Did you ever just want to get away from it all? Yes I think we all had those kind of thoughts many times. I had worked in the rat-race in Washington D.C. for twenty years, now don't get me wrong it is a fabulous city for sightseeing and its history. In fact you could say that for most cities if you are visiting for the first time.
Early on I begin to explore outside of its boundary and found the beautiful state of West Virginia. It seemed to have a magnetic force that kept pulling me to it, what was it?
Maybe it was the simple beauty of it all. The mountains mixed with a variety of trees as hardwood forests of oak, chestnut, maple beech and white pine, with willow and American sycamore and apple. There are meandering streams and water falls making there way among them. Most of West Virginia falls into the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forest region. The state is the only state in the nation located entirely within the Appalachian Mountain range.
West Virginia is considered the southern most northern state and the northern most southern state. West Virginia's nickname is the Mountain State and its motto is "Mountaineers Are Always Free."
Many people visit the state to see the tourist sites, such as Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the River Gorge Bridge.
A common story told about West Virginia is the folktale about how it got the nickname "West, By God, Virginia". This legend goes something like this--- a West Virginia native who was being inducted into the US Army during the First World War was repeatedly asked by his induction officer, "What part of Virginia?" And the soldier, finally getting fed up with the confusion, said "Not Virginia! West Virginia! West, by God Virginia"! This story, whether true or not, has entered American Folklore.
I for one really enjoy the wild life. Going down any back country road and it is not uncommon to wait as a group of wild turkey just take their time crossing. After all they were here first.
Maybe a little farther down that same road, you will come to an abrupt stop as a beautiful white-tailed deer decides he has the right away.
As you sit there marveling at just what past before your eyes, you look up into the trees that surround this scene and laugh at a Blue-Jay that was arguing loudly with a squirrel over a morsel of food that they each claimed as their own.
Over in the next big Oak, a Cardinal sat on a limb and watched this event play out for he knew at the precise moment he could silently swoop down and claim this treat for himself if that raccoon that was milling around didn't get it first.
Yes, there are sounds of music every where with the wild life and the people. The Appalachian folk music is a harmony that blends in with its mountains. The fiddle playing and ballad singing is unique and enjoyed the moment you hear it.
John Denver best described his experience of driving through West Virginia with his song "Country Roads," .
Now! I know and see what drew me to this beautiful state of West Virginia---Thanks to John Denver you too can enjoy.