While Appalachia is ageless, West Virginia is not. She can trace her history back to an ideological divide over state’s rights and slavery that led to a great divorce from her mother, Old Dominion, back in 1863.
It is a little ironic that in some ways the old state has become more progressive than the new, but there are places still today that without a GPS and a line on a map you could not tell the difference.
Last weekend, I made an excursion across said line into the mountains of southern Virginia. She welcomed me with trout, downpours, and a little hail.
The streams were blown-out before I ever began, and another inch of rain and buckets of ice from heaven did nothing to improve things. But in the short time I got to fish, she did give me glimpses of her beauty and personality. She is unspoiled and beautiful; lonely and alluring; wild yet preserved.
The lonesome whisper of the Iron Mountains followed me as I returned north, inviting me to come back and try again… a little further, a little longer, a little more intimately…that she may reveal to me more of her hidden treasures.