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Appreciating Winter in West Virginia
Being raised in a section of Appalachia close to West Virginia, southeast Ohio, I learned early on to appreciate the enchanting beauty of this region. Bluegrass is big, just like you'd imagine, and even Moonshine has its place. But the outdoors are the bigger attraction in this area of Appalachia. Rock climbing, caving, snow boarding, skiing, hiking, white water rafting... the options are exhausting. Even on my most languorous days, I find the scenery to be inspiration enough.
Although it is believed the Appalachians were once the highest mountains on earth (It's said that they were higher than the Himalayas during the Ordovician Period, about 466 million years ago, when they connected to mountains in Morocco), they're much more humble highlands these days.
Gallery: Winter in West Virginia
My family relocated to West Virginia after I'd moved out and on to New York. So while I don't regularly visit my hometown anymore, going 'home' still looks the same... rugged hillsides and sprawling valleys contrasted against stunning sunsets--at least most evenings. There's something especially beautiful about this area and people I meet who have spent time there seem to agree... something about the landscape just stills you. This area in the winter is particularly magnetic and eerie, quiet and calm. Take a look at the photos from my most recent trip and see if you can catch a glimpse of what I mean.
[photos by Ben Britz]