I just visited my 48th state: West Virginia. I went into the trip with low expectations, mostly because I knew nothing about the state other than 1) it was mountainous, 2) they have coal mines, and 3) moonshine.
The real reason for the trip was that the University of Kansas Jayhawks were playing the West Virginia University Mountaineers. Oh, and when else are you going to go to West Virginia. Seriously. (If I’ve offended you, you might as well stop reading now. If I’ve offended you, you should probably keep reading, but warning, there is a fair amount of snarkiness ahead).
We flew the lovely Southwest Airlines to Pittsburgh. That was another first for me! I have been to Philadelphia, but never to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh used to be a hub airport for US Airways and remnants of Pittsburgh International Airport’s once busy times are evident on the empty banks of Arrival and Departure displays:
From Pitt, rent a car and drive. I suggest heading to a town called Morgantown. What was most surprising to me about Morgantown was that it was so frickin’ hilly, or I guess they’re called mountains there. The roads through town were all windy and convoluted, I got lost at least once (okay, twice. Yea, you got me, four times).
Anyways, after a day of flying and driving, it was time to hit up the town:
I’m going to go on record right now. Moonshine. Is. Delicious. It’s like drinking apple pie, but getting really loaded. It’s almost Christmas time. You know what I want? Equipment to make my own moonshine. Seriously. I found some great resources on how to make it, so now all I need is the equipment!
Saturday was game day. The mighty Jayhawks, well, they showed up. So I’ll give them credit for that. I, on the other hand, had an excellent time.
I was able to experience true local cuisine – the pepperoni roll. Everywhere we went, after being told, “You ain’t from around here,” I was asked if I had had a pepperoni roll yet. Sounds exotic, right? Well, imagine some dough with some pepperoni baked in it. It was so delicious I ate it before I could take a picture. Sorry folks.
Some other highlights of the day included tailgating with, you guessed it, moonshine (see picture above). Walking to the game, on the field courtesy of my buddy Danny, I ran into the West Virginia University Mountaineer.
Fortunately he was pretty tame, especially after hearing he had recently killed a black bear with that gun he was carrying. He’s a pretty cool guy, but the head on his hat was kind of freaking me out, so I told him to beat it.
All in all, it was a fun weekend. I was able to mark off another state from my list (can you guess the other two I have left?) and got to spend the weekend with some awesome people.