The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


July 13, 2014

July in W.Va.: Recreational opportunities abound

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.

This past weekend it was a comfortable 68 degrees in the mountains. I’ll take those temperatures any day during the normally hot summer months. The cool mountain water felt refreshing, as always.

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.

With some time off for the holiday, I wanted to take our daughter Kelsey back to that area to experience the same thing. It was great to be a kid again and watch Kelsey swing in the playground and run around playing hide-and-seek behind the oak trees. After that, we climbed the lookout tower located on top of the ridge at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park.

It was a clear blue sky day with low humidity, and you could see the rolling mountains extending into the distant horizon for miles. I made sure to remind Kelsey of what an absolutely beautiful state she lives in, and I can’t wait to tell her about the history of the area and the Civil War battles that took place there.

A trip to the blueberry patch at White Oak Farms in Renick provided plenty of tasty berries for the ride home. We stopped and had a picnic and even skipped a few rocks across the river.  It was great family time spent together, and I can’t wait to do it again.

That’s what I love about living here as there is an outdoor adventure waiting for every weekend. We have numerous state parks and forests as well as the Monongahela and George Washington National Forests providing plenty of places to roam. The Blackwater Falls, Seneca Rocks, Dolly Sods and Spruce Knob areas are a great place to visit any time of the year.

The vibrant wildflowers and cool mountain air always relax me, and it’s where I feel the most at home. There’s just something about listening to the wind and sounds of nature while high atop a mountain ridge that gives me a peace of mind. Our mountains are full of wildlife, and you never know what you might encounter from day to day.

This past weekend I watched a nice bear walk through our front yard while I was on the porch relaxing in the shade. It never saw me, and I could hear him huffing and puffing the whole time. I guess he doesn’t care too much for the heat either. Of course, as soon as I got the camera out, he walked into the woods.

With the heat and humidity inevitably coming this summer, be sure to make time to hit the river or a lake. 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.        

Text Only
  • Some books for the rest of summer

    Stretching out in a hammock with a good book is a great way to relax on a warm summer afternoon. Here are a few titles that have recently caught my eye.

    July 27, 2014

  • Creating a week to remember

    After my traveling shoes were placed neatly beside the door, it was time to spend some much needed time around home.

    July 27, 2014

  • There are some changes on the way

    Hunters who have found themselves driving out of their way to check in a deer, turkey, or bear will no longer have to waste the time or gas starting in 2015. 

    July 27, 2014

  • The cure for the summertime blues: Go camping

    In case you haven’t noticed we are looking right down the gun barrel at winding down on another summer.

    July 26, 2014

  • 071714 Coda and Callie.jpg Coda and Callie’s excellent adventure

    How is it something that you profess to love so much can cause you so much anxiety and grief? No, I’m not talking about dealing with your children (or your spouse). This is worse. This is about dogs. More specifically, hunting dogs. 

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071314 Chris Ellis.jpg DNR’s ‘outdoor summer school’

    Attention all West Virginia hunters and trappers. It is once again time for outdoor summer school and the course materials are hot off the presses.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Eurasian collared-dove

    Back in 1974 a local pigeon fancier imported a flock of about 50 Eurasian collared-doves to the Bahamas. Ultimately he released the birds, and they took to living in the West Indies. By the late 1970s some had reached south Florida, and by the late 1980s, some had been seen in Georgia and Arkansas.

    July 13, 2014

  • July in W.Va.: Recreational opportunities abound

    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.

    July 13, 2014

  • Shotgun 101: Shoot more and live better

    “God is not on the side of big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.”
    — Voltaire

    July 9, 2014

  • Fireflies are living lights

    At recent Fourth of July fireworks displays, spectators squealed with delight at the annual spectacle that illuminated the night sky. And I’m sure more than a few compared the spectacular pyrotechnics to the subtler displays of fireflies that punctuate backyards, parks, and campgrounds all summer long. We call these displays “nature’s fireworks.”

    July 5, 2014

Web Special Sections
  • Special Web Sections

    Click HERE for stories about natural gas and Marcellus shale gas extraction.

    Click HERE for stories about the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

    Click HERE for stories about the passing of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

    Click HERE for stories from The Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR event.

    August 6, 2010

Helium debate
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow