Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
Fall is all about the leaves changing colors, taking out the hoodies, and debating which is better between warm apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes. West Virginia sure does know how to make autumn look beautiful!
As a summer baby, I do not like seeing those temperatures starting to drop. But at the same time, the picturesque beauty of fall is amazing. As we rolled into West Virginia, you can't deny that at all. Shocking to me, it was one of the hardest places to find a campground that had availability for us. Every place I seemed to call was booked solid. Granted, I did forget it was going to be Indigenous People's Day Weekend. Thankfully, we found a spot at a small RV Park that ended up having the most spectacular views we've ever had on the road. We were right off New River surrounded by mountains. The only downside we found to this campground was how terrible Verizon service is. Not a problem for a weekend getaway but makes things difficult when you work during the week. This is the exact reason why we have a backup AT&T jetpack, which worked beautifully. Unfortunately, they do not provide unlimited data (#firstworldproblems) so it needed to be used only for work to make sure we could make it through the week. Primitive Glamping it is! A little frustrating at first but turned out to be a great week nonetheless.
If there is one thing West Virginia should be known for, it should be how outdoor adventure friendly it is. It's an adrenaline junkie dream destination. This area, in particular, is known for having some of the best white water rafting in the country, there are hikes galore, amazing climbing spots, ziplining, bungee jumping, kayaking, mountain biking and so much more. Even driving down the road is wild. Perfect for any car commercial trying to depict how precise their power steering is. Ever play that video game "Need For Speed"? Just like that. Twisty, windy roads with beautiful views but one freak out could send you plummeting down a cliff (don't worry Moms, we took them slowly).
A short distance from the campground you can find Kanawha Falls and Cathedral Falls. Kanawha Falls isn't a very tall waterfall but it is certainly wide. It must generate a substantial amount of hydro power as there is an old power plant between the falls and the road. Cathedral Falls is beautiful. Tucked away but just off the same road (US-60, Meridian Trail Rd). Now this waterfall is one of the tallest in West Virginia that cascades down into a natural amphitheater (hense the name).
On top of everything else this area has to offer, probably the most notable thing is New River Gorge National River, part of the the National Park Service. The area became protected as part of the NPS in 1978 and stretches about 53 miles. Its a part of the Appalachian Mountains and like everything else, its gorgeous. Especially in the fall. I was able to get a hike in on the Endless Wall Trail which offers some amazing look out points over the river. Pretty well maintained trail with manmade steps and bridges in some areas. You start up in the mountain too so its not a very strenuous hike and doable for most everyone. Even 4 little-legged ones like Tungsten. However, if you have a fear of heights, you may way to stay back. Look out points are the edge of the cliff.
And who can forget the New River Gorge Bridge?! It was once the highest vehicular bridge in the world at 876 feet (267 meters) above the river. Its also one of the longest steel arch bridges (1700 feet (518 meters) across!) Again we're in Adreniline junkie territory so this is also a popular bridge to jump off of. The Third Saturday of every October is known as "Bridge Day" which features repelling, ascending and BASE jumping festivities. It is all going to be virtual this year though. You can see the bridge from the NPS visitor center. There is a boardwalk with about a 100-stair descent which is newly constructed.
Oh! And let's not forget about the RV project from the week! You may recall that our very, very first time backing up the trailer, we jackknifed. If you don't know what that means, the truck was was turned so much that the back corner collided with the front corner of the trailer. Our first time parking, we damaged the trailer. Thankfully, we were able to fix both rather quickly so no interior damage was ever done. It was all a matter of cosmetic damage. An eye sore. We have been trying to figure out what to do with it every since. How can we fix it? Our friendly RV repair man, Henry back in Indianapolis suggested painting it with truck bedliner. Not only will it make the eye sore disappear but it will also prevent any further damage from rocks being kicked up from the road or hail or what have you. It came out awesome! The trailer looks so good! Have a look for yourself.
Again, thanks so much for reading and making it this far. We really appreciate it. Let us know if you have any question, comments, concerns, ambguities or suggestions. Don't forget to vote.
See you next time! We're off to Sweet Virginia!