Monday, June 7, 2010

Goin' Across the Mountains

Saturday at noon we headed across the mountains to Romney, West Virginia to tell ghost stories for a kids camp. A lot of the trip across Route 50 looked like this--mountains and rain.

Part of our path traveled through a tiny part of Maryland, and as soon as we re-entered West Virginia we were in Gormania. The name of this little town sounds like something right out of gothic literature to me and the place lives up to that image quite well. Actually, I think it's looking better these days because some teetering old buildings have been torn down since the last time I was there.
Main Street, Gormania. This town is in the deep mountains and winters here can be harsh and isolating.
Some miles away, we passed close by Saddle Mountain. Wherever did it get its name? I think this is one of the most scenic parts of West Virginia; the mountain views are spectacular if you can get someone else to drive so you can look and take pictures. Thanks, Larry!


I arrived at the place I was to tell stories a little early, so we ventured on down the south Branch River Road a bit and found even more beautiful scenery. The greens of June have to be experienced because there are no words to describe them. The dark green corn testifies to the fertility of this valley. There were many fine homes along this road, but my camera card was full and I had to miss taking photos of them.


These pictures remind me of this old song:

Going Across the Mountain

Going across the mountain,
Oh, fare you well;
Going across the mountain,
You can hear my banjo tell.

Got my rations on my back,
My powder it is dry;
I'm a-goin' across the mountain,
Chrissie, don't you cry.

Going across the mountain,
To join the boys in blue;
When this war is over,
I'll come back to you.

Going across the mountain,
If I have to crawl,
To give old Jeff's men
A little of my rifle ball.

Way before it's good daylight,
If nothing happens to me,
I'll be way down yander
In old Tennessee.

I expect you'll miss me when I'm gone,
But I'm going through;
When this war is over,
I'll come back to you.

Going across the mountain,
Oh, fare you well;
Going across the mountain,
Oh, fare you well.


If you are a lover of old-time music, check out the yewpineymountain blog for good videos of some of the giants of old-time--even Melvin Wine, a legendary fiddler who passed away some years ago. What a treat to see and hear him play again.


5 comments:

TheresaandJay said...

I am always surprised at the towns that teeter on the edge of a highway. I think this town would be a great scene for a spooky movie or story.

Granny Sue said...

You should have seen it before, Theresa--there was this big old leaning building on the other side of the road so it was like drving through a spooky cavern. I think the reason they're so close to the road is that the buildings were there when the road was much narrower. It's in a beautiful spot, really, but off the beaten track now so the town struggles to stay alive and I imagine those who lvie there have to drive a bit to go to work. Oddly, this is the same county that George lives in, and where he is its so pretty and fairly propsperous.

Nance said...

Here in Iowa, on the back roads, we'll find a barn about 6 feet off the road. Whoa! look out! oh yea, the road used to a one-lane road!

Those are great photos, Sue. Thanks for seeing the beauty, taking the time and then for posting them. I love West Virginia!

Jason Burns said...

GSue - Saddle Mountain got its name from its shape - it looks like a saddle you would put on a horse. Also, near saddle mountain is the birthplace of Nancy Hanks, the mother of Abraham Lincoln. Neat, huh?

Twisted Fencepost said...

What beautiful scenery! I'd love to visit there. And take pictures, too.

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