Don Kesner

Or in this case, Canaan Valley, located in beautiful West Virginia. Other than the spelling there are very few similarities to the Canaan Land mentioned in the Bible.

The Biblical Canaan was said to be a beautiful place as well, describing it as a place that flows with milk and honey. Come to think of it, my wife said this past week that she did see a flatbed truck go by with a load of beehives on the back.

We visited the area with 13 additional family members and friends and spent from Wednesday till Sunday in a beautiful 7-bedroom rented home.

It was Thursday that we decided to take a cruise around the area, everyone carpooling into four different vehicles. It seemed somewhat appropriate to go cruising since we were visiting Canaan as an alternative to a defunct cruise we had scheduled for this past June.

Our sights were set on the beautiful islands of Bermuda and the Bahamas along with Nassau but that was before COVID made its appearance. Needless to say, that put a halt to our seafaring plans. And so we settled together in Canaan.

Back to our cruising the roads around Canaan, we decided to take a trip to a lovely place called Dolly Sods. We found a turnoff that was to take us to the promised land in this case but little did we know just how much of Dolly Sods we would be privileged to see.

The further we drove the more narrow the road became and the slower we were forced to drive. Equally as disconcerting was that the road, should I say “lane,” went from hard cap to a very uneven dirt road. Our excursion took us up mountains where drop offs on our side would make even the most seasoned traveler a little nervous at times. It also became obvious that what appeared to be a one-lane, one-way dirt road wasn’t one-way at all.

This new twist added on having to drive very slowly around the many turns that there were in this particular roadway.  We decided that we had already gone too far to turn back so like the Israelites in the wilderness, we decided to press on.  Besides we didn’t know whether our destination was two miles ahead or 20 miles ahead. I think it turned out to be more like 20 very slow miles.

To our advantage, the leaves were beginning to change to a nice yellow and orange mixture coupled with some summer green still hanging on.

I must admit that I was beginning to feel a little like the Israelites wandering around in a wilderness, not knowing where they were or where they were going to end up. And the worse part, not having any idea as to how long this wilderness journey would take. All I could think of was 40 years — it took the Israelites 40 long years to finally find their way out of their wilderness journey. I think it was about that time that I began to pray.

Every vehicle(s) that came toward us had a tendency to create a traffic jam with our four cars plus the additional sightseers that had joined in our miniature convoy.

We did eventually get into the area I recognized as being Dolly Sods. It felt good to feel like being back in civilization again, not that the road was any better. But there were at least numerous people parked along the roadway, some getting ready to go on a hike, others apparently just returning from one.  We still had a ways to go to get back onto a paved road I must say, now that it’s over, it was well worth the ride through some beautiful West Virginia country side.  It’s amazing to grow up and live not far from places like Dolly Sods, Seneca, Blackwater Falls and some of the most beautiful scenery that God ever created and have to have some special occasion to get out and see it. Just the fact that it’s there, that it can be seen at very little cost in many cases should be reason enough.

I find it literally impossible to visit such scenic areas and not believe there is a God. The Bible even tells us that the earth itself declares God’s handiwork.

If there is anything good that has come out of COVID-19, it has slowed us down some and taught us to take time to realize what is important again. The time spent last week with my wife’s family and taking time to just slow down a little and breathe in some of West Virginia’s cool mountain air.

We spent a few days in Canaan but one could easily take in its breathtaking scenery in a one-day trip.

So if you are looking for something to get you out of the house that doesn’t cost an arm and leg to take a family to, “Go West, young man, go west.”

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