Greg’s Adventurous Trip To Pocahontas County

Dunmore, WV – I set out for the three hour drive to my new place of work, WVMR Studios in Pocahontas County. After a quick fill up at the gas station, I plugged the address into my GPS, turned onto to I-79 and tuned the radio to my local public radio station. Within minutes, I heard the mildly foreboding news.

Pocahontas County Schools were on a two-hour delay.

Now, being the eternal optimist, I figured the salt trucks and snow plows would be hitting the roads within minutes, clearing a path for me and making my trip a bit easier.

After a few hours on the open road, I passed a large sign welcoming me to the county. I fiddled with the radio tuner until it landed on 1370 AM. This time, the news was much more ominous. Pocahontas County Schools were closed for the day.

The thing is, the roads didn’t look too bad. Sure, they were a bit slushy and had cinders here and there, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. So, I barreled through, following the invisible finger of the small GPS unit. The thin slush soon turned blacker and thicker, saturated with the cinders of a hundred area salt trucks.

Manageable, I thought. I had seen roads like this every winter. And I knew if I strayed from the path of the GPS like I had before, I would end up lost again on the winding back roads around Dunmore.

I had to stay the course.

I did so even when the navigation told me to go over winding, blanketed Back Mountain Road instead of a clearer, more direct route. Already late for my first day of work and with no hope of finding cell phone service to alert anyone of my situation, I had nothing to do except continue to blindly trust the GPS.

It took me to another fork with similar road conditions and directed mo once again down the worse of the two paths. I continued a few miles up the hill until a met a boulder that nearly blocked me from continuing. Knowing that I couldn’t turn around at that spot or back down the 2 miles of snow-crusted road, I decided to squeeze past the rock and find a place to turn.

Thankfully, it was only a fraction of a mile before I found a wide enough spot. After a few minutes, I managed to get turned back down the hill. After a bit of sliding, I realized how high I had climbed. My fingers tightened on the wheel, but after a few minutes, I emerged basically unscathed.

It turns out that the clear road I had declined was the road I should have taken in the first place.

I arrived at the station, frazzled and nearly 45 minutes late. I grabbed a cup of coffee and had a few words with Gibbs about the day’s adventure. We both had a laugh, and his grin twisted a bit when an idea struck him. He said, “write about it. It can be your first assignment.”

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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