July in West Virginia
It’s July in the West Virginia Mountains which brings vibrant orange tiger lilies, blooming rhododendron, and of course fireworks. Usually the heat and humidity is in full force, but so far the weather has been nice. The creeks and rivers have plenty of water in them from the recent rainfalls which has made fishermen and women happy. This past weekend it was a comfortable 68 degrees on the river. I’ll take those temperatures any day during the normally hot summer months. The cool mountain water felt refreshing as always. A few trout added to the mix made for another great weekend. While most folks head to the beach for their summer vacations, I’d rather spend my time in our high mountain counties. The temperatures are always cooler and the river is always relaxing. I have fond memories of spending my summer’s on the Greenbrier River during my youth. My grandparents use to have a cabin right on the river. I’d wake up in the morning and put on an old pair of tennis shoes and walk down the steep bank to the water. The smallmouth bass and redeyes would keep me occupied until the daytime heat set in. After skipping a few rocks, I’d wade out and take a swim. I use to love to float the river in an inner tube as the Greenbrier is gently rolling and a perfect river to float. I’m always fortunate and feel blessed to have been born and raised in such a special place. The Greenbrier River is only one of the many waterways flowing through our great state. The South Branch of the Potomac, Cacapon, Cheat, Tygart, Elk, and New Rivers are great to float during the summer months. I’ll be spending as much time as I can on our waterways the rest of summer. With the 4th of July already past us, there were plenty of fireworks exploding over the hills and hollows. My favorite firework show over the weekend was watching Snowshoe’s display from the Scenic Highway. We spent the day fishing the Williams River, and then drove to the top of the Scenic Highway to the Red Lick overlook to what we’re now calling the perfect grilling spot in WV. We put some charcoal in the roadside grill and enjoyed some tasty burgers before the show started. As the sunset over the far ridge we drove back to the top under Red Spruce Knob which is 4703 feet in elevation. The sky was dark and all you could here was the wind blowing up the hollows. The stars were bright and then the first firework lit up Snowshoe Mountain in the distance. There was a delay so you would see the fireworks explode, and then here the blast a few seconds later. It was a magnificent sight to look over the rolling mountains in the brightened night sky. The Highland Scenic Highway is almost heaven for sure and one of my favorite places to visit during the summertime. Be sure to make time to hit the river this summer. There’s no need to drive hundreds of miles to recreate as there are several opportunities right in our backyards. Stay cool and take care until next time.