Geo nor I had ever heard of, Williamson is fascinating! Have you ever heard of the town? Well, based on Louie's clue and our research, we definitely know why Louie is here: Coal. I wonder if Louie thinks coal is a good or bad source of energy. What do you think? We learned so much about coal today. Is coal a renewable resource, a fossil fuel or something else? In West Virginia, about 99% of the generated electricity comes from coal! Wow!! In the US, about 50% of electricity comes from coal. In fact, 32 states (in the US) use coal as their main source of electricity. I never knew we used so much coal. In West Virginia, there are 55 counties, and 53 of those counties have/produce coal! We have heard a lot about coal seams, but we aren't sure what that means - - yet. Do any of you know what a coal seam is? Tomorrow morning we are going to visit the largest coal mine in Williamson. We hope to learn more about coal and possibly get some leads about Louie! Then tomorrow afternoon we are going to the "Coal House." I am not really sure what the Coal House is, but it is on the list for the National Register of Historic Places. I surely hope they know what a coal seam is.

Txt from Pandora -
Hey U2. I have 2 ?s:. Is coal a renUable resource? Also, do the ppl who work in coal mines face dangers from being around the coal 24/7? What R the mines like (my question)?

Txt to Pandora -
Will answer your Qs in our blog 2moro

     - Meri

A coal mine in the distance

Coal mine

Another coal mine (closer view)


We had a great day visiting the coal seams at the coal mine. We found out what a coal seam is. Simply put, it is a stratum (or wide layer) of coal that is thick enough to be mined to make a profit. So just remember a layer of coal is a coal seam, and coal mines are FULL of coal seams. The mine was amazing. We learned a lot. And we took a TON of pictures. Check them out below. And the Coal House was a geologists' paradise. I will post a link to this historical location.

Now onto Pandora's Questions: Coal is NOT a renewable resource because it will all eventually disintegrate, disappear, or be used up. Coal can take millions of years to produce. The earth does not "renew" the supply when we take it out. This is probably why Louie was here, trying to convince the mines to stop using up all the coal reserves. What do you think?

To answer the second question requires some explanation. Yes, there are some dangers in working in the coal mines. But it really depends on WHERE you work. Each mine really does have different working conditions. Some of the more dangerous mines have high levels of methane gas (something that is very dangerous to inhale), constant flooding possibilities, falling rock, the possibility of hurting yourself physically with cuts or burns, and many others. You can also breathe a lot of coal dust. So YES - it can be very dangerous. But thankfully most mines take proper precautions to protect their employees. I included a link to learn more about the dangers (and precautions) within a coal mine. Take a look.

     - Geo

The coal mine we visited

Here is a neat drawing we saw that shows what coal mines were like in the early 1900s.


Mine Safety
Learn more about the coal in West Virginia and mine safety using this site.

Tuesday Afternoon

You would never believe where we went today! Uncle GT called and said that we should catch a bus to "Cinderella, West Virginia." Louie made a purchase on his Visa in Cinderella (maybe for Prince Charming - lol). Meri and I both laughed and thought we were going to "find glass slippers!" We visited a large coal mine and found a very old gentleman just finishing his shift. He was very dirty and looked exhausted. We offered him our only bottle of cold water. He obviously needed it more than we did. While he was drinking the water, we asked him if he had seen Louie (we finally have a picture now - we pasted it below). The guy, Morgan, said that Louie had left the mine just a few minutes ago. He had been there meeting with one of the "big bosses." Morgan took us to the boss that Louie had spoken to. The boss told us that Louie had been concerned about the amount of coal being mined and used. Why would Louie care about coal? What do you think? The boss did tell us that Louie was on his way to a man-made dam that also produces A LOT of energy. The boss also handed us an envelope and said he was told by Louie that if two teenagers (a boy and girl) ended up at the coal mine to be sure they received the envelope. Inside the envelope we found a short note, with a BIG clue.

Oops, you missed me yet again, I had to get moving onto my next stop. Come to where the water ends. I am visiting the desert and a famous dam. I am close to Las Vegas, can you figure out where I am?

     - Geo

The train (which runs on COAL) that we took to Cinderella.

Finally - a picture of Louie!

Tell Geo and Meri what to do:

- Do you think Louie went to the Hoover Dam?

- Do you think Louie went to the Helena Dam?

- Do you think Louie went to the Haddison Dam?



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