Columns/Opinion, John Samsell

Time to see the sites

The geographic territory in which we live was developed through the centuries in a manner that included oceans and glaciers too big it’s hard to imagine.

If you are taking a mobile vacation this summer, you might try the Piedmont area on one side of the mountain ranges and the mountains and valleys of West Virginia on the western side. That’s how they were left after a large sea and glacier receded.

The geographic makeup can be observed along I-68. A rest area pinpoints the separation of the mountains and valleys of the Mountain State and the less mountainous area east to the Atlantic Ocean and Tidewater area.

Actually the eastern area is divided into four different sections. One begins at the Atlantic Ocean and goes westward to a Fall Line, a granite ridge connecting Fredericksburg, Richmond, Petersburg and other cities to the north, the Tidewater area.

West of the Tidewater area are the Piedmont  and Blue Ridge Mountains. that leads to the Appalachian Valley.

Between the top of the Alleghenies and Lake Erie is part of the Allegheny Plateau. Land immediately to the west is the Central Lowland and Plain. That’s West Virginia with its combination of fertile soil and fine climate.

It also has “easy communication and possibilities for manufacturing and commerce, according to early geologists. Temperature between warmest and coldest is 20 degrees.

The Allegheny Highland has an area of about 6,000 square miles. Because of its scenery West Virginia has the name Mountain State. Its topography causes its varied climate and ample rainfall.

The state’s natural resources represent vegetative life aged from an ancient sea bed.

Rivers poured mud, sand and stones under conditions that led to the formation of  the area now known as West Virginia. Under the conditions present stones were formed.

In deeper parts of the sea, from its shores were many marine animals that shed their shells and skeletons that fell to the bottom and pressure cemented them into limestone, a prime state product in this 21st Century.

Through the  ages the processes continued and coal also was developed. The geologists explain the formation of the state’s Natural Wonders are now tourist attractions. The emergence of rivers in the north and east was gradual.

Potomac, South Branch and New rivers and others cut beds across the rising surface.

The Ohio River originally flowed north to create lakes and possibly a sea.

The glacial movement from the north cut rivers into lakes and left the Ohio as it is today.

Lakes in the West Virginia area were drained completely dry.

Glacial movements also left deposits of gravel and fertile soils. Much of the soil had large amounts of sandstone. West Virginia has nothing but sedimentary rocks. Thus, there is nothing but bituminous coal. Pennsylvania has the “hard coal” and some “soft.”

Tourist attractions include “Hanging Rock,” in the South Branch River in Hampshire County. The rocks reach 300 feet, while the state’s highest point, Spruce Knob is over 4,600 feet.
“The Trough” in Hardy County the South Branch travels 7 miles between the “Image Rocks.”

Blackwater Falls in nearby Tucker County is at the bottom of the Blackwater River that travels down a hillside. It not only is a site of beauty but is a state park, with many attractions.

The Blackwater River flows into the Cheat River, that flows into Cheat Lake (Lake Lynn) that empties into the Monongahela River at Point Marion, Pa.

Seneca Rocks in Pendleton County is said to be a “picturesque scene of the Far West.” Seneca Caverns is nearby at Riverton.