By Allen Hamrick
West Virginia, a state with rolling hills and steep, sometimes impassable mountains and a vast amount of rivers and streams that flow through valleys and hollers that teem with fish and wildlife, is the place I call home. There are miles of trails that would take a lifetime to hike that watch over the obvious and the often hidden natural treasures that are overlooked by the
passers-by. In this state, you have to be an adventurer; otherwise, the beaten path is all you ever see while never realizing the footprints you could make. Get out and explore our state because wasted time is lost forever. In our state’s history, there was a time when life was very difficult – when the first pioneers built cabins and forts along rivers and streams. Since then it has flourished as well as diminished over the years, yet the state stays the same.
Some of the best views in the world are right here within easy driving distance, often times covered in color in the fall or blanketed in lush green. People travel great distances to camp, hike, hunt, fish, bike, sight see, star gaze, eat and shop in this state because the people here are unique. The state and its miles and miles of back roads provide a living storybook as you ride through it. West Virginia’s history remains vivid with the idea that in some ways we can be a part of those who have walked before us; we can walk and talk and be where our ancestors once stood. Daniel Boone once pondered what it would be like to be a lad again with limbs that would carry him through the mountain paths across fields thick with game, to paddle the many streams once heavy with fish and otters, just to see the wonder of it all one more time. Once someone travels our state, they never forget her and continue to return to her drawing power.
Our small county of Clay, like other counties, has yielded a great deal of resources- coal, timber, and gas- all in the name of progress and revenue for our state and jobs for our people. It is our duty to preserve our state and history instead of letting it fall to ruin. For the good of our posterity, we must embark to preserve our great state so that the generations of the past can still teach the generations of the future. If we let it fall into the pages of a book that is never opened, then you, as well as I and everyone else, stand liable to our past generations who held fast the struggle for decimating our history.
Yes, change must occur, and 2022 has seen its share of changes. However, things are not so high priced and out of reach that we cannot enjoy the state we live in. Generations before have inspired us to make this state a great place to live and raise families, and it truly is. Depending on your interests, whether it is the outdoors or the city life, it’s all here in this great state. West Virginia is a great place; it inspires creativity and an insatiable desire for adventure. One simply looks at the horizon of so many hills and gets lost in the infinity of the dreams of exploration. Be proud of your state; it is as old as time itself yet so young at 159 years. Her story continues to be told through memories of travelers and tall tales of adventure and possibilities. Through time, whether we are here or not, leave your mark in the state, create your own story and take the journey. There is so much to see and enjoy! Happy Birthday grand old lady of the mountains.