West Virginia

14 September 2015

West Virginia fascinated me. It was the only state in the union to have homogenous geography: mountains on mountains on mountains. Appalachians for as far as the eye could see. When people think of mountainous states, they are prone to picture Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. The Rockies may be an impressive mountain chain, but we fail to acknowledge the diversity of landscapes in these states. There are rolling plains, geysers, and miles of coniferous forest. West Virginia doubled-down on mountains.

 

It was ambitious to cap three states in a day, and Cody and I barely snagged West Virginia. Being early March, most of the Appalachian peaks were inaccessible due to snow and ice. Spruce Knob was no different. When we came to the foot of the mountain in the late afternoon, we decided to hedge our bets and make the drive to the summit. About halfway up, the snow became too deep to drive through. We killed the engine and trudged along the road on foot. After several uphill miles, we reached the summit as the sun was setting. It was beautiful, but as twilight fell, our time at the top was short-lived. We hurried back down the road and made it to truck as the woods went black.

 

Spruce Knob. 4861 ft / 1482 m. 1 March 2014.

 

West Virginia