West Virginia - is it the heat or the humidity?

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We are hoping to re locate to WV (charleston - hurricane - ripley areas)from the prairies (Alberta Canada). We are very active with our horses and outdoor recreation I have been watching the weather on internet sites and this year noticed humidity mentioned - is it always humid in WV summers? what areas are best for ridding without angry insects? ALSO - what areas are more horsey? Thanks in advance

-- Stefanie s (tmpaso@telusplanet.net), July 16, 2001


Stefanie< We just moved from WV back to our home state on Indiana. We were there for 5 years doing missionary work in the foothills of the Appalachain Mtns. We were west of Charleston in the Huntington area at the foothills. The weather there is mild the 5 years we lived there very rarely did you need a heavy coat to do outside chores a jacket or heavy hand knit sweater was usually enough we had maybe 3 days each year where the temp got below freezing. The summer was very, very humid we owned 140 acres 3 mountains, about 40 acres of (flat land) for hay, crops etc. Very rarely did enough wind blow to move my wind chimes even though I tried several locations and because there was a creek nearby and the mountains enclosed us on all four sides there was always a lot, alot, alot of humidity. The country side was beautiful and the land is priced good. Be sure to check about mineral rights if you decide to buy there. Most of the the rights were bought up just after the Civil war. This would give the owner of the rights the right to come on your property and coal mine, drill for oil, take gold from the ground whatever the only rights you would have would be water. We were not even able to find out who owned the rights on our property. When we started asking questions about mineral rights the local people seems confused and wanted to know what difference it made who owned the mineral rights. If coal, gold or oil or whatever is on your property wouldn't you rather benefit from it's sale than a mega company? We were there on direction from the Lord and were much relieved when we were released by the Lord to return to our home state of Indiana. In the area where we lived the people were not friendly with outsiders they would be helpful. And told us you were not from WV until 2 generations lived there. However we did meet some wonderful people while there. We raised sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, guineas, peacocks, cats, and border collies. We had no problems with predators except the owls took off with some of the cats or at least we think it was owls. If the property you are interested in includeds mountian side be aware that there may not be much vegetation for the horses to eat unless the mountianside has been clearcut. Well that's my 2 cents for what it's worth. Buyer beware is my last caution. Linda in Indy

-- Linda in Indy (peacefulvalley3@yahoo.com), July 16, 2001.

It is very hot and humid in WV in the summers. It is not unusual for it to be 85% humidity. Winters have become milder, but there is still plenty of snow for skiing. Mineral rights are not owned by landowners in WV in the majority of the cases. Who got the royalty check is less important than whether your property has ever been undermined. 'Surface owners' have rights too. There are state agencies and local lawyers to help you with this negotiation with companies who want minerals from your property. I was hot under the collar when the gas company came to drill. Now I realize my benefits are pretty good and outweighed the hassle with the company. We get all the free gas we can use. Its all in how you see it.

Our property is open to sky and mostly level. Look around and you can find the right place for you. There are horsey folks all over. Lots of local fairs and festivals. Though outsiders have to earn the trust of the natives, it isn't much different than anywhere else. I will say that a good number of WV residents like their privacy (over 53% have caller id installed on their phone line). So if someone were to come as a missionary, they might be rebuked just because we prefer not to be preached to or told what is best.

As far as angry insects go, ticks are a great issue and chiggers in some parts of the state.

Other things to know about living here include flooding (seen the latest news reports?), difficult access to health care in isolated communities, low cost of living, lots of extension service and other agricultural support-including an active sustainable farming group, and the fact that many areas are within 2 to 4 hours of a metro area. I live within 1 1/2 hours drive to Pittsburgh, PA and under 4 hours to Washington, DC, its 2 hours to my state capitol in Charleston.

There is more ethnic diversity in the college towns and larger cities.There is an active homeschooling network as well.

Lots of luck to you. Call 1-800-CALL WVA for free information on our state.

-- Anne (HealthyTouch101@wildmail.com), July 16, 2001.

Stefanie, if you stay in the northern Potomac Highland areas, like Preston, Monongelia, and Tucker counties, you will have lower humidity and strong breezes and wind most all summer, also, no mosquitoes, and very few black flies and deerflies. The area around the Ohio and Kanawha rivers are notorious for high humidity and mosquitoes and deerflies, and FLOODING! I would definitely recommend these areas since you are coming off the high prairies, and, like Anne said, there are all kinds of "horsey folk" all over WV.

United National Realty has a website, www.unitedcountry.com , I would go there and access the Hundred WV area, and request the above mentioned counties for available property.

I have relatives in Aurora WV in Preston county, and am familair with that area specifically.

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (annie@1st.net), July 16, 2001.

West Virginia is humid in summer, but not any more humid than anywhere else on the east coast. It's our great blessing (and one of our curses) to have abundant rainfall east of the Mississippi, giving us great forage & crop growing opportunities for livestock, as well as making hay production very interesting at times. It's quite different from out west.

But West Virginia is no worse than the rest of the east coast.

And the natives are quite insular. They particularly dislike outsiders who make it a point to tell them how they are doing things wrong. And they really dislike the sort of folks to try to exploit the natives financially, based on the myth that West Virginians are stupid.

Treat them as if they were Frenchmen, with their own ancient and valued culture, and you'll have it in one.

And if you're humble, and respectful, and go out of your way to really help your neighbors (not just look like you're helping), they'll respond in kind.

-- Julia (charmer24@juno.com), July 16, 2001.

Hi Stefanie,,,,WV is a wonderfu State,,,very beautiful,,like our slogan,,,"Almost Heaven",,but it is very humid,and it is "always humid" during the summer.And insects galore!,,,Everywhere I have rode horses, there are insects to deal with. A person gets used to it and prepares..I put insect repellant on my horses, as well as my self,,like "Off" for mosquitos. Deer flys and horse flys are bothersome.But you can 't get away from them pesty bugs in WV. Our humidity is what keeps WV a green and lush State,,but the draw-back of course is that "bugs" thrive on it.

Don't know which part of WV is most "horsey" but there are horse lovers all over WV. In Barbour CO. there are many horse activities and in Southern WV as well.***In my experience most folks in WV are very friendly. Most are friendly to strangers,,of course there are exceptions. We have a "private" nature,,due to various circumstances..don't like intrusion. However,that doesn't mean we don't like company. If approached in a respectful and mannerly way,, (like anyone should be)folks are very friendly,,invite you to eat or give you gifts of fruit or veggies or flowers to take home, offer you a refreshing drink. There are some "mean" turned folks in WV. They might 'sic' their dogs on ya or get out their shotgun,,,one just has to learn to discern various neighbors.

I moved West 12 years ago for personal reasons,,but am planning on moving back to WV in the next year or two. Sure miss my home State.

Hope things work out good for you and don't let anyone scare you off from moving to WV,,you will love it once you get used to it. Avoid the flood areas,,do lots of research,,you will find the right place for you. Take care,,,Patsy,,,,

-- Patsy J (cozyhollow-gal@care2.com), July 17, 2001.

Hi, My husband and I have an 80 acre farm near Grassy Meadows in Greenbrier County. We have two horses. I LOVE it in West Virginia. My husband is from Parkersburg and I'm stuck in Michigan right now, trying to sell this house. I work outside all year and am not bothered by bugs. I do put those mess things over the horses heads to keep the flies out of their eyes. We're about 90 miles east of Charleston, 5 miles south of 64. Warmest Regards, Suzi Nutter

-- Suzi Nutter (thangka@earthlink.net), December 22, 2001.

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