Well, it’s Friday, and although I’m still catching up after being away from the office, it’s time to sit down and share this year’s WV excursion with you guys.
You may already know that I’m a big fan of the WV mountains; before I got into the offroad scene, I’d been making annual multi-day excursions as part of a vintage sportscar club – the roads, scenery, people, and history are astounding. (If you haven’t been, you absolutely must.) These trips, however, are about more than just promoting adventure travel in Appalachia. Like other states, WV is facing a loss of access for ORV use – specifically of their unmaintained state & county roads – a unique, public-owned resource that groups like Country Roads Coalition (CRC) are working to preserve and protect for folks like us to enjoy. I hope to pique your curiosity with the videos and images we share from these trips and hope you’ll consider taking advantage of what the WV mountains offer.
PPWV2023 is my third WV event, including XPDN3 in 2021 and Adventure Appalachia – New River 2022 (ADVWV2022) last year. I’m fortunate to have been included again amongst these enthusiasts and industries – something more of a “family” than a group. And as with prior events, this year’s adventure certainly did not disappoint!
This event is named Petrol & Paranormal West Virginia – Adventure Appalachia 2023 and has furthered the Coal and Ghost themes of ADVWV2022. It also circled back to state origins explored in XPDN3 – our organizer puts incredible effort into weaving recurring themes into the living history that we discover off-pavement – and it shows.
As always, a rally point and arrival time before the official first day of the event are revealed to the participants and little else – this year, it was the Base Camp at North Bend State Park in Cairo, WV – at the base of “the finger” (see the state outline) and near the Ohio border. That meant a 6-hour trip north, and I’m pretty sure we arrived barely 7 minutes before the driver’s meeting (but still ahead of the Torq Locker / Radial Dynamics crew.)
We’d intended to drive Julia’s 80-series this year, but our resident mechanic (me) slacked off on overdue repairs, so we took my FJC (again) instead. – No scratches or dents this year, but I did catch a log with a slider at one point while talking instead of paying attention. 😉
I mentioned that this group is relatively familial – it took no time for the pre-event campfire to bear that out Wednesday night.