On our way to the burning town of
Pioneer Tunnel features a quaint little gift shop where you can buy everything from a history of the Yuengling beer dynasty to lumps of dirty anthracite coal for the kids to play with. But the real attraction is their mine tour. For just $8 you can hop inside a mine car, ride 1800 feet into the side of a mountain, and have Tom-the-mine-tour-guide tell you all about the history of regional coal mining in his best central PA accent! Tom is no run-of-the-mill tour guide, either – he will wow you with his knowledge, tickle your funny bone with his wit (favorite joke: “Now that we’re here in the mine, grab a shovel and get to work!”), and befuddle you with riddles (He asked everyone on the tour, “Where are you from? [PAUSE for reply] Are you an Eagles fan?” I never figured out what answer he was looking for…).
A word to the prospective mine tour taker – mines are cold, even in summer. Fortunately, Pioneer Tunnel makes the comfort of their guests priority #1 and offers a wide assortment of loaner jackets for the under-dressed traveler! The pleather number I chose even came complete with a snack – there were handfuls of cookie crumbs in BOTH pockets! Was I lucky or what??? Paulette “