My Summer Travelogue

Enjoying friends and nature have me rejuvenated for writing

By Michael M. Barrick

LENOIR, N.C. — The last article I posted on The Lenoir Voice was about the Summer Solstice. In less than a week, the Autumnal Equinox will signal the return to shorter days — and hopefully the end of our boiling summer.

I’ve not been writing because I disappeared on a self-imposed “sabbatical” from writing for this news outlet, though I continued to write articles for my other publication, the Appalachian Chronicle. In fact, you can read several articles about the Sweet Springs (W.Va) Sustainable Living Forum that I co-sponsored in August. If you’re interested in learning more about what so many people are doing to address our climate crisis, I invite you to visit that site. There are about a dozen articles of interviews I did of the speakers there.

For now, though, I thought I’d share my “How did you spend your summer vacation” paper through photos. Today, I’ll begin in April (yes, I know that’s technically Spring, but it felt like summer vacation), when I first started traveling regularly to my favorite Appalachian Mountain spots (and beyond). Then, over the next several days, I’ll share the balance of my summer travelogue, ending with photos taken last week while canoeing on Price Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just 35 minutes from my home.

I reckon you don’t care about how I spent my summer. But I don’t know too many people that don’t enjoy the beauty and quiet of nature and the joy of time with friends seen not nearly often enough.

A friend’s land in Mathias, W.Va. The ridge in the background is the Virginia state line.
Looking west from Spruce Knob, W.Va. the state’s highest point at 4,863 feet.
Blackwater Falls in Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis, W.Va.
A peaceful passage through George Washington National Forest.
Harpers Ferry, W.Va. is a must stop for every Civil War historian.
Solar Panels (top, center) power this home of a dear friend in White Hall, Md.
Mountain State Brewing Company in Thomas, W.Va.
My late mom’s best friend of 65+ years, Anita Payne, with her husband Dale. Mom and Anita met when they were about 10-years-old and remained the closest of friends until mom died in 2008. A blessed time for sure.
With my “sister of another mother,” Barbara Volk, the president of the West Virginia Herb Association. I’ve since cut my hair .

© Michael M. Barrick, 2019. Feature (home page) photo from Spruce Knob, W.Va., looking east.