Through West Virginia to Pennsylvania

York, PA

After visiting friends in Oxford, OH, we took four days to drive to our former hometown of York, PA.  It doesn’t take that long to do the drive but we had time to kill before our reservation date in York.  The first stop was in Cambridge, OH where we stayed at a nice park (Spring Valley Campground) just off the interstate for two nights.  There was not much to do in Cambridge but we always enjoy visiting small towns in our travels.

After that we drove just a bit over a hundred miles to Morgantown, WV where we stayed two nights in Mylan Park.  Mylan Park is a community park just a few miles west of Morgantown.  It has a number of recreation fields and indoor facilities used by the local community.  One of the large parking areas has some full hook-up RV spots that are used mainly by people attending football games at nearby West Virginia University.  So it’s not a good place for an extended stay but works well for a night or two.

Looking down at the RV area from a nearby hillside

West Virginia is the brunt of many jokes about the local population being a bit “backward” at times, a stereotypes that may or may not be deserved.  But it wasn’t long before we had an experience that just reinforced that picture.  After setting up the motorhome we drove to a nearby coffee shop (one of those chain stores based in Seattle) for a little refreshment.  As we got out of the Jeep we heard a strange sound emanating from an Audi parked next to us.  We peered in the open window and found that we were looking at a goat sitting in the driver seat!

They let anyone drive a car in WV!

We were looking to stretch our legs a bit after the drive from Ohio so when a stop at a visitor center revealed that a park with a scenic overlook was nearby, we headed there for a visit.  Dorsey’s Knob is a 70 acre park just south of the downtown area.  Its main feature is Sky Rock, which stands about 600 feet above the town.

Grassy area leading up to Sky Rock

The sign at the base of the trail was pretty intimidating, but we didn’t see anything resembling the mountains of southern Utah so we figured we would be able to make the climb.

Heading up the strenuous section of the short trail

A WVU cheerleader was posing on Sky Rock

The view from Sky Rock was nice, but tree blocked the best angles to the city.

The next day we parked along the Monongahela River to explore a nicely paved bike trail that runs through Morgantown along the water.  The trail was very nice but not much of the river bank has been developed so there wasn’t much to see.  We did pass a couple of small restaurants and a very nice outdoor pavilion right on the water.

After enjoying the bike trail we put the bikes back in the Jeep and drove about 25 miles east of town to visit Coopers Rock State Forest.

The tree-lined road leading in to the forest

Coopers Rock State Forest gets its name from a legend about a fugitive who hid from the law near what is now the overlook. A cooper by trade, he resumed making barrels at his new mountain hideout, selling them to people in nearby communities. He lived and worked in the forest for many years.  During the Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built numerous structures in the forest, including a scenic overlook with a nice view of the surrounding area with the Cheat River winding its way below.

Walkway to the overlook

The large rock outcropping fenced in by the CCC had many old graffiti carvings dating back many years.  One dated 1897 caught our eye.

After enjoying the viewpoint we hiked a short trail that winds down under the viewpoint.

Returning to the Jeep we drove about five miles to another section of the park where a trail leads down to the remains of an old iron furnace.

The furnace was built between 1834 and 1836, and is a 30 foot square, 30 feet high stone structure in the shape of a truncated pyramid.  The furnace may have continued to operate until 1868 when all the Cheat River iron works ceased production.  During peak operation years the area around the furnace was stripped of all trees (used to make charcoal for the furnace) and was surrounded by a community of over 200 people.  Today all the structures except the furnace are gone and the forest has reclaimed the area.

After two nights in Morgantown we continued our journey eastward across I-68 through West Virginia and Maryland before turning to the north into Pennsylvania.

We are now settled into a small RV park just a few miles from our daughter’s home in York.  We’ll be staying for about a month and half visiting family and friends and completing yearly medical appointments.  Then it will be time to head south as the weather begins to change.

More on that later . . .

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35 Responses to Through West Virginia to Pennsylvania

  1. explorvistas says:

    At least the goat has good taste. That’s quite the necklace! 😊

  2. Cool header photo.
    My girlfriend grew up around Morgantown. She went to WVU.

    There isn’t a climb too strenuous for you two. Shouldn’t that cheerleader be showing her midriff at least? I thought all cheerleading uniforms were a bit more skimpy than that one.

    You two found some beauty WV country to explore. Glad you are enjoying your visit with Jessica. Continue the party!

  3. montanaclarks says:

    Enjoy your time with family!

  4. Gay says:

    A goat…that takes the cake!
    The old furnace is quite the structure…what an interesting find.
    Enjoy your time with Jessica. And good luck with those check-ups!

  5. LuAnn says:

    A goat in an Audi…hmmm. I was thinking that it sounded like what we would see when we lived in Mexico but they had the good sense to put the goat in the back of an old pickup truck. Enjoy your time with Jessica.

    • placestheygo says:

      Haha! This goat just moved over to the front passenger seat when her owner came out. She is a real princess, I guess:) Thanks, LuAnn! We are thrilled to have time to spend with Jessica.

  6. Jeff says:

    It’s always nice to return to the hometown roots, if just to see the changes. Wait least PA hasn’t offered goats driver’s license. Thanks for some options as we’re in OH next year.

  7. Sue says:

    I have to agree with Marsha…..I’d have thought that cheerleaders outfits would have become more skimpy these days not less. Its very green back there, and I know you enjoy your time with Jessica so time will fly. See you next year!

    • placestheygo says:

      It was very green as we came across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. They have definitely had lots of rain. It wasn’t quite as green here in PA and the summer produce isn’t what it should be. Sorry, that’s what this cheerleader calls skimpy:)

  8. Larry says:

    You’re up in my old stomping grounds – went to WVU and grew up just south of there in Fairmont. Good to know there is a place to park the coach for a couple of days. Love the goat shot

  9. Sherry says:

    Nice to know of a place we could stop at least overnight in Morgantown. You don’t know of one in Wheeling do you? Love the goat in the driver’s seat. I’d have been sorely tempted to hang around and find out who the “owner” was and if the goat had to move to the passenger seat or the back seat. Enjoy your time in your home town. We’re in PA right now too, headed to Delaware later in the week, then Maryland and back to our home town for the same things…..daughter and doctors.

    • placestheygo says:

      Sherry, I did watch the owner get into the car. The goat only moved to the passenger seat:) She is special I guess! We did stay at the Cabela’s in Wheeling, WV for a night. Worked out very nicely! Safe travels back to Virginia!

  10. Love how you managed to put together some decent mileage via several trails! The goat is too funny! I bet it lives inside their house too!

  11. Tebra and George Higgins says:

    Have been following your blog for a while. This is the first time we’ve been in the same area though. We too are in York County PA. We are from PA. Would love to see if we could get together before we leave next Wed. 14th…..heading to AZ.

  12. pam says:

    West Virginia looks so beautiful it is on our list of states we have yet to visit!

  13. Laurel says:

    “Strenuous rock climb” haha!! That sign clearly didn’t apply to you guys. Love the goat. I’ve always wanted a goat for a pet, and if it can drive, even better! :-))

  14. Jodee Gravel says:

    I love the old CCC fencing around that overlook – and the rock overhang below. A very pretty stop. The goat is adorable, wonder if she sheds much 🙂 Glad you’ve arrived safely and have lots of time to spend with Jessica.

  15. geogypsy2u says:

    I am always amazed at the rather out of the way places you two find. After hiking in the west I’m sure that cheerleader had no problem on those eastern steep climbs. Enjoy your family visit.

  16. Debbie L says:

    Interesting travels. Now we know where to overnight in WV! And we’ll have to try that strenuous hike!

  17. girlonahike says:

    That “strenuous” part looks pretty hard 😉 -Alicia @

  18. Nancy says:

    Glad to catch up with you… enjoy your visit!
    As for the goat… They are quite personable I have heard. I was at a winery in new York the other day and they had goats. They were just like their dogs!

  19. dgodstrey says:

    Hi Mrs. Wright! This is Danny Godstrey and I was in your third grade class during the 2006-2007 school year! I’m now studying at the University of Pittsburgh and for some reason I remembered that you had a blog and I wanted to see if you were still traveling! I’m glad to see that all is going well and that you are enjoying your adventures touring the country. Thank you for giving me such a great experience when I was a new kid in a new school district all those years ago. You are one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

  20. petakaplan says:

    How beautiful the view from the outlook. Its magnificent seeing just trees and water, no people and no structures of any kind in sight…makes my heart skip a beat.


  21. rommel says:

    How you and all other RV’ers get to have so much energy and so much desire is just admirable. I look at that strenuous section of the trail and I’m already gasping for breath. 😀

  22. Debbie L says:

    Nice to see you two found a way to enjoy WV! Bill was too intimidated to try and spend anytime there. He white knuckled the drive thru this summer! It is a beautiful state, goats and all! Lol

  23. Debbie L says:

    We’ve kept this tucked away in our memories…we are heading east from Illinois back to Virginia. I was hoping this would work for us but Bill said it’s too far north….oh heck….

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