Chiggers are prevalent throughout many of parts of the United States, and indeed, the world. But for those of you venturing out into Mother Nature in the late spring and summer of West Virginia, chiggers are a hazard you are quite likely to encounter in our part of the globe.
The itching from their bites can be as uncomfortable and annoying as poison ivy to some folks. I suggest checking out the website below for info on what chiggers are (if you don't already know), how to avoid being bitten, and how to treat the bites if you are bitten.
In the United States, chiggers carry no diseases. You will not suffer a serious health problem because of a chigger bite--unless you acquire a secondary infection from scratching the bite and not cleaning it.... Really, chigger bites are an uncomfortable nuisance, not a serious health hazard. But no one wants to be uncomfortable for days because of them, so take precautions and be prepared to treat bites promptly to minimize discomfort.
Be sure your brakes are in good condition when you are driving in West Virginia. There are frequent signs on the highway which warn of steep grades. If you are not used to driving in mountains take heed of these signs. If you ride the brake all the way down, the brakes will heat up and become ineffective.
Also you have fog in the mountains. Either clouds come down and cover the top of the peaks so you go up into the fog or fog collects in the valleys so you go down into fog. Drive cautiously in these situations - you don't want something to appear out of the fog too close for you to stop before you run into it. That's how you get multi-vehicle accidents.
OK, I was driving down WV State Hwy 3 outside of Princeton one night, and almost went off the road, not to mention I almost got sick. Now, I am one who never gets motion sickness, my vertigo is fine, and I can handle roller coasters. HOWEVER, if you do travel down this road, don't forget your Dramamine! Also, the curves are sharp, and the drop offs aren't that great either so obey all posted speed limits...better yet, go about 5-10 under. I'm not kidding. This road is very dangerous.
The roads in West Virginia can be tricky, as they wind around mountains. Watch for large trucks carrying coal - especially in southern West Virginia. If you are not accustomed to curvy roads, take your time and enjoy the scenery, stay on your side of the road, and be watchful for the locals who will also try to take your side of the road around a curve coming from the opposite direction. The Mountaineers do know how to drive, but may take for granted that everyone else driving is a native and knows how to navigate the highways. Here's a tip - throw a wave in a native WV direction - doesn't matter if they know you or not, you will get a friendly wave in return.
Never insult a West Virginian by saying bad things about the state. Residents have a fierce loyalty to their state. You won't get a gun put to your head, but you will hurt the feelings of very kind folks.
I highly reccomend AGAINST travelling in West Virginia unless you are from there. Although the cities are relatively safe, all it takes is one poorly lit highway sign and you will be doing your best Ned Beatty...and that is only if the police stop you.
When traveling up and down Rte. 19 from I-64 to I-79 or vise-versa, you will encounter corrupt police officals in Summersville. Summersville is a widely known speed trap throughout the U.S. At all costs try and avoid traveling through Summersville this will make your trip much easier and safer.
Don't get sucked into eating a 'West Virginia' slaw dog. They are disgusting. They take a Hot Dog and add some slimy chili with little white beans right on on top of the dog. They then take cole slaw with running white drippings and put it on the dog. YUCK
When you are driving in areas that are somewhat isolated or are heading toward the mountains, make sure you have plenty of gas at all times. Sometimes small towns don't have gas stations, especially after many small town gas stations and convenience stores were forced to stop selling gas because of a mandate to replace outdated gas storage tanks.
Also, do not drive into the mountains or to ski resorts like Snowshoe if you don't have either front wheel or 4-wheel drive, or an SUV, rear wheel drive sends you off of the road fast and 24 hour towing services charge an arm and a leg, no matter what time of day, if you're any where near a ski resort.
Avoid taking a shortcut on the mountain roads unless you know where you are going. 13 mountain miles can take over an hour-even longer at night.
This is southwest WV not too close to anything. The stae has great paks-just pick one. We have not found a bad one yet. We did find a wonderful remote park which was located at the end of a one way road-unique in the sense that as far as we could tell-the road was one way in in the morning and one way out at the end of the day. We were only people there who were not locals. The strange part is after we got back to civilization- my brother ( who lives in WV ask us where it was and we could not figure it out. We have gone back to find it and -no luck- I guess it was one of those twilight zone experiences. Anyway the park was on an active rocky stream- the rocks were very smooth and everyone was either body surfing through them or tubing through them-it was great fun and the scenery was very pristine. Alas no pictures and can't find it- if I did not have 5 others with me I could swear that I imagined it! That time the wandering paid off but it took forever to get back to town!
The windy roads make it hard for people who get car sick easily. There are many animals that run out in the road too so be careful. And if you are travelling through Pensylvania to get there, watch for cops. They love to catch speeders.
Although the Greenbrier is a wonderful Trail, it is rough in spots. So be aware that a Mountain Bike is Required to handle the loose gravel, that just seem to come out of nowhere. Also, there is a tunnel that is a little over 500' long. It has a slight bend in it, not allowing light to reach the middle. You can make it through without a light, but you can't see a thing, so you might want to get off a bike and walk through it.
As we drove through the cold, snowy landscape, I tried to take photos of the ice dripping out of the rocks (photo 5)
watch out! But do have fun at the old race track in Charles Town. Here is an old potcard showing the track.
US 340 & Union St., Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, 25425, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
This was a gem of a motel but it was a bit tough to locate. The motel was off the I-79 exit but...more
80 Old Nicholette Road, I-77, Exit 170, Mineral Wells, West Virginia, 26150, United States
Good for: Couples