West Virginia Leg Of 2010 Tour

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On Monday, September 27, 2010, I (Stanley Bronstein) walked for 5 hours on a treadmill at the YMCA gym in downtown Beckley, West Virginia. I was originally scheduled to walk on the campus of Marshall University in Huntington, WV, but due to lots of rain, I decided to walk indoors and not drive so much in the bad weather.

Highlights of the West Virginia leg of the tour:

  • I got lots of sleep.
  • Apparently the entire West Virginia / Virginia region has been in a severe state of drought for the past several months, so I’m actually glad it rained a ton.  They needed it and I’m happy I was here to experience it with them.
  • Instead of just working to get caught up, I was able to actually get ahead in my work.  While on the treadmill, I was able to use my small laptop and do about 3 hours of planning for the next 10 days of the tour.
  • All the people I met in West Virginia were extremely nice.
  • While I still haven’t completed my tour by walking in all of the states, I can at least now “officially” state that, in my lifetime, I have personally visited all 50 states in the United States.  West Virginia was the last of the 50.
  • My drive to Charlottesville was uneventful (although it rained quite a bit and even got foggy when I was in the higher elevations).
  • I have a massage scheduled for tonight !!!  Yay !!!  My body sure can use it.
  • I’m starting to get into the part of the country where all the states are closer together, so I won’t have to do as much driving each day over the next week or two.

As usual, I recorded a podcast which can be listened to

by clicking the button right below these words.

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Here are pictures from my walk.


Here are 5 fast facts about the state of West Virginia:

  • West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, and Pennsylvania and Maryland to the northeast. The capital and largest city is Charleston.
  • West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions, breaking away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state, and was one of only two states formed during the American Civil War (the other one being Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory).
  • The Census Bureau considers West Virginia part of the South, as most of the state is south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton being just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles (110 km) from North Carolina and Harper’s Ferry is considered to be a part of the Washington  metropolitan area. The unique position of West Virginia means that it is often included in a wide variety of geographical regions, including the Upland South, the Southeastern United States and often the Northeastern United States.
  • The state is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic  areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research. The karst lands contribute to much of the state’s cool trout waters. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and hunting.
  • The area was a favorite hunting ground of numerous Native American peoples before the arrival of European settlers. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various mound builder cultures survive, especially in the areas of Moundsville, South Charleston, and Romney. The artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of a village society having a tribal trade system culture that practiced limited cold worked copper. In more recent history the area now occupied by West Virginia was contested territory, mainly by Pennsylvania and Virginia. Some speculative land companies, such as the Vandalia Company, and later the Ohio Company and Indiana Company, tried to legitimize their claims to land in parts of West Virginia and Kentucky, but failed. With the settlement of the Pennsylvania and Virginia border dispute which resulted in the creation of Kentucky, Kentuckians “were satisfied […], and the inhabitants of a large part of West Virginia were grateful.”  The state was originally part of the British Virginia Colony (from 1607 to 1776) and the western part of the state of Virginia (from 1776 to 1863), whose population became sharply divided over the issue of secession from the Union and in the separation from Virginia, formalized by admittance to the Union as a new state in 1863.

Next stop, Charlottesville, VA – University of Virginia.