Because of our mountains, we have rivers.
The oldest river in the Western Hemisphere, the New
River (quite appropriately named, don't you think) ends in West Virginia. We have the Gauley River, which confluences with the New River in a magnificent cascade to form the Kanawha River, which in turn flows through the center of the
State, and directly through the capital city of Charleston, the largest city in West Virginia. These rivers in addition to the Cheat, Blackwater, Tygart, Monongahela, Ohio and countless others
offer tremendous recreational opportunities.
The tallest building in Charleston is barely 25 floors tall!, which, if you think about it, is a plus; how could
you possibly build a skyscraper more beautiful than a mountain?
The capital city stretches throughout the
long river valley encompassing both hill and dale.
The Charleston airport, the largest in the State, sits
on top of a mountain. The crime rate in Charleston, including the entire population of the Kanawha Valley (around 200,000), reflects that of the
entire State, the lowest in America. No more than a handful of murders are
committed each year.
Charleston has no subway systems, but, truth be
known, you can get from one end of town to the other, even in rush hour
traffic, in less than ten minutes.
There are three major interstate systems going through Charleston, the smallest city in America to make such a claim.
The entire State has six different interstate systems, meaning, from Charleston,
you can reach Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati,
Pittsburgh, Louisville or Charlotte in four hours
or less....Ah, but once you leave the interstates, the drive becomes a
thing of wonder. Two lane roads, winding up and down the mountains, offer
amazing views and historic places, small towns, poor in wealth but rich in
West Virginia is the birthplace of Mother's Day,
in Grafton; and Father's Day, in Fairmont.
We have the oldest covered bridge still in use. We have
walnut festivals, strawberry festivals, apple festivals, pumpkin festivals, and buckwheat festivals, and arts and crafts fairs and stern wheel
regattas and ramp dinners.
We have Bridge Day, on the New River Gorge Bridge over 800 feet above the New
River; the only standing structure in the United States that, one day a
year, allows parachuting and bungee jumping.
We have college basketball, and minor league
baseball and hockey, and, just like all of America, Friday night high school football.
We have white water rafting, and skiing, and hiking, and caves and
waterfalls, and camping in every direction. We have Sundays where a
leisurely drive in the car can take eight hours, and only cover 100 miles.
We have bed and breakfasts, and resorts, and golf courses, and museums, and the Greenbrier Hotel. West Virginia has more natural beauty and wonder than any person could ever
We have all of this, and yet.... our greatest asset is our people. West Virginians are good people. We care about each
other. We talk to our neighbors over the backyard fence. We grow tomatoes for the
entire neighborhood. We turn around in each other's driveways, and yell
"howdy" when we do. We sit on the porch on warm summer evenings, listening to crickets,
and watching kids catch fireflies.
We loan a hammer, or a cup of sugar. We don't take two-hour lunches, but we do spend a few minutes
each day with a cup of coffee, and our feet upon our desk, shooting the
We rarely get in a hurry. We have relatives just down the street. We don't
just loan someone a socket wrench, we help them fix their car. We share recipes, and gardening tips, and our
last cup of coffee. We baby-sit each other's kids, we housesit each other's
dogs while we're on vacation, and we loan each other our cars if we have to get to the
drugstore. We ask each other if we need anyt hing as we're going to the
market.( we dont go to the market,We go to the store!
We celebrate each others accomplishments, and we cry over each other's disappointments.
We are a friendly folk. We are West Virginians.
Mountaineers are always free! Free to take the time to enjoy
life, and hold each moment in our hearts, forever.
If you are proud to be a West Virginian, then pass this on.