As much as I’ll remember the many places I’ve seen over the summer during the 55 in 55 project, I’ll remember the people, too.
When I stepped through the door at Berdine’s Five & Dime in Harrisville, shopkeeper Karen Harper greeted me like I lived just a couple houses down from the store, not like I was some scruffy, bleary-eyed stranger who’d blown in from who knows where.
From a distance, the tunnel didn’t seem real. The deep, misty blackness of it looked like something painted on a stone wall.
The couple in front of me took in the view, and then the woman said to her husband, “It certainly didn’t look like this when we were kids.”
Halfway down the trail on my hike back from Seneca Rocks, in Pendleton County, a familiar face with a beard looked toward me and I shouted, “What are you doing here?”
Writers like me love getting emails from readers — until somebody writes in to tell us that we’ve blown it, that we screwed up in some completely preventable and hopelessly stupid way.
Before we arrived at the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system, Debrina Williams with the Hatfield McCoy Convention and Visitors Bureau wanted to swing by Hot Cup Coffee, in downtown Logan, to show off the coffee shop and maybe get a cup before we jumped in a side-by-side.
I felt a dull thud in the bottom of my stomach after I pulled the ragged manila envelope out of my mailbox. My name and address were written in big, messy letters. I presumed the package was from my sister, Susan, in Virginia.
All the way to Bakers Run Campground in Braxton County, I kept thinking there had to be a sign or a monument somewhere marking the official geographic center of the state. I just didn’t see it.
Site manager Jeremy Kohus led me through the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville. We’d already looked at the dinosaur display and the artifacts from the Adena people.
Grant Coleman at Mugshots Coffee Shop, in Wheeling, told me to try the Mugshots blend. He had a mediumish-dark roast Columbian and a dark roast called Highland Grog, but said if I really wanted to taste the notes of the coffee and get a full charge of caffeine, I ought to stick with his blend.
The stack of maps on the lower shelf underneath the register at the Go-Mart hadn’t been touched in a very long time. One map had been opened and then awkwardly folded back. It looked tattered and ragged.