Blackwater Falls (Winter 2019) - West Virginia by sam taylor

Blackwater Falls (Winter 2019) - West Virginia

Good Tuesday Morning!

Well, I finally broke down and did this one. I’ve hiked the main falls many times over the last several years, but I’ve not photographed it since spring of 2014 - almost 5 years ago. While conditions are always part of photography, I found it interesting that there was snow on the ground the last time I captured it as well. That said, it made for a nice “A/B” Comparison of how my technique and style have changed over that time, and I have to say, I’m happier with this version than that one. At least now, if someone asks if I have a photo of Blackwater Falls, I can say “yes”. Haha.

In terms of today’s message, I would say that it speaks to the old adage “if you aren’t growing, you’re dying”. In the rush, in the moment, it’s easy to think “I haven’t changed, the world has changed”, but honestly, if that’s true, it means you probably aren’t living your best life. Life is change - both in yourself and in the world around us. Literally, the only constant is change (though it is nice to be able to visit people and places where that change may be very slow). For me, that growth and progression are a lot of what drives me in my pursuits - the thought that I can be better tomorrow than I was today, or at least strive for it.

Hope folks have a productive week.

Blackwater Falls (Winter 2019) - West Virginia

Twice As Far As Expected (Upper jonathan run Falls) - Pennsylvania by sam taylor

Good Friday Morning!

It’s becoming ever more challenging to find a hike we haven’t done within an hour of Morgantown, but that’s exactly what today’s story is about. I make the joke that the only thing wrong with Ohiopyle State Park, in Pennsylvania, is that it isn’t in West Virginia. Joking aside, it is a lovely gem of a park, and within an hour of Morgantown - featuring whitewater rafting, biking, rock climbing, and hiking.

Somehow, even with visiting Ohiopyle several times, I had never made the trip to the Jonathan Run falls - surprising since the trail description says it is a 1.7mi one way hike. Excited for a moderate hike to waterfall, we set sail with a bit of water and a couple protein bars on an unseasonably nice winter day. Reaching the end of the Jonathan Run Trail, we realized we were in for more of an adventure than we expected - the trail was closed, due to flooding last season washing out the bridges. Regrouping, and realizing that it was after boating season, we headed for the Bruner Run take out parking lot, with a plan to walk the Allegheny Passage Trail back to the bottom of Jonathan Run.

Setting sail, it seemed that this would be a longer hike than we initially planned - but weather and daylight seemed to be on our side, and full of confidence, we were sure we had 3mph pace in us on the flat Allegheny Passage Trail. It was a lovely day, even with the leaves off, and we enjoyed a nice day with the trail mostly to ourselves. Reaching the bottom of Jonathan Run, we started up the bottom of the trail, below where the bridges had washed out. We found the lower Jonathan Run Falls, and had a rare moment for us - we bailed. The descent to the creek was extremely steep, and rains the night before had made the leaves and mud on the bank extremely slippery. We started down - realized that a slip was likely and high consequence and turned back. Feeling a bit defeated, we headed on up and heard the upper falls before we saw them Dropping down to the falls, the view made up for getting shut down on the lower, and we enjoyed a break and some water and did a bit of shooting. Another ephemeral falls on Fechter Run was running, but was very cluttered and woody (also probably from the floods).

Then we turned back, and realized that we had underpacked for the length of hike we were doing. Finally returning to the jeep, my GPS said 7.5mi total - a far cry from the food, water, and shoes that we had prepared for a 3.4mi roundtrip hike.

But its a price we were willing to pay for a new adventure within an hour of home.

Hope folks have a great weekend, and find some adventure of their own!

Last Used in 1868 - West Virginia by sam taylor

Last Used in 1868 - West Virginia

Good Tuesday Afternoon, and happy 2019 to everyone!

It was a fantastic break out here, I was able to totally disconnect from my phone, email, social media for a couple weeks and enjoy the downtime. That said, 2019 isn’t going to be great for downtime, and I’m not sure what that might mean for this little operation in the coming year.

I/we have a LOT on the table this year:

I am in the “defend the dissertation” part of a PhD program - the hard lift over the finish line - in economics, with a focus on West Virginia. I hope to be done (or near done) by the end of this Spring semester.

I’m getting married this coming summer, and have a wedding to plan and prepare (with some help).

My daughter starts high school this coming fall.

I started a new job in November 2018, and it has brought a lot of new responsibilities.

All of those are good things - but they also are stiff competition for the 24 hours I have in each day, and while I have petitioned to lengthen the day to 27 hours several times, that movement just hasn’t taken off :). That means that something probably will get less attention - and realistically, it’s going to be the time I put into this work. I still enjoy the work and conversing with you lovely folks - and I want that to stay true, so I will write when I have time and feel inspired, versus feeling like I “have to” - hope that y’all understand.

It also means that you are getting a preview of what a great deal of my thoughts (and thus, my topics) will be in the coming year. Family, kids, marriage, and the future of West Virginia. Hope that’s ok.

Hope you have a great rest of your week.

Today’s image is a detail of the Henry Clay Iron Furnace at Coopers Rock State Forest. The historian tells me that it was built in the 1830s, and was last used in 1868. Built by hand, it’s sat, unmaintained, for 150 years - almost as long as West Virginia has been a state. I loved the detail in the handcut stones on the corner, and the texture they show from all of that time.

Last Used in 1868 - West Virginia

2018 Top 9 by sam taylor


Good Friday Morning!

Today’s post will likely represent our closing number for 2018 (although I reserve the right to sit down with y’all if the urge strikes). It’s been an impactful year in many ways, but it has led to feeling a bit “stretched in too many directions”. That said, it has been incredible to have another year of talking with everyone and trying to share my vision and feeling about this place with folks.

A favorite Ansel Adams quote of mine is “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”, and while I can sometimes debate “significant”, I am satisfied with the images selected and represented here, as I feel like they represent the essentials of what I am trying to do with this work:

Present truthful images that represent my experiences in this wonderful, frustrating, and endlessly interesting place. Every one of these images is “as it was”, and I’m proud of that.

Look forward to talking with y’all in 2019, and hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, wonder, and love.

With gratitude,


Field Frost - West Virginia by sam taylor

Field Frost - West Virginia

Good Tuesday Morning, everyone.

I have to give credit to my friends for keeping my brain working and my ideas polished up. I had a conversation the other night about “does the world feel smaller” these days. To my friends, the answer seemed to be “no” - the world seems larger and more complicated than ever, and the chances to see it - to truly see it all - are getting further and further away.

To me, it seems the opposite. The world feels terribly small to me, that the ability to get away - to not be found, the ability to go and have an experience that is unique in a place, the ability to have a part of the world all to yourself, and to learn and experience it in a way that no one else can, is vanishing, and vanishing faster and faster every year, like a puddle drying up.

I feel like I see it everywhere - folks have written articles about how we all take the same travel photographs, folks talk about Green Bank like it’s a magical Shangri-La of a place, since it doesn’t have cell service or wireless internet (although it’s not clear how much longer that will be true).

Sometimes I can still find the feeling - this morning was one of them. Hiking through the fields with a heavy frost on, remembering the smell and feeling of many, many mornings like this on the farm - headed out to the woods, or to school, or to do work, but the feeling that I “knew” this place, and that there was a world full of these places.

So, readers - I would be curious - does the world feel larger, or smaller to you these days, and why?

Field Frost - West Virginia

Light Snow on Sugar Creek Mountain - West Virginia by sam taylor

Light Snow on Sugar Creek Mountain - West Virginia

Good Friday Morning!

Boy, am I ready for the end-of-year. I’m tired and stretched enough that I don’t know if I’m looking forward to any of the holiday stuff, or just simply being able to be “off” for a few days. 2018 was a big year of transition around these parts, and 2019 is looking like it is going to be more (maybe a lot more) of the same.

It was maybe one of our “worst” years ever, in terms of getting out to the woods and wilds, as so many things competed for the time. Many of them were good. Some of them were essential. But it still leaves me with a little bit of a sense of regret that I didn’t “do everything” the way I wanted to this year. All of that said, I do think we “did the best we could”.

This is an example of “the best we could”. We got brave, and after a nice Sunday lunch with my folks, Carmen and I decided we’d try to get into the mountains - never a guarantee this time of year - and find a little bit of green to break up the grey of the season. We had a lovely couple hour hike - not as much, or as adventurous as we normally like - but we were glad to squeeze it in, a welcome bit of nature therapy in what has been a pretty crazy fall.

Hope folks have a great weekend.

Light Snow on Sugar Creek Mountain - West Virginia

Frost on the Hood - West Virginia by sam taylor

Frost on the Hood - West Virginia

Good Morning!

We’ve talked about it before, but it’s a topic that doesn’t get old to me - the promise of the day.

I was talking with a friend over the weekend about how time seems to speed up the older you get. His take on it was that it’s because we lose the novelty of the world as we get older. Our brains get used to whats around us, and fills in the spaces. Most of the time we run in routines, same trip to work, same place for lunch, same things when we get home.

If he’s right, the way that we get the most out of our time - and feel like we get the most out of our time - is by doing things that break up those routines, or seeking out new experiences. This is counter to a lot of folks - they want to get to comfortable, as fast as possible.

I have to say, after a few days to think on it, I think he’s right. Trying new things, learning new things, seeing new things, all of those are what fill-out a life - and maybe help to make it feel like it isn’t just rushing past us. I’m not sure, but that feels like a “New Years Resolution” in the making, if ever I heard one.

Today’s image from a super cold, super early morning, where we made a memory before breakfast, and then had a full day to boot. (oh yeah, the title - you can actually see frost on the lens hood in this image. It was COLD :) )

Frost on the Hood - West Virginia

Shared Interests - West Virginia by sam taylor

Shared Interests - West Virginia

Good Friday Morning!

We talk about a lot of topics here - travel, politics, gear. Today’s note inspired by a conversation that Carmen and I were having this week about “what makes relationships work” - or not work - depending on the moment.

What makes a relationship work… Well, this is the kind of thing that will get as many answers as there are people answering it, but I’ll go for a few that I think have some universal truth.

A big one for us is mutual respect, and acting in a way that is deserving of respect. You can’t belittle or degrade your partner, and then bow up when they don’t seem to respect or value what you have to say. If neither of you are going to respect each other, then why be in the relationship in the first place?

A second big one is open and clear communication. A lot of times, folks get into this mode of not talking to each other - your partner should “just know” what’s wrong, or under your skin. I personally prefer almost blunt conversation, versus hinting around. You want me home at a certain time, say so. Unhappy that I ate the last yogurt? Say so. I’m being a bit simplistic here, but actually saying what you mean, and (in corollary to mutual respect) mean what you say. Save the passive-aggressive, baiting-for-a-fight-stuff for someone else. Or the comments section on the internet.

Last but not least, having some shared interests is HUGE for us - and I mean deeper than just the kids and family. Is there something that you can do as a couple and enjoy each other’s company? Do you love movies? Read similar books? I always find couples that lead totally separate lives very sad, only intersecting around the kids school projects or over the dinner table. That all said, shared interests won’t make it if the things above aren’t there too. I’ve known a lot of “adventure couples” that ultimately didn’t make it, because while they might both love climbing, they were hateful or dismissive of each other otherwise.

Why this topic today? Because this shot is the product of the “good” parts of this. I told Carmen I had the idea for this shot a few weeks in advance, and it meant getting up at 5am on a 20F morning, hiking in the dark, and hanging out in the cold with only a thermos of coffee between us - and somehow, we managed to remain sweet on each other, not hogging the coffee, and not getting grumpy in the early cold - and it meant a lot to me that she would want to come for this, getting up out of bed for a cold sunrise, when she could have stayed in bed, or snuggled up on the couch. From a recent early morning over Cheat Canyon.

Shared Interests - West Virginia

You Can Only See So Far - West Virginia by sam taylor

You Can Only See So Far - West Virginia

‘Tis the season for retrospection and introspection.

This always seems to be the season where I look back on the year, and try to figure out where I’m going in the next year.

When I was younger - in my 20s, say - I would have “5 year plans”, and it felt good to be thinking about where I wanted to be going. The catch? Literally none, not one, of those 5-year plans worked out the way I thought they would. My job, having kids, getting married, getting divorced, moving away, moving back. None of it happened according to plan.

For a long time, this was terribly stressful to me - I wasn’t measuring up, I wasn’t sure I was going where I wanted to go. As I got older, I started to change the question - was I living the life I wanted to live? Am I prioritizing the way I want to?

So, today, I think about the future. I have dreams. But I’ve changed how I think about achieving them. Am I making the right moves? Not “Am I on schedule”.

Because at the end, you can only see so far.

Today’s image from a farm, long abandoned, on a road, long passed by, standing in a fog bank.

You Can Only See So Far - West Virginia

One Glorious Day - West Virginia by sam taylor

One Glorious Day - West Virginia

Good Friday Morning!

We’re nearing the end of the fall-glory part of our year. It’s already snowed here in Morgantown, and the ramp-up to the holidays is in full swing.

Today’s image from one of those ephemerally short “perfect” fall days - the kind that you better be off your couch and searching for, or they will pass you by - gone until the next year.

We had started the weekend working our way south, and already the leaves were gone in the overlooks and high places, but we know this place - and we know that in the sheltered valleys and warmer places, the color might still be with us. As we made our way down along this creek, we realized that we had made a good call - and gotten lucky at the same time.

It was beautiful. Dreamlike. The yellow leaves were falling and blowing like snow, or flower petals, on a warm breeze above the rushing water. Every time the wind would pick up, they would fall and swirl, and the “smell of fall” was strong in the air. Carmen and I stood there, talking about our year and how it was perfect to be in the moment, in that place, just soaking it it - knowing there was literally nowhere in this world that could be better than what we were seeing and experiencing in that moment. That we had this one, glorious day - perfect - to last us until next year.

Hope folks are enjoying the holiday weekend (and don’t forget to support the locals tomorrow on Small Business Saturday!).

One Glorious Day - West Virginia

25% off - Small Business Saturday! by sam taylor

Like A Technicolor Dream - West Virginia

Hi Gang!

We are a small business, and y’all have been great to us for years now. As a small gesture, take 25% off any order as part of Small Business Saturday, using code STPSALE in our store (or send us an email).

If you have something that you really, really want by Christmas, we need your order by 12/28 to make sure we can get it ready.

Sale starts 5:30pm on Thursday, 11/22, just in time for your post-dinner surfing and football watching. :)

Hope folks have a great holiday.

Valley Falls (Autumn 2018) - West Virginia by sam taylor

Valley Falls (Fall 2018) - West Virginia

Good Thursday Morning!

This is a story about perseverance. Perseverance and luck. And learning.

About 10 years ago, I bought what I thought was a “good” digital camera. A point and shoot Canon A640, 10 mega pixels, and at first I used it the way most people use their cameras. Taking pictures at birthday parties, smiling faces standing on the beach, new cars. Then I decided that I wanted to learn how to take Photographs, not snapshots. I started learning how to use the manual modes on that little guy, I started to figure out how ISO, Aperture, and Time worked in creating images.

And I went to Valley Falls a lot - my daughter loved the playground and the rocks, and I loved the variation in scenery - rocks, water, trees. I learned the basics of waterfall photography there on that little point and shoot. After that first success in the technique, I tried, over and over, to get an image of the falls that I truly liked. I got some I liked better than others, but there were so many that I thought fell short.

Over the years, I returned. I got better gear (but stuck with Canon). I learned about my gear.  I kept trying, and some were better than others, but I never took one that felt like a “signature” image of Valley Falls.

And then this year, we went down on a wet, overcast, fall day, and it seemed like this was my chance. 10 years of trying, and learning, and trying some more.

And I came home with what is my personal favorite capture of Valley Falls.

Does that mean I won’t return to try again? No. I’ll be back, to try again.

But at least I can see the progress.

Hope y’all have a great weekend.

Valley Falls (Autumn 2018) - West Virginia

The Back Way - West Virginia by sam taylor

The Back Way - West Virginia

Good Tuesday Morning!

A lot of thoughts on my mind today, as I can see the upcoming year being one of seismic change for me - and that’s if things go according to plan. I have thoughts on art and the work we do here, and what “authenticity” means in the era of “fake news” and “alternative facts” and digital manipulation. I have thoughts on culture, education, and how these things must be addressed if we want this little part of the world to be the best it can be.

Maybe we’ll get into all of these over the winter months, where we have to make up for the fact that the world is grey and dark with a bit more thought-provoking content.

Today, I just want to remind folks that sometimes - often, matter of fact - simpler is better. Today’s image is not about how to make your dog an “instagram influencer” or about the perils of AI. Today’s image is about taking the back way. The slow road. About seeing the beauty that lives everywhere around us, whether or not folks are “liking and commenting”, or charging admission, or trying to put a posted sign up and a fence around it to keep everyone else out.

Hope folks have a great week.

The Back Way - West Virginia

Halfway There - West Virginia by sam taylor

Halfway There - West Virginia

Holy crap it’s early. Still dark. Cold. And I am very comfortable under the blankets (Carmen adding some warmth isn’t hurting either).

We had set the alarms last night, knowing it would be early, but we have talked about wanting to experience sunrise here pretty much since the first time we saw this place. It had been clear last night, but leaning my head out I see fog, and think some more about how it is really warm under those blankets. But, the excitement wins out, and we roll out into the darkness.

Carmen has a camp stove and kit to make coffee, we both have headlamps, and noting the “bears frequent this area” sign we head into the woods singing made-up songs:

We are singing!

So the bears

Do not freak out.

We are singing!

So the bears

Know we are here

As we round the corner for the overlook, the glow is already lighting up the ground to where we don’t need the headlamps, and…


I stop, put my gear down, and stand in awe of what I am seeing. A rolling sea of clouds, with islands - mountaintops - peeking through them. A crescent moon rising in the pre-dawn, stars visible high in the sky. It literally brings a quick tear to my eye - this is where I live. This is home. I am here, in this moment, and no one other than us will ever see exactly this moment ever again.

I hope folks have a great weekend, and you seize the moments given to you.

Halfway There - West Virginia

Water, Rocks, Leaves - Maryland by sam taylor

Water Rocks Leaves - Maryland

Happy Election Day Tuesday!

This season was a bit of a slow burn - it held on green a lot later than I expected, then when it happened, it happened everywhere, all at once. It also has been a somewhat wet fall, and while that usually doesn’t suit us very well, it has meant spectacular conditions for this type of shot - water, rocks, and leaves.

Our falls are usually the “dry season” in West Virginia, so folks tend to congregate and shoot the same places, over and over. Carmen and I made it a stated mission to not go (or shoot) to the Glade Creek Mill (Babcock) or Dolly Sods this year, but instead, see if we could fill the portfolio with off-the-track beauty that is every bit as good - and a lot less crowded.

Today’s image from the site of the long-extinct town of Schell, WV and Maryland. From what we can tell, Schell was a town on both sides of the Potomac River, established in the late 1880s. Today, the road (and some bridge remnants) still exist, and you can see where the earth has been moved for… something, but that’s it. And on this day, we had this beautiful place - accessible by car, and roughly an hour from Morgantown, all to ourselves.

That beats the crowds any day, in my book.

Water, Rocks, Leaves - Maryland

Top of Cranberry - West Virginia by sam taylor

Top of Cranberry - West Virginia

Good Friday Morning!

I had a great opportunity to lecture a class here at WVU this week - “Art and Environment”, where I got to speak to a class of up and coming photographers at the College of Creative Arts. It was a rare moment where I got to talk about the intersection of my passions - West Virginia, photography, what makes a good image, and then about the people, economy, our relationship with energy and industry, and the environment.

I got to talk about how West Virginia isn’t poverty porn - or the tourist book. I got to talk about how, as artists, I believe that we have a responsibility to tell the stories of this place and our experience with it, and not just take “pretty pictures”. I got to talk about how none of our challenges are easy - brain drain, the future of energy in the state, how we make good decisions going forward. I got to talk about how if anyone tells they have the “silver bullet” to our challenges, they either don’t know - or are trying to sell you something.

All in all, it was an incredible opportunity, and I’m glad folks thought of me for it.

Today’s image more from “the tourist book”, from before my recent trip to China (and thus explaining all the green). This was from way on top of the Cranberry River (closer to the Glades), and had me mesmerized in the beauty of the place. This is one of those spots like those mentioned in “The Last Forest” - crisp mountain water running under the trees, looking for a brook trout, and joyous that there are places like this left in the world.

Hope folks have a great weekend!

Top Of Cranberry - West Virginia

The Green Light - West Virginia by sam taylor


A bit of a strange one today. Folks that are regulars to this page know that we spend a lot of time in the woods and mountains, and that has been true for me going back to my childhood. Sometimes, we see or experience things we can’t totally explain.

As a kid, I remember being out sleigh riding by myself down into the woods, and felt sure I was seeing something moving parallel to me in the woods as I hiked out - trying to move quickly, but not too quickly back to the house. I had a scary day hiking the Scenic Highway with my friend John, and hearing what sounded like a party, or a group of voices far off into the woods while we sat, exhausted, on a guardrail in the middle of the night after a horrendous weather day hiking. I’ve felt unexplained dread in my tent in the middle of the night, clutching my hatchet to my chest and trying to will my hearing a little further into the dark.

Lately, it’s been lights. Strange lights, green lights, in places with no roads or houses. Lights that don’t look like campfires or headlamps, but have a hue to them that is so compelling that I’ve felt compelled to try to walk to them, through the dark even though it makes no sense.

I usually write these posts a few days in advance, and today’s is no exception. This image from a recent trip that took us along that old-old Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, and past a long-forgotten Civil War Battlefield on our way to camp.

These lights were not as bright to the naked eye, but a long exposure in the dark revealed this. I’m hoping to get back up there this week and maybe get a little closer.

Hope folks have a great week,

The Green Light - West Virginia

A Hazy, Pleasant, Memory - West Virginia by sam taylor

A Hazy Pleasant Memory - West Virginia

Good Friday Morning!

Time is funny. Rolling on the backroads with Carmen, we started thinking about how it seems “just like yesterday” that we were first taking the old 4x4 out to chase fall leaves and scenery and adventure, but it was now at least 5 years. 5 years is a long time, and we can weave a tapestry of “remember that one day” across a great part of this beautiful country - but it always feels surprising to visit somewhere and realize that it’s been a couple of years since you’ve been there.

This is becoming an annual tradition for us - we take a tour of the state, ticking between low country and high country - visiting places that we’ve noticed in the years past as either being nice, or “could really be nice” if we catch it at the right time. So we have lots of memories of being in the moment, rolling, some small-town radio station on in the background, trying to figure out how to connect this one-lane road to the next one. And virtually all of those memories are good, even when we were getting our butt kicked by bad weather, or drive up into the mountains to find the leaves going from green-to-brown, or hit someplace and realize that we are a week late. Why? Because we remember the good parts, or the laughing at our bad luck, or the eternal optimism that “we’ll get it next year.”

Hopefully, this day - where we caught the sunrise on a mountaintop looking down at the clouds, then came here for early morning sun and breakfast, before a full day of playing in the Indian Summer part of the fall, will slot right in there. A Hazy, Pleasant, Memory that we keep for a long time to come.

A Hazy, Pleasant, Memory - West Virginia

The Old Ways - West Virginia by sam taylor

The Old Ways - West Virginia

Good Tuesday Morning -

A thought I always have while roaming the backroads and old grades and trails of West Virginia is how fast this place reclaims it's history, but how delicate it can be to those changes. I am a huge fan of the book "The Last Forest" by G.D. McNeill - this book is set initially in the 1880s, when the old-growth forest still dominated this state, and he tells tales about fishing for trout and hiking and camping the mountains near where I grew up - along the Cranberry and Williams Rivers. The book ends 50 years later, with the virgin forest utterly destroyed, and the men that had grown up there surveying the destruction.

Reading through that book, McNeill talks about camping in the spruce forests before the timber era, bed down on the moss, staring at the stars.

It's hard to imagine, looking out at the forests of today, but of roughly 10 million acres of virgin forest in West Virginia, only 263 acres remain - at Gaudineer Scenic Area and in Cathedral State Park. That means that just about anywhere you go in the state - someone has been there before.

Today's image is a call-back to McNeill. Camped out in a hemlock grove, feeling the moss and the soft needles in the understory, watching the stars wheeling through the sky above, and trying to imagine what it would have been like, and wondering who might have slept in this spot before, over the long arch of time.

The Old Ways - West Virginia

Taking Breath - West Virginia by sam taylor

Taking Breath - West Virginia

Good Friday Morning - 

I've been trying to be a bit conscious about any "political leaning" posts lately.  The tone and tenor of just about every discussion of late has been tense - friends and family going at each other, not over political differences anymore, but about the core of whether the people we are surrounded by are "good". Do they truly care about their fellow men and women? Do they have empathy for folks around them, for folks that may have a different but equally hard life? Or are they “screw you, I’m fine” - or even worse “screw you, you don’t have it so bad”. It’s tough - having these fundamental questions about the character, the morals, of people we know, people we feel close to.

In a sense, that is part of why we have felt more motivated than normal to disappear to the mountains, keeping our own company, because trust is low.  

What does this have to do with today's photo?  We talk about West Virginia having "breathtaking scenery", and so far this fall, it has been no exception.  The combination of changing leaves and storms has made this fall one of the most serene and beautiful seasons I've seen in a while - which has given us a chance to escape the noise, and the rancor, and the worry about being "let down" by people.  We get a chance to take a breath, be with each other, and know that we are pulling this load together.

Hope y'all have a lovely weekend.

Taking Breath - West Virginia