"" Writer's Wanderings: Almost Heaven, West Virginia

Monday, May 16, 2011

Almost Heaven, West Virginia

This weekend we drove about 5 hours south to Summersville, WV, for a speaking engagement at a ladies' retreat. This is the second time we've been to this retreat and knew we were in for a treat not only because of West Virginian hospitality but because of the beautiful scenery we expected to enjoy on the drive.

Thankfully, the rain held off on our drive south and we enjoyed the spring green colors of trees as well as the mountain vistas and rock formations that show earthen colors. Flowering dogwood and other trees dotted the scenery with whites and pinks.

While we were at dinner at the retreat, the ladies asked if we had been to Summersville Lake on our last visit. They told us to try to make time to visit their beautiful lake and amazing dam so the next day after the retreat ended, we grabbed sandwiches at Subway and followed their directions to find the dam and the lake.

The Summersville Dam is the second largest earthen dam east of the Mississippi. It is built next to the old town site of Gad. Originally, as the story goes, they considered calling it the Gad Dam but thought better of the idea. It was built primarily to protect the Kanawha Valley from flooding. I couldn't help but think about all those famililes several hundred miles to our west who were in the midst of historical flooding this spring along the Mississipi.

Signs were posted along the river to vacate should a loud horn begin sounding. Apparently they can release a large amount of water to ease the level of water above the river.

The river is used by white water rafters and runs pretty fast. It made a nice backdrop for our lunch as we found a quiet spot at a picnic table near the dam. Unfortunately, the skies began to darken and a few drops of rain began to fall just as we were finishing. By the time I got to a spot to capture a few pictures of Summersville Lake, it was threatening to rain more.

We looked at the GPS in the car and decided we would take an alternate route to the Interstate rather than backtrack the way we came. As John Denver's song goes, "Country roads take me home." These country roads took us all around, up and down, and through some very little towns. The Interstate looked close on the map but we forgot that we had to wind around some mountains to get there.

It was a great trip though. We enjoyed the views and the new discoveries around each bend. And got to listen to most of the rest of our audio book. We may have to plan a small road trip to finish the book though. Maybe back to "Almost Heaven?"

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...