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Welcome to West Virginia!

Welcome to West Virginia!
​Travel Stage: Ohio to Alderson, WV
Travel Date Range: October 11 – 13
Summary: After a night at a Boondocker’s Welcome site, a day-long biking tour of Charleston, WV, and another night in the most scenic Walmart we’ve ever seen, we make our way to Alderson, West Virginia.
​From our visit to Whitehouse, Ohio, we traveled on to just south of Columbus where we stopped at a Boondockers Welcome location. Boondockers Welcome is a community of folks who, for just $25 a year, allow others to park overnight on their property for free. Usually there is no water or electric, so you essentially boondock for a night, hence the name. This was our first time trying it, and we had a great experience! Thanks to Randy and Vikki Turner for their spacious parking spot!

 

 

 

 

Boondocking just south of Columbus, Ohio
Welcome to West Virginia!

The next morning we drove about 2 hours to Charleston, West Virginia’s capital and largest city. We wanted to spend some time in Charleston, so planned to overnight in a Walmart parking lot south of the city. Most people would probably advise against trying to get a fifthwheel into a city that you are unfamiliar with, but we threw caution to the wind and got off the interstate in the heart of Charleston.

Lady Luck was on our side, for we found a small empty parking lot right next to the visitor’s center and community market. Even the lady in the visitor’s center was amazed. It was Columbus Day, so maybe due to the holiday everyone had decided to stay home. Whatever the case, we took full advantage of our spot, which was just a couple blocks from the historic downtown. 

 

Our lucky parking spot in Charleston, WV

​While Charleston was not the most bike-friendly of designs, we made our way all around the city within a few hours. We saw the riverfront, the gold-capped capital building, the government campus, the war memorials, and the shops and restaurants. It was a beautiful day and the sun absolutely glowed off the top of the capital building! We had the place all to ourselves due to the holiday.

We overnighted in a Walmart parking lot, which was nestled in the valley below towering mountains. <Pic of Walmart>From the moment we entered West Virginia there had been mountains. The entire state is full of them. Coming from a relatively flat Michigan, we delighted and amazed by the sights! We also arrived in West Virginia in the beginning of October, and the fall colors just added to the beauty! The colors would remain that way and peak during our stay, which was absolutely spectacular. 

 

Sunset over the mountains at a Walmart Parking Lot

That night we became very aware of two very present things in West Virginia besides the mountains: Trains and coal.

​Walmart was right next to a coal distribution facility. Let’s just say Tom didn’t get much sleep that night. (Caitlin on the other hand can sleep through almost anything)

The next day we made for Alderson, where Tom’s cousins lived and where we would be housesitting for the next 3 weeks. Driving through the West Virginia mountains meant some pretty serious inclines, declines, and views.
 

We finally made it to our family’s house and tucked the RV into a beautiful little spot for the next month!

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Sara

Thursday 16th of November 2017

I'm way late reading this, but as a native WVian, I'm so happy and excited about your positive experience in my home state!!!! Yay, West Virginia :) (My husband and I hope to upgrade to a fifth wheel in the future and came across your tour video somewhere on the interwebbies. That's how I found your blog.) Thanks for sharing! Happy travels.

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