Sunday, August 07, 2011

Wild Wonderful West Virginia Part 1

Part 1: The Journey Out

Yesterday we took a day and headed north and west to West Virginia. Our destination was Fayetteville, specifically the Canyon Rim Visitor Center on Highway 19. We wanted to visit the New River Gorge. This is a 70,000 acre park along the New River between the towns of Hinton and Fayetteville. The park is part of the National Park Service.

The two-and-a-half hour drive took us through Iron Gate. This is a small town that sits on the borders of Alleghany and Botetourt counties.

Blink and you will miss it.

I wish I had a better picture. Outside of Iron Gate, not far from Clifton Forge (which you no longer drive through but bypass on I-64), a U.S. flag sits high on an outcropping of rock called Devil's Backbone. Someone has been placing a flag there for as long as I can remember. My father has family in Summersville, WV. We used to visit when I was a child and I would always look for the flag in the rock. You can read a story about the flag here.

Heading into the mountains.

We took a detour off of I-64 to pass through White Sulphur Springs. Hubby wanted to visit an ATV dealer while we were in the area.

White Sulphur Springs is like most of small town America today - older, not as vibrant as it once was, beaten down by Walmart. Yet it still had some folks moving around. I thought it had a little more movement than some small towns I have traveled through.

Before I knew it, we were at the entrance to The Greenbrier. I barely got the camera up in time to snap some sort of photo. The Greenbrier is a place for the very wealthy. However, they offer a few things, such as the bunker tours and casino gambling, that might be of interest to us peons. I could never afford a room there, though. At $285 per night for a single bedroom, I think I'll just drive on home.

You can't see much of The Greenbrier because it's all fenced off. That was rather disappointing. Anyway, we weren't stopping there today so we simply drove past.

Next up: Part II - The New River


  1. I love the town of Iron Gate and have always wondered who was brave enough to put that flag up there, now I know, thanks for the interesting story!!

  2. Such beautiful scenery! It's pretty flat where we live. Hubby & I would like to move somewhere where there's at least some rolling hills!

    Sad about the small towns and lack of patrons. Durn WalMart! Unfortunately, that's all we have in our small town... forcing me to shop there, ugh!

  3. Thanks for sharing the road trip! One of our sons is a NPS ranger and worked at New River Gorge for a while.

    Can't wait to be in VA full time and take a drive over to Wva!

  4. Gosh - those look like gorgeous mountains. I just want to put my boots on and hike when I see fells like that!

  5. That's an area we haven't visited but I've thought about doing a day drive there. Thanks for the pics!

  6. We pass that flag all the time when we go to West Virgina on vacation. It had special meaning after 9/11.

  7. I swear I have that same exact picture of the white church and the road from when we went to West Virginia horse hunting one time! I'm going to have to go dig it up.

    It's all pretty. But anything in this state and surrounding is pretty, isn't it?

  8. The Greenbriar doesn't let peons who are not staying at their resort use their casino either. I always wanted to visit there but can't see spending over $300 a night for the privilege of losing even more of my money in their slots.


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