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Picnic with a View

The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Campbell One of several highway Rt. 48 East from Thomas pull-off overlooks provide a panoramic view of our beloved West Virginia hills, valleys and streams that capture our indefinite attention and lingering gaze.

DAVIS — As we have spent a large part of our late winter huddled by heating stoves trying to keep warm and safely confining ourselves to limited travels, spring begins to pop open planted flower bulbs and beckon newly born animals out into pastures where they may find some sprouting growth for nibbles of fresh food.

Higher temperatures are most welcome and we begin to see more sunny skies. It makes one want to stretch up high, hug the warmth, and jump into the car to travel and see the new world that awaits us.

Spring is finally here. We welcome it and we want to be part of its newness hoping chapters that will be written about our stories will be more optimistic and normal.

Fortunately, West Virginia provides so many directions one may go to find a perfect view where some consideration and thought can be given to the coming months. When one mentions travel to high places here, we are never quite sure which country road will be taken.

Some of the better-known options are Showshoe (Pocahontas County), Seneca Rocks (Pendleton County), Blackwater Falls (Tucker County), Hawk’s Nest (Fayette County), Stonewall Jackson State Park (Lewis County) or Cooper’s Rock (Monongalia County). But I am suggesting for activities this month to get beyond Davis with a packed picnic lunch and find the entrance to Rt. 48 near Thomas so you may enjoy what will be one of the nicest driving experiences you will ever have with sights aimed at the Eastern Panhandle.

Most of our State Parks and forests, especially those in high places, have ample facilities for spring picnicking.

Some very serious thinking can be generated while gliding along on this smooth, massive roadway that is not only gentle to navigate, but will offer little traffic and many breathtaking views of your Mountain State that will appear in even the first travel hour.

Side-road overlooks are very well placed on this road and large parking areas will find you. As you stand facing the Alleghenies, you will be allowed to look at mountain contours with awe and wonder, and it will set you apart from the world’s worries.

If there is any kind of hardship that has been endured while preventing this Pandemic from knocking at your door, do take this trip and enable yourself to enjoy the fresh air and be among the beautiful scenery in which you will be immersed.

It is important to take some time and do some thinking about life and all it has to offer. And, there is something to be said for celebrating this season which holds not only many life beginnings, but the holiest of religious times when we commemorate Christ rising from his tomb and using this miracle to lead followers in his ways of love, kindness, peace and hope. “For the Beauty of the Earth” by Folliott S. Pierpont is certainly a favorite old hymn most fitting for this occasion.

Each year, one is called upon to set some new goals, or perhaps, some new ways of living. Refinement in planning has never been considered wasteful.

While many visit Blackwater Falls each year, they are surprised to observe the deep canyon areas and vistas that can be viewed during trail hiking.

Let us embrace this season with renewed determination to advance whatever worked well this past year and be open to opportunities pointing to progress and success.

We truly are never sure exactly what we will encounter, but we can gain strength by looking at these mountain-tops and believe that the Almighty will remain at our side to see us through any difficulty.

As we eat the treats we have prepared for ourselves and pack up to return to our homes, we will take with us some important memories. And we will be forever reminded that the greatness in this world is not always of our making or in our control. Many true gifts and answered prayers are from above.

Be blessed by your journey upward. Its perfect contours challenge our ability to make wise decisions, yet its simplistic presence provides for our comfort. We can understand why someone named our state “Almost Heaven.”

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