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Wild Wonderful West Virginia - Yes I Live There!

Updated on May 31, 2013

Where I live

Parkersburg, West Virginia
Parkersburg, West Virginia | Source

Getting There Is Half The Battle

Sometimes it takes a while to appreciate your surroundings. I have met a lot of people that just want to get out of their rut and go somewhere new. I always used to hear about people moving away, getting a new job and leaving town or just wanting to travel to see new things. Even now, in my extended circle of family friends and acquaintances, I occasionally hear about someone leaving, but they almost always come back, to West Virginia that is. That never used to happen when I was younger.

I have lived in southern California [20 years], Virginia [2 years], Hawaii [4 years], Pennsylvania [18 years] and West Virginia [8 years]. I have traveled the country, from coast to coast and border to boarder. Not that I have any money mind you. In fact I am probably one of the poorest people you would ever meet. Not the poorest by a long shot, I have not actually ever been homeless, yet.

I did not even move to West Virginia because I wanted to, it was out of necessity. But the reality of the situation is that even with all the trials and tribulations that have been my life, I really do not want to be anywhere other than here at this moment in my life. West Virginia has proven to be a welcome surprise!

When I moved here I had no clue that I would learn to love it. I have always preferred living near a beach so my four years in Hawaii was totally awesome, but the weather is more variable in West Virginia. Luckily I live in the Mid-Ohio Valley which means that in the winter I do not usually experience more than a couple of inches of snow at any given time because Parkersburg is close to the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. Additionally, in the summer we have been experiencing average temperatures in the 80's to higher 90's. We rarely experience temperatures in the 100's.


Things I See Every Day

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Driving through downtown ParkersburgBlennerhassett HotelParkersburg City ParkMemorial Bridge links Parkersburg WV to Belpre OHPHS, Parkersburg High School (Go Big Reds!)Route 50 and I-77, my view every weekday eveningThird Street Oil and Gas MuseumSmoot TheatreFort Neal Skate ParkRoute 14 and 68 near home
Driving through downtown Parkersburg
Driving through downtown Parkersburg
Blennerhassett Hotel
Blennerhassett Hotel
Parkersburg City Park
Parkersburg City Park
Memorial Bridge links Parkersburg WV to Belpre OH
Memorial Bridge links Parkersburg WV to Belpre OH
PHS, Parkersburg High School (Go Big Reds!)
PHS, Parkersburg High School (Go Big Reds!)
Route 50 and I-77, my view every weekday evening
Route 50 and I-77, my view every weekday evening
Third Street Oil and Gas Museum
Third Street Oil and Gas Museum
Smoot Theatre
Smoot Theatre
Fort Neal Skate Park
Fort Neal Skate Park
Route 14 and 68 near home
Route 14 and 68 near home

Riotously funny video from last year

Parkersburg, "Where West Virginia Began"

Enough about me, let's talk about West Virginia. In my opinion some of the most beautiful places in the United States and probably the world are in West Virginia. We have fall foliage and spring green that lasts for an extended period of time because it starts in the valleys and works its way to the mountain peaks, which we have an abundance of in our state. We have a few bigger cities, such as Parkersburg where I live, and lots of small towns plus what we call back woods and hollers galore.

Parkersburg is the third largest city in West Virginia, but it still has that "small town" feel. A good portion of the city is classified as historical and lots of the neighborhoods are an eclectic mix of people from all walks of life. The Julia-ann District is basically historical homes abutted by equally historical business buildings while North End, South Side and Vienna all bring different flavors to the mix as far as newer, 20th century built, homes. I work in Charleston which is a real hike to get to from Parkersburg, but the pay is better and the commute is much nicer than anyplace I have ever lived. Now if I could just make enough money from home that would be ideal!

Parkersburg feels small town to me because it is very similar to how I grew up more than 30 years ago in cities like Covina, Fontana and Riverside in southern California. I even remember vast stretches of wooded and undeveloped areas as well as grape vineyards and orchards all over SoCal. Some of my favorite hangouts back then were very similar to the many natural areas still available all over West Virginia. As one of my co-workers now so aptly quoted, The only difference between California then and West Virginia now is Cali was brown in the summer and green in the winter, WV is brown in the winter and green in the summer.

West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Video

The Rest of the State

I have found some really great pictures of things you can see in West Virginia. Each compass point has its own unique characteristics such as mild winters or cold enough to ski for a good portion of the Fall through Spring seasons. You can hunt, fish, boat, bike, hike, drive and off-road in some of the most beautiful and challenging locations. There is just way too much to include in just one hub about our fair state.

I have also included a video from the West Virginia Chamber about West Virginia from a bragging and informational point of view. Also make sure you check out the scenic pictures and my final excerpt about unusual things to see in and around Parkersburg WV!

Unique Tourist Attractions

Hillbilly Marble Maker, Sam Hogue
Hillbilly Marble Maker, Sam Hogue

Scenic West Virginia

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New River Gorge WVNew River Gorge BridgeCanaan Valley WVElakala Falls WVGlade Creek Grist MillJust one unique Mountain Biking experience in WVRomney WV, a jewel in a valleyFrom save the North Fork bike rideThe Bog Dolly Sods WVAnother great view in WV
New River Gorge WV
New River Gorge WV
New River Gorge Bridge
New River Gorge Bridge
Canaan Valley WV
Canaan Valley WV
Elakala Falls WV
Elakala Falls WV
Glade Creek Grist Mill
Glade Creek Grist Mill
Just one unique Mountain Biking experience in WV
Just one unique Mountain Biking experience in WV
Romney WV, a jewel in a valley
Romney WV, a jewel in a valley
From save the North Fork bike ride
From save the North Fork bike ride
The Bog Dolly Sods WV
The Bog Dolly Sods WV
Another great view in WV
Another great view in WV

Charleston, a great capital

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The Capital Building, Charleston WVSmall building 7 joins buildings 5 and 6Charleston WV a birds eye viewCharleston, fall, by the riverThe Clay Center, Charleston WV
The Capital Building, Charleston WV
The Capital Building, Charleston WV
Small building 7 joins buildings 5 and 6
Small building 7 joins buildings 5 and 6
Charleston WV a birds eye view
Charleston WV a birds eye view
Charleston, fall, by the river
Charleston, fall, by the river
The Clay Center, Charleston WV
The Clay Center, Charleston WV

Our State Capital

A markerState Capital Complex, Charleston WV -
Charleston, WV, USA
get directions

1900 Kanawha Blvd

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    • Marla Neogra profile image
      Author

      Marla J Neogra 3 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

      Thanks for your insight!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Looks like you have a passion for your home state. I am originally from New Mexico, even though they always sing the praises of Hatch chiles. I have rolled through Hatch and it is a dusty little one horse town. Anyhow, the point I am trying to make is that everyone has a soft spot in their heart for their home state. I think we always drift back to that place too. One of these days I'll probably drift back. Good hub!

    • Marla Neogra profile image
      Author

      Marla J Neogra 3 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

      Lady Guinevere, glad to meet a fellow Mountain State resident. I will check out your hubs as well.

    • Marla Neogra profile image
      Author

      Marla J Neogra 3 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

      bearnmom, thanks for the insight I will have to take a look at the references and maybe revise.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      I live here too. I live in the Martinsburg area in the Eastern Panhandle and I have a hub with things to do in my area. It is a beautiful state.

    • bearnmom profile image

      Laura L Scotty 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Interesting travelogue. Your comparison between California and West Virginia were somewhat distracting from the article but the rest of your information was presented in an easy reading format.

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