The Long Way Home

The Monsters vs. West Virginia
August 3, 2010, 8:16 PM
Filed under: West Virginia | Tags: , , , ,

One of our stops before home was in the New River Gorge. Years ago, I was traveling back from North Carolina and found  Thurmond, WV, former coal town now ghost town, and the set for the film Matewan; I put it on my list of places to return.  It’s tucked six miles into the gorge, and six miles feels like forever when you’re going only 20 miles an hour and it’s about to storm. 

Jeff trusted me that the town was worth seeing, so we made our way through winding, one-car lanes. But the bridge we had to cross was closed for repairs, so we couldn’t get to it. Disappointed, we walked around the woods a bit. There was rushing water, a tent city tucked behind trees and the smell of green, reminding me of how much I used to love summer and all its possibilities. 

We drove home in rain so bad, we had to keep pulling over to wait it out. Between that and the December snowstorm, West Virginia was totally wearing us out. I still love its beauty and its isolation. We’ll go back sooner than we care to admit.

glen jean, wv






about to rain


I love mountains


4 Comments so far
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Me and my boyfriend spent the entire day in Thurmond thanks to your info…. He really was opposed to getting off 19 and exploring down in the holler…but he soon was thanking me for the suggestion….we both are from northeastern Pa. Fairview and corry (Erie co.) and have been to New river gorge bridge many times and have no knowledge of Thurmond….we both will pass the word of this hidden treasure in the heart of new river gorge….. I have family in Va and SC that will live it. :-). Hope you finally made it back…. All the bridges are open’


Comment by Colleen amy

hello colleen, thanks for stopping by to read, that’s so nice!
i’m happy that you got a chance to see thurmond! i love that little town, it’s so unique and i never forgot it. i’m happy to hear too that the bridges are open – so this summer when my husband and i drive south again, he can finally see it for himself. thanks again –


Comment by Lisa

NICE! WVA can be amazing, for sure. By the by, Matewan is one of my favorite all time films! Excellent post!


Comment by Eric

Most definitely – we go down to WV quite often (hopefully our next stop is the Halloween museum, near Wheeling!). I also love Matewan — the scene that haunts me most is the one where the company union breakers get a hold of Will Oldham in one of the mines — so frightening.


Comment by Lisa

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