Mountain Dreamers West Virginia Mountain Dreams

’101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia’ for Summer Road Trips – Slashfood

Even the “Foodie Blogs” are writing about West Virginia’s “unique” road food…

The many Americans who learned everything they know about West Virginia from John Denver probably don’t realize the state is renowned for its chili dogs and pepperoni rolls, two foodstuffs featured prominently in the brand-new brochure “101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia.”

The brochure, issued last week by the West Virginia Division of Tourism and the Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia, highlights the Mountain State’s momentous culinary achievements that apparently didn’t rhyme with “Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River,” including horseradish pickles, buckwheat pancakes and beer served in fishbowls (the signature item at Mario’s in Morgantown.)

I had noticed this just this week on the Division of Tourism’ web site…It looks like I wasn’t the only one.

via ‘101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia’ for Summer Road Trips – Slashfood.

West Virginia Mountain Dreams

Mountaintop Mining Legacy: Destroying Appalachia’s Streams by John McQuaid: Yale Environment 360

John McQuaid has a good article on Environment 360, an environmental site at Yale.

Laurel Branch Hollow was once a small West Virginia mountain valley, with steep, forested hillsides and a stream that, depending on the season and the rains, flowed or trickled down into the Mud River about 200 yards below. The stream teamed with microbes and insect life, and each spring it became a sumptuous buffet for the birds, fish, and amphibians in the valley.

But over the past decade, the Hobet 21 mountaintop removal coal mining operation has obliterated 25 square miles of surrounding highlands. From the air, the mine is a 10-mile-long, mottled gray blotch among the green, crisscrossed by trucks and earth movers, appended by black lakes of coal sludge.

The Caudill family has owned a house at the mouth of the hollow since the early 1900s. Many of their neighbors left, but the Caudills fought and blocked an attempt by Hobet to force them to sell their property. Unfazed, the mining operation simply steered around their land, and dumped a mountain’s worth of rocky debris into the Laurel Branch up to their property line.

This is not the type of article you want to read when you are looking for a place to relocate to. Honestly, it’s not the type of article you want to read if you are already living in the area.

I am voting with my pocketbook down here in Texas. I buy my electricity from a company that guarantees that all of the power I use comes from windpower. It costs me a few pennies per kwh more, but to try and do my part to cut the blasting of the mountain tops I decided I could not afford to pay less.

If you are still undecided about the realities of living in coal country, be sure and read up on mountaintop removal.

If this is the first you’ve heard about environment360, go spend some time at the site. You may want to do what I do and subscribe to their rss feed.

via Mountaintop Mining Legacy: Destroying Appalachia’s Streams by John McQuaid: Yale Environment 360.

West Virginia Mountain Dreams

Two-Lane for Life

While doing some research the other day I was lucky enough to stumble upon the on-line presence of this magazine. It was one of those moments in life that you wish would happen more often…BUt if they did you wouldn’t get very much done…If you know what I mean…

JULY 2009 – Two-Lane Livin’ Magazines are Like Eggs & Summer Squash

It seems as though just a few rainy days ago, we were planting the garden. Freshly plowed and tilled, plants just set out and small, any harvest, or weeding, seemed far away. How quickly time flies on a farm. The weeding (and potato bugs) have taken their lead, and unless picked soon, sweet leaf lettuce will turn bitter and sour.

My new hobby of the season is chickens. Knowing absolutely nothing about birds or laying hens, I purchased four hens from a neighbor. I think chickens are strange creatures. Just a few weeks ago, daily egg-gathering ventures were like trips to the Christmas tree. Now I’m pawning off eggs on everyone I know. It’s like summer squash – they get passed on to anyone who will take them.

In many ways, Two-Lane Livin’ magazine is similar. Fifteen thousand copies overwhelm the front room until we get them all delivered. It seems like they’re everywhere you turn. We pass them all over Central and West Central West Virginia to anyone who will have them until all the copies are gone. Then, in just a short month’s time, we have 15,000 copies again.

Follow the link and enjoy a little bit of Two-Lane Living…I know I’ll be wandering down the old blacktop again and again…

via Two-Lane for Life.