So my Girlfriend Roxy (not her real name) and I are hopefully going to be visiting my family in West Virginia next month. As an afterthought she asked me, "What else are we going to do besides visit relatives?" I said I wasn't sure as it was pretty backwoods. She asked, "How backwoods?" I then suggested that she look up Branchland, West Virginia on Google Maps. It will show forest in every direction in 50 miles.
Since Roxy gets bored easily, I need to find things to do. She looked up things to do in the Western part of West Virginia (the tri-state area) and couldn't find much. But then again, the internet still hasn't come to the majority of the public in West Virginia. So it's up to me to find stuff to do.
Again, a major problem is that we will be in the Western part of West Virginia (closer to Cincinnati and Columbus). A lot of West Virginia's main attractions are on the Eastern side, closer to Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland.
Here's what the guides suggest:
1. Rich Mountain Battlefield - Rich Mountain Battlefield is one of the earliest engagements of the Civil War. It consists of more than 400 protected acres including the battle site at the top of Rich Mountain and a section of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike connecting the two sites.
Note: There seem to be a lot of dead people in West Virginia. This is a battlefield with a lot of dead people.
2. Pricketts Fort - Pricketts Fort serves as a living history site where interpreters recreate late-18th century lifestyle through period attire and the demonstration of a variety of colonial crafts. Throughout the Season, you may find blacksmiths, spinners, weavers and other traditional artisans at work. There are also picnic tables, and a great nature trail.
Note: Wait? Didn't I do this same sort of thing at Philmont? Here's the fun thing. Try and get them to break character.
3. Mini-Museum of Geology & Natural History - The Museum of Geology and Natural History holds the key to preservation, and exhibition of rock, mineral, and fossil specimens from all ages of West Virginia's geologic history. In addition to being a repository for all types of geologic specimens, the museum's on-going collections also includes historic books, maps, manuscripts, and artifacts.
Note: I don't know if Roxy should like a museum, er mini-museum full of rocks.
4. Tomchin Planetarium & Observatory - Tomchin Planetarium & Observatory offers exciting and interesting planetarium shows and sky-watching. Learn about the moon and stars in a fun way.
Note: Say, did anyone see that episode of South Park where they all went to the Planetarium?
5. Oil and Natural Gas Museum in Parkersburg
Oil & Gas Museum offers exhibits that allow visitors to explore into the past of the oil and gas history in West Virginia.
Note: Mmmmm, probably not her thing.
6. There are National Parks, but they are kinda far away.
Bluestone National Scenic River - This scenic river preserves relatively unspoiled land in southern West Virginia and contains natural and historic features of the Appalachian plateau. In its 11 miles, the lower Bluestone River offers excellent warm water fishing, hiking, boating, and scenery.
New River Gorge National River - A rugged, white water river, flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. Located in southern West Virginia, New River Gorge National River was established in 1978 to conserve and protect 53 miles of the New River as a free-flowing waterway.
Note: But then again, how many times can you take a girl to the woods before she starts to think you are cheap?
7. The West Virginia Penitentiary (See link, so you know I'm not kidding)
Note: Death, anger, rape, and angry, raped ghosts. Pass.
8. Lost World Caverns in Lewisburg
Note: Hey, this ain't a bad idea! Spooky Caves? Pirate Ghosts? This is perfect, except for one thing. Where in the Hell is Lewisburg?
9. ACE Adventure Center
PO Box 1168 Oak Hill, WV 25901
Note: So basically ACE is old time cabins, and white water rafting. That could be fun. It's not too far as the crow flys, but by car it could be four hours to get there. That, and I hear the bedbugs are bad there.
Maybe I should concentrate on things closer to Grandma's house. Here's some things to do in Charleston:
1. Avampato Discovery Museum
formerly Sunrise Museum Charleston, WV
Note: Science? Art? Children's Museum? Oh, and another Planetarium? Don't forget the 360 degree movies. It could be fun, but it might be aimed for younger kids.
2. Capitol Market
Note: Hmmm, it seems like it mostly has food, organic food, and food markets. Again, not bad, but I'm not sure if it's what we might be looking for.
3. Kanawha State Forest
Note: Not bad, but we'll be in the middle of a forest anyway. What's the point of driving to yet another forest. We'll be forest hopping.
Mmmm, let try Huntington. That could prove useful.
1. Huntington Museum of Art
Note: I think we have a winner! Roxy loves art. This may be an oppourtunity for her to see country art.
2. Heritage Farm Museum and Village
affiliated with Heritage Farm Museum and Village Homes Huntington, WV 25704
Note: It seems fun, but there's no reviews about it. I wish I had more info about it.
Ok, here's some local stuff to do that I can think of.
1. Noodling. Roxy can hold onto the rope around my foot as I go and stick my hand in a giant blue catfish's mouth. She once said, "If you ever did that, you would see me swooning by the shoreline."
2. Moonshine. There are a lot of ... well illegal stills in the county. It's generally about $10.00 for a gallon of moonshine. And it is strong. You can run a NASCAR car on that stuff.
3. Shotgun Shooting. There's plenty of starlings, groundhogs, and other vermin to shoot. Note: You can cook a groundhog like a turkey. It has been done in my family.
4. Fishing. The regular way with rod and reel and moonshine.
5. Crawdads/ Crawfish. In the shallow parts of the rivers/ creeks you can find plenty.
6. Flea Markets. There are lots of flea markets and shops that carry some really old stuff.
7. Picture taking. Lots of things to take pictures of. It's a very beautiful state.
8. Barnyard animals. My Aunt and Uncle have cows, pigs, and some ponys. It would be fun visit them for a day.
9. Bluegrass. I don't think Roxy has ever confronted the alleged music type known as Bluegrass. It might scare her.
So that seems to be a pretty good list. If I think of anything else, well that's another post.
Maybe I'll find a banjo while I'm up there. That could be funny. The only instrument that's as vile as the accordian is the banjo.
Anyway, until next post, take care.