The Gauley River winds it’s way through the hills past the painted sandstone cliffs of Gad, West Virginia. But the river is under the lake even at winter pool. I stand on the end of the cement block which serves as a dock on the last portion of the road that once Followed McKee”s Creek. Prior to the lake this was the main road through farmland below the high cliffs. I would have loved to see it in its heyday but it was flooded two years before I was born. I’ve been told that it was like a storybook with rolling hills and green pastures. There’s pictures online of the quaint general store which also functioned as a post office. Everyone is on horseback in that picture. I do remember when the bridge in tonight’s feature image was only two lanes. That was before they rerouted the highway and in the place where cars and trucks now travel at eighty miles per hour I rode a horse myself. That was the big draw for the local in. You could ride horses all the way to the lake. There was time to actually experience life when we moved slower. I often wonder if there’s an inverse relationship between the speed of travel and the quality of life. A kayak came gliding in while I was reviewing the pictures of the lake and bridge and lady who was in it seemed so much happier than the guys in the speedboat that had left a few minutes prior. In fact she didn’t stop smiling until she loaded her craft into a truck and drove away.
When I was a kid camping on the edge of the lake we used to tell ghost stories about the people who are still buried in sunken graves under the water. Today I believe that the spirit of Gad is real but it’s a feeling of peace that comes with a slower pace. The real unsettled spirits are the ones who race about on the concrete above the water.
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