Appalachian Travelogue (1)

Drinking life to the lees

“I cannot rest from travel; I will drink / Life to the lees.” — from “Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. (c. 1842).

ALUM BRIDGE, W.Va. — My favorite class at Glenville State College (B.A., ‘84) was “Poetry of the Victorian Period.” Two main reasons why — a great and enthusiastic professor, and the timeless relevance of the poetry. Of the poets of the period, Alfred, Lord Tennyson is my favorite. My favorite poem that he wrote is “Ulysses.”

As was the case with Tennyson’s Ulysses, I cannot rest from travel. This year, in particular, has been one of restlessness. Venturing out, primarily through the mountains of southern and central Appalachia, rejuvenates my spirit and clears my mind so that I can continue to be a somewhat tolerable human being and keep my creative spirit alive.

Naturally, I’ve decided to chronicle the time on the two-lane roads, visits with friends and moments in the woods, beginning with this first installment of a series of short photo-essay travelogues. This first installment is from visits in April and May.

A friend’s land in Mathias, W.Va. The ridge in the background is the Virginia state line.
Looking west from Spruce Knob, W.Va. the state’s highest point at 4,863 feet.
Blackwater Falls in Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis, W.Va.
A peaceful passage through George Washington National Forest.
Harpers Ferry, W.Va. is a must stop for every Civil War historian.
Solar Panels (top, center) power this home of a dear friend in White Hall, Md.
Mountain State Brewing Company in Thomas, W.Va.
My late mom’s best friend of 65+ years, Anita Payne, with her husband Dale. Mom and Anita met when they were about 10-years-old and remained the closest of friends until mom died in 2008. A blessed time for sure.
With my “sister of another mother,” Barbara Volk, the president of the West Virginia Herb Association. I’ve since cut my hair .

© Michael M. Barrick, 2019.

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