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Almost Heaven!

Updated on August 26, 2009

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.

The New River Gorge Bridge
The New 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.


Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey

 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.


White Tail Deer
White Tail Deer

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," .

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.


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    • TheMountainMan profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Ginn, great hub. I've been to the Mountain State on numerous times on family vacations. There is something about the state that just draws me back. I think its the natural beauty. No one should come to WV and not take a back road. Everywhere you turn is beautiful.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 

      9 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Yes, Ginn. I'll do that soon. Thank you.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Kulsum thank you so much for the invite, but I no longer travel well. I think it would be very welcomed if you would write a HUB on what you see in your everyday life in Nagpur---not what the tourist should see---just what you see that you love. So many of us here in the US only hear and see the negitive side of the news on TV and never are exposed to the beauty of so many places. I know I would enjoy it and be better educated for it.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 

      9 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Yes, Ginn. In fact, the place where I live, i.e. Mehdi Bagh Colony, Nagpur, India, is really A Heaven on Earth. There is so much natural beauty here that it appears to be a Hill-Station of sorts. Greenery everywhere, Rare species of birds nest here. We have a Lake and a swimming pool. It is a self sufficient place in itself. You are welcome to visit us and stay with us if you come this side of the globe. Do come.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Kulsum thank you. Yes West Virginia is beautiful but I believe that many places in our world, have there own beauty and one must slow down and open our minds and eyes to enjoy it.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 

      9 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Hi Ginn. Those pictures are very nice. Turkeys are very friendly birds. There is a pair in our neighbourhood. Every morning they come with us for a morning walk, clucking all the time. Must be a nice place you describe, West Virginia. 

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      K@ri thanks, I think those turkeys had the right-away.

      Laughing Mom, I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. Next time slow down and maybe get on the back roads and just roam.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      9 years ago

      You paint a beautiful picture with your words and your photos. Almost heaven, indeed!

      Unfortunately, I've only had the opportunity to quickly pass through the state, and not to enjoy this beauty. That bridge is spectacular! But being someone with a pretty severe fear of heights, I'd never be able to travel over it without having a heartattack! But the beauty of bridges such as this is that it can be admired from afar with just as much appreciation!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      Ginn, I haven't visited West Virginia yet, but I think I need to go see it soon after reading this! Wonderful story, I can see the turkeys just ambling across the road while you wait.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Christa, your right that song belongs to each of us no matter where our home is.

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      9 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      What beautiful country!  I want to visit there someday. 

      Love the video, and the song -- I don't think it matters what country road one came from, the song makes one miss it and long for home.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Yes G-Ma, we are very lucky to live in this great country.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      sounds like a very nice place...we do have many here in the USA though...I wish i could visit more of them...G-Ma :O) hugs & Peace

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Hey SirDent! Yes we know how beautiful it is here and we can share with others.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Teresa thanks, sometimes we just have to stop and look out the window and admire.

      AEvans thanks, stop by anytime.

      Hey KCC, John Denver touched the hearts of many with his song about what he seen here in WV. Yes, Jerilee makes me proud to be her MOM.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      AEvans, It is West Virginia!!!!! :P

      I live in southern West Virginia. In fact I have a hub about some Petroglyphs found in my community.

      I love this hub. Thanks for sharing!!!!

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      What a perfect name for your hub! When I saw the name I immediately began singing John Denver's song and had to come check it out and I wasn't disappointed at all! I was going to fret if I got here and it was about something else. Glad to meet you and find out you're Jerilee's mom! I've been a fan of hers since I got here to HP. Great hub!

    • AEvans profile image


      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I have never been to Virginia but how you have described it, I would love to see it sometime. It seems so beautiful and serene. :)

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      I love West Virginia (and Virginia, too!) and Tennessee and North Carolina . . .thanks for this lovely hub.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Another great hub Mom! I think I'll pass on the real story about how I came to West Virginia for now, just to keep our reader's guessing. I'm glad that you gave a true, but safe and sane answer. I miss West Virginia at times, and Florida is just another place along life's way.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Aya, glad you enjoyed the pictures, no I didn't take it but enjoy their antics every morning with my cup of coffee. No Jerilee and I sort of migrated over from the MD area at different times. The state of WV just seems to beckon us and I now call it home.

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Ginne Navarre, great hub! Loved the picture of the squirrel in the air. Did you take it?

      Did you and Jerilee arrive in West Virginia together? I always wondered how she ended up meeting her current husband!


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