Ahh the MOUNTAINeer State

WV blog pic

While I was in DC there were some hurricanes hitting the southeast, and potentially hitting again. I decided it would be better to detour a bit before heading down. I could’ve hit Virginia but some friends of mine were away on vacation and I had to see them. As such, I decided I’d have to come back to Virginia and the next stop would be West Virginia.

I had hoped to leverage some connections of a friend of mine that did his Ph.D. at West Virginia, but things didn’t quite work out. As I was driving in Monday, I was in dire need of a workout. Luckily, I had my Planet Fitness membership and could get after it. I also realized it was pizza Monday. Usually, I’d think its silly for the gym to have free pizza, but for me on this trip, it was awesome! They didn’t really monitor it and since I was hungry from not eating, I had a decent amount. It must’ve been around 8 or 9 slices but it’s rude to count so let’s not worry about such details.

I then looked up on my phone and saw another planet fitness that would take me closer to Parkersburg, where I had a meeting with a brewery the next day. I decided I ate enough to warrant a second workout, and I had no other plans for the day. While looking that up, I saw a disc golf course was somewhat on the way. While I didn’t plan much for the trip, I did plan for such an occasion and brought some discs to play!

I came across the Seth Burton Memorial Disc Golf Course. I felt like it was special I came across this course as it was happenstance on my end, but also a memorial course. It was nice walking around and playing, even though I had more than some rust and missed some putts that should’ve been no big deal. It was a hilly course, with many instances of feeling like I was walking sideways.

There was also a moment after a terrible throw that I found my disc and myself under a canopy of trees. I looked up and it was a picturesque moment. I saw an encompassing image of beautiful greens, varying in the shade as the sunlight dropped on each part differently. Luckily, I had my phone and took a picture, but it didn’t do it justice of course. The moment was even more special as it completely caught me off guard as I was experiencing some irritation from my bad throw and then was hit by the wonderful view.

I kept playing and getting some walking in which was nice. Once I wrapped up 18, the sun was starting to fade away with darkness approaching. It was time to head out to the gym. I was able to crush yet another workout. At times I felt a little tired, then I reminded myself I ate a lot of pizza and had no right to be tired. Gotta put that work in!! After the nice workout, I was able to sleep in my car alright.

The next day I had a brewery meeting scheduled and was able to schedule a gym meeting for the following day. I went over to Parkersburg ahead of my brewery meeting and came across Strong Tower Fitness. I decided to pop in and connected was another small business. The owner of the gym was out, but I heard he’d be back within half an hour or so. The guy at the small business was kind enough to let me hang out until the owner returned. I did some work, then met with the owner who was kind to give me some time at that moment. I heard how they were a faith-based gym who was determined to have a positive impact on the community.

It was nearing time to hit up Parkersburg Brewing for my meeting. While there, I heard a background in science led to a scientific way of making beer. They would identify the best water profile per beer style, strip the water down and then add minerals to make it just right for the beer. They were kind enough to give me some tasters and there were a few including a honey beer that was quite delicious!

As the night was wrapping up, it was time to hit the gym. I didn’t have a solid plan for the night and figured it would be a car sleeping night again. For the people placing some events together, it wasn’t that much beer I had, plus I had some time between beer and gym. It was a relatively chill sesh after hitting it twice the prior day. While I was in the locker room, I heard a couple of younger guys, in their earlier twenties, talking about beer, and craft beer specifically. Normally, I’m not the locker room chatter guy as it seems a little strange to me. Being as I was traveling I decided to butt in a bit and offer my two cents. Then I transitioned to my journey and they said it was cool. They invited me to meet up with them and grab beers after. After I showered I met up with them and heard how West Virginia offers some relatively good pricing for land, and how one guy worked in the timber industry. It was nice to make another connection.

Similar to other states, I had driven back and forth a few times it seemed through parts of West Virginia. I was amazed how it was like a roller coaster. I’d drive up a steep hill, then down, then up and down. After a while of doing this was I was thinking, shoot there are a lot of hills and mountains. Then I went ahh, the mountaineer state! I get it! Haha

The final day I met with CrossFit Intense and heard how one thing led to another and the owner helps to put on powerlifting events out east. He has also competed in powerlifting holding records and besides CrossFit, there is a powerlifting club of people who train for such events. I was also grateful for the coffee as it helped me in the morning.

I needed one more brewery and found one called Short Story Brewing. I walked in shortly after opening and talked to the bartender who was one of the owners. He was nice enough to answer my questions while tending bar. About halfway through some guys came in, some regulars and someone else who had never been there. I was feeling a little bad in not wanting to distract from the interaction with between them and the bartender, but through some chats, we all got to know each other, and they were super cool. I was offered a beer and we had a great hangout. It was a nice representation of how they work to be part of the community. It was also nice of them to give me a sticker and t-shirt when leaving!

It was now time to head to Tennessee! A state I had actually spent one night in before when I helped my buddy move from Fresno to Charlotte. We had stayed in Nashville. Another fun fact was I almost went to grad school at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville but decided the program, cost, and location were better for me at Fresno State.


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