The Appalachian Chronicle is devoted to covering ecology and the energy extraction industry; music and the arts; and history and current events of central and southern Appalachia.
We cover the Allegheny Plateau and central Appalachia from Weston, W.Va. We cover the Blue Ridge Mountains and southern Appalachia from Lenoir, N.C.
I was born and raised in Clarksburg, W.Va. in the Allegheny Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains. In the mid-70s I moved to North Carolina. After spending much time in in both states for more than four decades, I am fortunate to enjoy relationships across the region that continue to serve as valuable sources for our reporting.
It was in the Mountain State I learned the value of history. Hours-long discussions around the dinner table or on the front porch on summer evenings were important times virtually every day. Mom and Dad easily recalled names, events, key moments and vital lessons from their childhood. Storytelling brought my ancestors to life.
It was also in West Virginia that I learned the value of the natural world. My back yard opened to a world of adventure, with ponds, narrow wooded paths, a creek and total solitude under a canopy of trees. As a Boy Scout and Explorer Scout, I was provided opportunities to learn virtually every valuable outdoor living skill and was provided with opportunities to explore caves, learn to rock climb, and simply enjoy the beauty and rich natural diversity of the Appalachian Mountains.
After moving to North Carolina, I was exposed to the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, spending countless nights camping on hillsides and along creek banks in and around the Pisgah National Forest, hiking Stone Mountain State Park and venturing onto rarely used trails in the far western reaches of the state along the Georgia line.
The mountains of Appalachia have provided me with more joy and peace than I can recall. The people, vacations with our family, majestic and panoramic views, time for spiritual reflection and prayer, hikes, concerts in the hills, countless treks along the Blue Ridge Parkway and leisurely mornings in a cabin in a West Virginia State Park with close friends have all formed wonderful memories.
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Stay close to nature, it will never fail you.” While he was speaking of building houses, I believe, from my own experience, that it is also true for building a life. So, this site exists to help you stay close to the mountains, at least in your mind. It is my hope that what you read here will inspire you to join with others to preserve the Appalachian Mountains so that our children and grandchildren, and their children can enjoy the peace and joy that these venerable mountains offer. – Michael M. Barrick
CREDIT NOTE: Home page banner photo, Copyright Debbie Smith, 2005 – 2014