Posted by: Sally Ingraham | April 18, 2011

West Virginian Wanderings

I went to West Virginia for a few days last…I was going to say week, but I’ve already been back for nearly a week…! Hard to believe – April seems to be careening to a close with unusual speed this year. Of course, traveling in April (my least favorite month, especially in my home state) is genius, because while you spend a period of time doing something exciting and interesting you can simultaneously skip that same amount of time in your usual life – by which I mean, when I got back it was several degrees warmer and the sun stayed up several minutes later and all the huge shipments of merchandise at work had magically disappeared, etc. – and April was half over. Genius!!

A good friend of mine moved back home to WV last winter, and I leaped at the chance to explore a new state with a guide who loves it. My friend is a great travel companion – we have toured Maine together, and New Brunswick, and we are queens of the day-trip. While I would have been happy to lounge on her parent’s deck in the lovely 65-75 degree weather, drinking and eating and getting in the hot tub, I knew that visiting her would entail so much more.

We ate and drank and lounged and hot tubbed, but we also spent two days driving around WV, ventured into Ohio, visited Spruce Knob (highest point in WV), managed not to get carsick on the excessively twisty-turny roads, walked in the woods, saw Seneca Rocks, sampled gin and vodka and white whiskey, toured the state capitol building, picked ramps, saw bridges both large and small… I was amazed by how beautiful WV was. Mountains, waterfalls, lush foliage (even though spring was barely springing), architecture, farmland, picturesque ruins, radio equipment… Every tiny wandering road has surprises down it, and hardly a road among them doesn’t run along beside a stream, or curl up a mountain, or race along a ridge line – most of the roads do it all!

I highly recommend exploring WV, and I have every intention of going back there whenever the opportunity presents itself. Here is just a taste of what there is to be seen:

A pretty home, ramps, ribbony mountains, a creek, a giant telescope, and the New River Gorge Bridge.

More pictures here.


  1. Sounds like you had fun! I love that first photo – very evocative.

    • Thanks! There were a lot of scenes that were particularly evocative…

  2. Hi Sarah…I so enjoyed your wv photos. Come visit us again soon

    • Thanks! I so enjoyed visiting you, and I will be back for sure. 🙂

  3. Sarah,
    Great pictures! You sure did a lot of traveling during your visit.

    • Yes indeed. That’s how I role.

  4. That bridge shot is amazing!!

    I am at my wits’ end for a vacation. I’m seriously counting the work days until France, and it’s almost to the point where I’m counting the work HOURS. It looks like you had an awesome time in WV. 🙂

    • Thanks Emily – it’s a totally amazing bridge. I hope the rest of the time before your trip speeds by!!

  5. Looks like a very beautiful state. The bridge is stunning. Strange that there are no leaves on the trees yet. In Switzerland it looks like summer already plus the May flowers that came out in early April. The seasons seems to exist in parallel. Bit odd.

    • And where I live it’s even less springy than it was in WV! You must start getting snow earlier than we do though – it doesn’t truly start to get wintery here until December and sometimes we don’t get our first real snow until after Christmas. Perhaps it all balances out!

  6. WV is one of those places that people underestimate. As a fellow day trip queen, I love to take the kids there, and when a little warmer, it is an excellent place for rafting. Both the adventurous type and the floating down the river drinking all afternoon variety. Not that I would ever do something like that. With my kids around.

    • Hehe, but you would definitely do that with me, eh?? It’s a date. Rafting sounds amazing – the slow, sunny, all day on the river type. I’m not much one for speed and boisterous water! And I have listened to people underestimating WV while my friend tried to convince them of it’s wonders – now I know that she was more than right. It’s a lovely state.

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