I’m trying to take my attempts at writing seriously so I finally decided to go deep into the mountains for a few days to get a feel of Appalachia, since my current writing largely takes place there.
Already visited Harpers Ferry, staying here overnight because I got a late start yesterday but it feels like a suburb of Frederick from what I see, plan on visiting Matewan and Blair Mountain tomorrow because those were sites of the last Appalachistani insurgency (I can’t quit the memes, whooo that’s gonna be a long drive), any good hiking spots on the way back I can hit? Probably should have asked for advice before I headed out but it just dawned on me.
Seems the biome itself is still largely similar from the Piedmont I’m already familiar with in Maryland but I want to get a feel for terrain features, how steep do the mountains and hills get, how does the density of vegetation vary, etc. The little bit of hiking I did by Harpers Ferry was along the trail, which is disturbed habitat which lends itself to lots of weeds and bushes including invasive exotics, perhaps more established forests?
I want to get tangible details I can use in my writing – sounds, textures, the physical feelings one would get traveling through the mountains on foot.
The last mountains I really traveled through were the Zagros, not sure how Appalachia as a whole compares.
My brother has traveled around here more than I have and he basically described the local culture to me as like our town pre-gentrification where it’s a little bit run down and tribalized and everybody knows everybody, any towns beyond the aforementioned to drive through?
I grew up in southern WV and still have a lot of friends in the state. There are very distinct areas of WV, like any state, with the panhandles, not really belonging and everything south of Beckley very different than north. Would be happy to give you my 2 cents on it.
You mean like the smell of wet ‘red dog’, the mist hanging midway in the valleys, the pungent mixed burning smell of wood stoves, trash fires and coal fires drifting through the valley. Most of WV and the Appalachian mountains are decaying hulks of wood and tar paper shacks, brick shells and scattered trailers home to disabled miners, tweakers and oxy addicts.