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My West Virginia bucket list
May 10, 2011 - Jody Murphy
I've lived in West Virginia most of my life. While I may not be native born, I am for all intents and purposes a Mountaineer. I love this state like no other and have vowed to never live outside its borders.
That being said, there are many, many things in West Virginia I have done, seen and enjoyed. And many, many more I still want to see and do.
This (in particular order) is my West Virginia Bucket List.
Play every golf course in the state (and have the scorecards to prove it). I put a pretty good dent in southern West Virginia. But since we relocated to Wood County and I have three kids, my golf play has been scaled way, way, way back. Not counting my annual golf trip I play about two rounds a year.
The desire to play every course in the state is No. 1 for me. It has been a goal of mine for more than a decade.
Visit the Matewan Massacre re-enactment. The story of the West Virginia Mine Wars is my favorites in the annals of state history. Every year the town of Matewan holds at least one re-enact of the massacre. This year's re-enactment is Saturday. With gas at $4 a gallon, it's unlikely I make this year. But one day. One day.
I also want to take time to visit the Welch Courthouse, where Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers were executed by the Baldwin-Felts thugs. This also leads to another of my (post-retirement) goals - write a biography of C.E. Lively.
Lively was a spy for the Baldwin-Felts outfit and was part of the gang who assassinated Hatfield and Chambers on the steps of the courthouse. Lively was acquitted of their deaths. He died in 1962. However, he still has a son who lives in Florida.
Attend the Feast of the Ramson Festival in Richwood. One day I will be among the thousands who stand in line for a ramp dinner in Richwood. I have eaten ramps. And morels. And teaberry. And all manner of wild game and native plants, but I have yet to partake in THE ramp festival in the state.
Tour the Bramwell Mansions. Despite attending Concord College. I have never been to Bramwell, but I want to go to there. Did you know Bramwell High School's mascot was the Millionaire?
Visit all of West Virginia's state parks, especially Audra State Park. For the last few years we take an annual camping trip to the one of the state parks. Last year we stayed at Holly River, which was gorgeous, and stopped at the state's Wildlife Center in French Creek on the way home. I got video of my kids howling along with a coyote. This year we are heading to Watoga.
Take the Julia-Ann Historic District Walking Tour. One of the things around here I have yet to do.
Visit Burning Springs.
Canoe the length of Middle Island Creek or the Little Kanawha River with at least one of my kids.
Is there anything I am missing? What's on your state to do list?
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Two-gun Sid Hatfield