Hello, my name is Valerie Wells and I'm your student correspondent from West Virginia.
Before we get into the more serious blogs about what is happening within this mountain state, I would like to tell you why West Virginia is known as "wild and wonderful." For one thing, in all of the commercials you'll see about our state, you'll notice it always starts with "Almost Heaven," but will almost always end with "Wild and Wonderful, West Virginia." It does not take long to understand why -- it is almost heaven here! With such beautiful scenic views, you'll feel like there is no one else in the world but you.
There is also a lot of history about this state that's not well known. First of all, West Virginia separated from Virginia during the Civil War because of a clash over values. That disagreement was in 1863, and it is believed to have created some of the worst fighting of the war.
There are a lot of activities for those who love the outdoors, from skiing to whitewater rafting and everything in between. It snows a ton in the states' Eastern region, more so than any other region in West Virginia. We are also noted for our white-water rafting. This is a popular weekend activity in many areas. Also, caving is becoming more popular with residents and many out-of-staters.
If you enjoy hiking or backpacking, we have those activities covered. There are plenty of trails and parks for all ages to explore. Some of our parks are noted for their beauty, while others are noted for their sheer size. Each park offers something different. Many offer camping throughout the year, while others shut down during the winter months because of the harsh weather conditions. The weather can be rough in certain parts of West Virginia.
So, what does your heart desire? You can participate in bird watching, hiking, biking, camping, white-water rafting, boating, hunting, fishing and more in the Mountain State. As for sports, we do not have a national team, but that doesn't stop us when it comes to college sports. And for the ladies out there, each region offers plenty of shopping opportunities with malls and small antique shops.
Now you can see why our state is called wild and wonderful.