West Virginia Part I: Gauley Bridge

West  Virginia is the Mountain State. Scary driving, beautiful scenery. Our first stop was Gauley Bridge, which is about 30 minutes south of the Capitol, Charleston. We stayed at New River Campground. Our spot was directly on the water. It was quiet except for the trains. The electricity worked about 70% of the time. We had no trouble relaxing.

We had a quick but fierce storm pass through Gauley Bridge on the last night we were there. A small branch pelted our roof and damaged our big awning. Our roof leak resurfaced and it has detained us while in Maryland, but this is what happened across the river from us. This big tree blew over and took over the entire house! Luckily, it was only a weekend home and no humans were displaced.

We had a quick but fierce storm pass through Gauley Bridge on the last night we were there. A small branch pelted our roof and damaged our big awning. Our roof leak resurfaced and it has detained us while in Maryland, but this is what happened across the river from us. This big tree blew over and took over the entire house! Luckily, it was only a weekend home and no humans were displaced.

A waterfall on the way to our campground.

A waterfall on the way to our campground.

New River Gorge

New River Gorge

Trains transporting coal rumbled through the base of the mountains and echoed back up into the hills until the environment vibrated ever so slightly with the rhythm of engines, tracks, breaks and horns. When it passed, everything would be magically quiet until the hint of the rumble started the sequence all over again.

Trains transporting coal rumbled through the base of the mountains and echoed back up into the hills until the environment vibrated ever so slightly with the rhythm of engines, tracks, breaks and horns. When it passed, everything would be magically quiet until the hint of the rumble started the sequence all over again.

One of Mike's fishing holes was from the rocks under the shade trees at the far end of the campground boundary, on the New River.

One of Mike’s fishing holes was from the rocks under the shade trees at the far end of the campground boundary, on the New River.

Kanawha Falls

Kanawha Falls

Heeeerrrrree Fishy Fishy.

Heeeerrrrree Fishy Fishy.

A typical view from our Cliff Side Trail Hike at Hawke's Nest State Park. If you looked the other way, it was just straight down. Just tops of trees is all you saw, basically. I didn't stop to ponder the view in that direction too intently.

A typical view from our Cliff Side Trail Hike at Hawke’s Nest State Park. If you looked the other way, it was just straight down. Just tops of trees is all you saw, basically. I didn’t stop to ponder the view in that direction too intently.

We went to church from this stop. The Methodist Church was just down the road, and they had a 9:45 service on Sunday. There were SEVEN people in the sanctuary that day, including the minister and the piano player (who was a member of the Baptist Church down the street, and just volunteered her time on Sunday mornings). It was a nice service.

We went to church from this stop. The Methodist Church was just down the road, and they had a 9:45 service on Sunday. There were SEVEN people in the sanctuary that day, including the minister and the piano player (who was a member of the Baptist Church down the street, and just volunteered her time on Sunday mornings). It was a nice service.

Bald eagles flying over the river at our camp.

Bald eagles flying over the river at our camp.

Do you see the face?

Do you see the face?

The view from my bedroom window at this stop.

The view from my bedroom window at this stop.

The Governor's Mansion in Charleston, West Virginia.

The Governor’s Mansion in Charleston, West Virginia.

West Virginia Capitol Building

West Virginia Capitol Building

A section of our trail on the Cliff Side hike.

A section of our trail on the Cliff Side hike.

The whole time we went DOWN the Cliff Side Trail Path, I kept dreading the part when we turned around and went back UP! Ugh.

The whole time we went DOWN the Cliff Side Trail Path, I kept dreading the part when we turned around and went back UP! Ugh.

The economy in West Virginia is very depressed. There is no shopping, there are no restaurants. Not much to 'do'. The natural beauty is phenomenal... and this is pretty much how we spent our afternoons during the stretch of beautiful weather.

The economy in West Virginia is very depressed. There is no shopping, there are no restaurants. Not much to ‘do’. The natural beauty is phenomenal… and this is pretty much how we spent our afternoons during the stretch of beautiful weather.

Cathedral Falls was, literally, right around the corner from our campground.

Cathedral Falls was, literally, right around the corner from our campground.

The historic bridge over the New River Gorge.

The historic bridge over the New River Gorge.

A blog post would not be complete without a photo of Mike's beloved geese.

A blog post would not be complete without a photo of Mike’s beloved geese.

Our spot from Gauley Bridge, West Virginia. They told us the people at the dam would call if it was going to flood.

Our spot from Gauley Bridge, West Virginia. They told us the people at the dam would call if it was going to flood.

The treat of our Cliff Side Trail Hike was finding this waterfall. The sound of it lured us along the path for what seemed like an eternity.

The treat of our Cliff Side Trail Hike was finding this waterfall. The sound of it lured us along the path for what seemed like an eternity.

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