As summer approaches, I try to come up with a travel plan. Last year, I went to New York City twice and Cancun, Mexico. This summer, I am reminded of the great Dorothy Gale quote from the Wizard of Oz:
“…and if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.”
Dorothy was a smart girl. I think I will follow her advice. I think I will braid my hair, grab a dog and a little picnic basket purse. and travel around my home state of West Virginia.
It’s funny how people live close to something so wonderful but don’t even notice it’s there. I’m guilty of that. I live close to Prickett’s Fort State Park and hate to say that the last time I had been there was about fifteen years ago when we took our children there. So, I went there a few weekends ago to take pictures with my new camera.
Prickett’s Fort is about ten minutes from my home. I should be slapped. On approach, the first thing I came upon was a creek full of Canadian geese and three honking white geese.
The atmosphere of the creek (I pronounce it crik, because that’s how we talk in Weirton), made me feel calm and mellow. The area is stocked with picnic tables for those who want to picnic with about twenty pooping Canuck ducks. It’s not so bad further away from the geese. I hung out there for awhile, talking to the geese and just taking in the beauty of the area. This was fun. I was by myself, but that doesn’t equate loneliness at all. It was fun. After about ten minutes, I hopped in my car and headed to the state park. But, wait, on my right was a very old cemetery begging me to visit. So, I did.
The Prickett’s Fort Cemetery is an old one indeed. The Prickett family is buried here. The founder of Morgantown, a fellow by the name of Morgan, is buried here too. Morgan Morgan was supposedly the first inhabitant in what is now known as West Virginia. This guy had to be a relative, but I am just way too lazy to research that right now. But, the cemetery was a bit eery, even in the morning.
I then pulled into the parking lot of Prickett’s Fort. The visitor Center is really nice and since I am fifty-five, got a discount on my entrance fee. There is also a museum and nifty time line of the fort upstairs. On the right of the visitor’s center is a bathroom and amphlitheather where plays are performed. The following are pictures I took of the fort and fort area.
I won’t go into detail about the fort, but it was used by the Prickett family as their primary home. They have a wonderful website that explains all that is Prickett’s Fort. When word that Indians were in the area hunting, neighbors would quickly ride to the fort and stay with the Prickett family. If you happen to visit this lovely park, you will meet people dressed in period clothing, and watch them work at their craft.
But, what is great about Prickett’s Fort State Park is that it is also a great place to park your car and head to the Rails to Trails on foot or on your bike. Many people use this popular trail, known as the Mon River Trail.
And if you don’t feel like walking or riding your bike, then bring down your boat and enjoy the Monongahela River.
I had a great morning at Prickett’s Fort State Park. And it is in my own backyard. Yes, sometimes the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and you need to travel and explore what lies beyond your local boundaries. But, if you don’t have that wanderlust and want to stay nearby, just look around you. You maybe be surprised at the sights that are in your own backyard.