Wild Wonderful West Virginia!

Hi everyone! I wanted to share some beautiful pictures of my “second home” — the state of West Virginia. My dad got transferred out there with his company when I was a senior in high school. I met my husband there (and have now made an “Okie” out of him!) These pictures were taken by a friend who is a native West Virginian, Rick Burgess. These are just a sample of all the beautiful pictures he has taken all over the state. Rick has a fantastic eye for color and composition, and although I believe these pictures belong in a book devoted to his photography, he has graciously  allowed me to show you West Virginia through his eyes. Let’s have a look!


This is a picture of the New River Gorge Bridge. It is beautiful and I’ve been there myself–this picture really does it justice! Yes, I drove over it–it’s 3030 feet long.  876 feet high.  70 feet wide.  88 million pounds of U.S. Cor Ten steel and American cement.  Opened and dedicated on October 22, 1977, the span has since become the symbol of West Virginia.










Look at this beautiful church, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, West Virginia.


Of course, there are horse lovers everywhere throughout the USA–and these beauties conjure up images of cowboys no matter where they might be!

Cooper’s Rock State Forest, at dusk… I’ve never been here, but next time we go back for a visit, I’d love to see it.

Misty morning in Pocahontas County…

I wonder where this road leads? Beautiful countryside, no matter where it goes. Thanks for joining me on this trip through West Virginia. And thanks to Rick Burgess for allowing me to show you his state through his camera lens!

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A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work: http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here: fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
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24 thoughts on “Wild Wonderful West Virginia!”

  1. I love reading books where the story takes me to West Virginia.. It is one of the places on my bucket list… Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures…

  2. Beautiful pics, Cheryl! The one of Cooper’s Rock was my favorite. Where in WV is it? I’ve been through the state many times, but only along the main highways, both I-64 and . . . . is it I-77 that runs down the middle of the state? WV is always lovely, but the fall season is my favorite.

  3. Kathleen, Rick took these (and dozens more!) and has begun to gain a following on FB because of his photography. He’s a very modest guy and was very willing to share these with us today–he can take the simplest subject and has the knack of making it into a beautiful picture. I enjoyed living in West Virginia, though it is the total opposite of my home state, Oklahoma. It is gorgeous country out there, for sure!

  4. Cheryl, we were blessed to visit WV last fall. The colors were stunning, the memory of the Shenandoah valley absolutely still takes my breath away. We stayed in a historic hunting lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the visit just wasn’t long enough. And I love the state bird, the cardinal.

    Gorgeous pictures, Rick!

  5. Hi Vicki,
    I meant to tell you, I shouted out when we drove through Lexington last month–“VICKI! HELLO!” LOLLOL We went to WV for our yearly visit and were out there when that awful storm hit. We had to drive almost to Ashland to find a gas station that was open, working, had gas, and had no lines. LOL The storm hit on Friday, the reunion was on Saturday (of course, not many people there due to the emergency situation) and we left on Sunday to come back home. Yeah, it’s I-77 and there’s I-79, too. Next time you are driving north on I-77, there’s an exit a few miles north of Charleston called Tupper’s Creek–that’s the exit we used to take to get to our house. I’m not sure exactly where Cooper’s Rock is–but I’ll ask Rick–he’s got pics from all over the state, and I was only able to put up a few here, but on his FB page he has a ton of them. They’re all beautiful–I wish I had had room to share them all. I’ll ask him where it is, though–I want to go there, too, next time we go back.

  6. Tanya,
    I know what you mean. In the fall, there is nothing to compare with the beauty of that state. I lived there from 1975 through 1984. The winters were something else, compared to Oklahoma, and especially with the curvy, mountainous roads. But hey, I survived and learned to drive on it. LOLLOL

  7. I’m sentimental about West Virginia. When my parents took us to visist relatives back in Pennsylvania, we always took the scenic route through West Virginia and I always loved to watch the beautiful countryside as we traveled along at the whoping speed of 35 miles per hour. LOL It’s such a gorgeous place. I loved all the photographs you posted and I agree, Rick needs to create a book of Virginia with his photographs. Now that I think on it, wouldn’t that be a fun and rewarding job to take photos like this of each state and dedicate an entire book to each of the states? Makes me want to go on a road trip. Beautiful post, Cheryl.

  8. Hi Sherry,
    I can’t say enough good things about Rick and his pictures. He’s just an all-around nice guy, and no one can top the pictures he takes. I’d love to see them all in a big coffee table book!

  9. Sarah,
    Those are some good memories! I remember how every summer, or at least every other summer, we’d load up our family and head off on a road trip. Back then, everyone went to visit relatives and you stayed with them, and they showed you the local sights. LOL My aunt and uncle were in the Navy, so we made 2 trips to San Diego from Oklahoma, and one to Pensacola FL from here to visit them. Ah…nothing like crossing the NM desert in the heat of the summer with no air conditioning! LOLOL My older sisters and I were crammed into the backseat of our old Chevy and they made those chewing gum wrapper chains by the glory. That’s a great idea about making a book of all the states! Maybe we can send him off on a road trip with his camera! LOLLOL

  10. What a great blog! The pictures are beautiful. I love West Virginia. Was up there last month, but didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked. Thanks for sharing. Linda and I are in Anaheim at RWA and sure wish you were here. Haven’t caught up with any of the other Filies, yet. We truly miss you, but glad you’re keeping the home fires burning over at Wilflower Junction. What a gifted friend you have in Rick. Big hugs, Phyliss

  11. PHYLISS!!! Thanks so much for taking time out to pop over and look at the blog. I know you guys are just busy as all get out and I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time. I wish I was there with you, too, but maybe next time. Oh, yes, Rick is so very talented, and I think that’s a gift you just have to be born with, to see the color and composition with an eye toward a good picture. I think he’s amazingly talented, and I appreciate him sharing his pictures with us.
    Hugs, Phyliss! Have fun in Anaheim!

  12. What can I say? There aren’t enough adjectives to do it justice. Awesome, fantastic, breathtaking…to list a few. I haven’t bee in that state. We were in a small portion of Virginia, but that was long ago and I don’t remember much about it. The photographer is a genius. Looks like he chose the peak times for colors of spring and autumn.
    You know how I love pictures.

  13. Gorgeous pictures, Cheryl, thanks so much for sharing. I’ve driven over the New River Gorge Bridge both coming and going and each time it is quite a sight.

    Loved the picture of Cooper’s Rock State Forest! Amazing!


  14. Celia, West Virginia is one of the most beautiful places in the world. So many colors in nature, and it’s everywhere you look. I think Rick is a genius with the camera, being able to pick a subject and “see” what the picture needs to look like before he ever snaps it. I’m hoping he’ll stop by today and see how much everyone appreciates his talent.

  15. Kirsten,
    I love that picture, too–he had quite a few of them at different times of the day, and I just loved the one at dusk. Rick is so talented. The New River Gorge Bridge is just breathtaking, isn’t it?

  16. Beautiful pictures. I live in southwest PA so we really have the same scenery. If it wasn’t for the winters…

  17. I am always amazed to find out that each state in the union has such amazing beauty. I had no idea that West Virginia looked like this. Beautiful. I get in such a rut looking at my spectacular mountains, that I forget that other places have great beauty in their own way. That there is really a color GREEN–Not just brown/beige/gray with scattered other colors (as in the desert). (Sorry, I get carried away when I see color.)LOL

  18. Mary, I loved West Virginia–at first it was hard to get used to, because I was so sad at having to leave my friends (17 years old) and it was so different–mountainous and curvy, narrow roads. I was a new driver and got to where I loved driving on them, but my mom always worried (I would too, as a mom!) LOL But I love my flat land. I think every state has a different kind of beauty. Many people can’t see it here in Oklahoma if they weren’t born here, but the thing I love about this state is that you can see the sky and the stars and I love the people here. This is really home, and even though we’ve talked about moving somewhere exotic now that my husband has retired, we never will. (He’s from West Virginia, but I believe he’s turned into an “OKIE” now–we go to WV once a year for a visit and that’s enough.)

  19. A blogger, Seawitch, has just moved to her husband’s home, West Virginia, and posted a series of blogs about the state with some lovely pictures. We live in NE TN and aren’t really that far away. We have driven through but not stopped to enjoy what the state has to offer. Cooper’s Rock State Park is now on my list of places to go for a short trip. Thanks to your friend, Rick, for letting us see his great pictures.

  20. Oh, Patricia, you really aren’t far, are you? On our way out to WV this 4th of July we came the long way through TN so we could stop at Franklin and tour the Carnton Plantation that The Widow of the South was based on. What a beautiful old place, so rich with history. Also toured the Stones River Battlefield there, too. Yes, Cooper’s Rock State Park is really beautiful from what I see in Rick’s pictures. I never got to go there when we lived out there, but I hope to do it next year when we go out for the family reunion.

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