The Draw of the River

HINTON, W.Va. — My memories of growing up in West Virginia are dominated by images of water. Rivers, creeks, streams, ponds, lakes and the ocean were all vital to me as I grew up (no West Virginia does not have an ocean shoreline, but as most people know, Myrtle Bearch, S.C. is the summer destination spot for many Mountain State residents). In our back yard especially, which overlooked Elk Creek in Clarksburg, there were underground springs that emerged in our canopy-covered “lower” back yard, providing ample opportunities for me to try my hand at building dams and generally playing in the mud.

As I age, I find water calming, yet also a reminder of how it has been the source of life for all of human history and pre-history. One such body of water is the New River, which flows from western North Carolina through Virginia and into West Virginia, where these photographs were taken. This is Sandstone Falls, about 10 miles north of the small, but once-vital railroad town of Hinton in southern West Virginia. These were taken this past week.

© Michael M. Barrrick, 2019.


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