Road Trek: Charleston to Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Post by Sharon

A few years back, Julie and I were trekking around West Virginia to visit my family and decided to head up through the state in search of abandoned places to photograph and a special attraction - Point Pleasant, infamous location of the Mothman sightings. We love the weird and creepy stuff!

Along the route, we stopped at an abandoned church and a super creepy cemetery nearby.

The twists and turns in the road provided many solemn locations and others with great natural beauty. The cool thing about West Virginia is that it is west of the I-95 East Coast hub and also so mountainous that most people don't use it as a throughway. It's a destination.

We headed into Point Pleasant, not realizing we had to cut through Ohio border to do it (I got a pin on my map for going to Ohio finally). 

Strangely, as we crossed the bridge into Point Pleasant, both our cameras' batteries died at the same moment. We got off the bridge, checked out cameras and they were back on again. Faraday Effect? We never did figure out how that happened. 

Point Pleasant is an amazing town to visit, even if you aren't into strange chilling stories like the one of the Mothman sightings in the 1960s. 

Julie and I drove up and down the streets picking out the cottages we would love to live in. It's truly a Mayberry vibe. With the churning river nearby, it has a very energetic feel and yet such an aesthetically dreamy look.

When we hit the historic district area and Mothman museum and gift shops, we knew we'd found our way!

One shop owner was sweet enough to draw us a map to the TNT bunkers where the Mothman supposedly lived.

We found it, got out and started to walk, when we stopped.

Both of us suddenly felt like we were watched. We looked around us, something flew silently overhead casting a huge shadow like a low-flying plane. We looked up. Nothing. 

Just as we started out again, a policeman pulled over and asked us what we were doing. He suggested we move on and not leave our car there by the road. We got back in and drove off, half relieved. We really felt strangely vulnerable there.

On we went toward Moundsville, West Virginia on the way to Morgantown for the night. 

Because of my obsession with the mystery of ancient giants and our love of ghosts, we stopped by Moundsville to visit the prison, but it had just closed for tours. So, across the street, we went to the Moundsville Museum and ancient mound.

The museum was just about to close. As frustrating as it was, I rushed to take photos of the artifacts and the undeciphered language of the Grave Creek Mound, and we took off for Morgantown.

Surprisingly, Morgantown was a rather sophisticated waterfront town. It had lots of industry and life and a super awesome sports bar in our hotel. 

One thing we didn't think of when planning our trek in the East Coast was how we planned to drive all day, stay a night, move on to the next place for 10 days. We were thoroughly exhausted, even if the daytime drive was 3 hours on the map, but in reality to eat and stop and photograph and get lost and follow hunches, the days' drives were much longer.

After this trek, we decided to do at least 2 night stays in cities. 

The folks in West Virginia were just like they were when I was growing up. The hospitality industry folks are super kind and friendly at hotels and restaurants, tourist places and such. The food is really good, especially breakfasts!  The citizens themselves tend to stare you down like they know you're an outsider. I've had them even ask if I had taken a wrong turn. 

The trek through the hills of WV is totally worth it if you like urban exploration - it's a gold mine! If you want outdoor activities, sports, fishing, hunting, rafting, it is a dream. If you love mountains and trees, rivers and wildlife, it's a miracle. The state really is rather untouched and simple. Clocks slow down here a lot. Don't rush your way through. Savor every bit of it.