Tucker County roars to life the second weekend of June with the annual return of Cycle Source Magazine’s, Big Mountain Run, to Parsons, West Virginia. The Big Mountain Run (BMR) is the quintessential biker rally celebrating iron framed around V-twin power, comradery, and the good times that come with being in the mountains of West Virginia. You also better not mind getting a little rowdy.
I headed to the Big Mountain Run venue at Camp Kidd, five miles north of Parsons, WV, to catch up with the Dotson family. Without them, there would be no BMR on Holly Meadow overlooking the grand landscape of the Appalachian Mountains. Frank Jr., better known as Chip, and Christine Dotson have their hands full putting on the full-fledged nonstop fun.
Most of the riders are found camping on perfectly manicured, flat grounds. Large campers/RV are accommodated with ease, I would have to say the earlier you arrive, the better the site.
After getting the tour of Camp Kidd from Frank Dotson Sr., it’s off to Patriots 4 to indulge in a pig roast, swim in the Cheat River, and watch biker games. Yes, tough bikers can be big kids also. In the world’s only Tramp-Triathlon, contestants must jump out of their tents, put their boots on, run 30 yards to their bikes, ride 30 yards to the water’s edge, then swim 30 yards to victory. An absolute blast! Check out the YouTube video below.
The fun has just begun. An organized group ride to Blackwater Falls State Park on the finest road surface in the state. I did not make the flat track races, wish I had, with so many classes the entertainment seemed endless. Live music every night, Metzeler burn out contest, and old time bike games are all part of the four day event.
All kinds of bike build contests show off the mechanical skills and ingenuity that come with choppers, bobbers, and baggers.
Getting to know Chris and Heather from Cycle Source Magazine, as well as Chip, Christine, and Frank Dotson was as genuine an experience as one would expect from the hills and hollows of Tucker County, West Virginia. The single biggest take-away is BMR appreciates the exact thing every other local organization or festival desire. Unique locations, small numbers that keep the event intimate and relatable, and the welcome feeling you get from Tucker County residents and businesses. See ya'll next June!
Canaan Valley, West Virginia is unique when it comes to short term rental properties. Not because the actual homes are one a kind or out of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural brilliance. Properties are unique because of the experience afforded when in the highest valley of its size east of the Mississippi River.
Views, peace and quiet, personal space, and the darkest of nights, alone, make for a true getaway from the realities of life. Edward Abby sums it up best with his quote “Freedom begins between the ears.” and Canaan Valley is a great start. Add in the unbound outdoor recreational opportunities and you have the making for an epic vacation rental opportunity.
Since the mid 1980’s development in Canaan Valley shifted from hunting and fishing cabins to vacation homes. Today you will find hundreds of accommodations throughout Canaan Valley in every conceivable configuration.
This day, I was given permission to visit a few homes in Old Timberline for the purpose of writing the Tucker County tourism blog. Exposing all that is great and distinctive to renting a vacation home in Canaan Valley.
How do you like your view?
From the hammock and horseshoe pit.
Ironically, the biggest complaint I have heard from visitors is that...IT’S TOO QUIET! Canaan Valley is where you are guaranteed an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
The picture window effect is a common theme in just about every location. Wide open floor plans make for the ultimate social setting, accompanying all those views to die for.
Can you see the making for a Weber Grill commercial? Well, this is our reality in Tucker County, West Virginia, and we are happy to share it with you. If this is your cup of tea for the ultimate mountain getaway, seven real estate agencies are located in and around Canaan Valley. Visit canaanvalley.org for the full listings and contact information. Make Tucker County yours for the week, you will not regret it!
A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others. –Salvador Dali
Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with Seth Pitt, owner and sole resident artist of Creature art gallery, on East Avenue in the heart of Thomas, WV. In a modest 12 years as a resident of Thomas, WV, Seth has worked his way to becoming a pillar of the art community and prolific store front owner with the opening of Creature. Oh ya, and Thomas City Council member, now how about them apples!
We conversed for a solid hour about Creature and how Seth got to this point in a world full of possibilities. I came away realizing the story on Creature is a direct reflection of Seth, and Seth, a direct reflection of Creature. Everything about Creature has fallen in place because of Seth’s small successes, tenacity, genuine good will, and zest for life in a fabled Appalachian coal town.
Three distinct series frame in the arts of Seth Pitt. The original series is titled Creatures of the Heart. This series speaks to humanity on all the different levels found in the day in, day out of life. Very relatable, full of meaning.
Some World and Small Tales came in tandem with Creatures of the Heart as the flagship pieces that have propelled the birth of Creature art gallery. Between Some World and Creatures of the Heart, you will be amazed to find 200 original pieces on location.
Doing a 180 degree turn from drawing two years ago, Seth reverted back to what us Gen Xers grew up with. Crayons. He is doing what some of us mischievous types wished to do all along to the childhood hallmark, melt the sucker! A new platform is under development and under the radar. 23 galleries from Flagstaff, AZ to Fargo, ND showcase and sell Seth’s art work, only in Thomas, WV will you find “Crayon”.
The creative pipeline knows no end, kind of like the longevity being played out in new historic Thomas. With the larger space of Creature, opportunity came knocking, Seth can now play with large format pieces. “Put Together, Falling Apart” is the newest series jetting out from the walls of Creature. Some finished, some not so much, it is a work in progress that each and everyone one of us will watch grow in the coming years.
Creature is located inside one of the two dozen stoic brick store fronts along East Avenue in iconic Thomas. During the gallery’s hours, there is a high likely hood of chatting with Seth and fair chance of seeing him in his creative state, just do not ask him to melt crayons on canvas or pull a rabbit out of a hat. If there is one take away before visiting Creature, Seth makes every-single-thing in the gallery. Quite the insight into one individuals mind.