Camping with new friends in West Virginia

Every year, summer goes in the blink of an eye. A few weeks ago, while the weather was still warm and sunny, I went camping at Blue Hole in West Virginia to soak up the last few days of summer. With a few friends from Franciscan University, we found this campsite to be extremely unique, hidden away in the hills of WV. Blue Hole lies approximately two hours from Steubenville, Ohio. If you ever find yourself adventuring to this nook of the country, prepare for a bumpy and rocky drive as you near the campsite. That being said, a vehicle low to the ground would not suffice for the rocky dirt road we drove on for the last thirty minutes of our ride. Blue Hole features a beautiful, clear, and incredibly blue river, small cliffs to jump off of, free unlimited camping, and a large iron bridge that allows for a thrilling sixty-five foot jump. I personally brought a long rope with the hope of making a rope swing while we were all there. To say the least, we had no idea what the day had in store for us. Providentially, we went to Blue Hole at the perfect time. As I carried my flimsy rope to the bridge, my friend Mirriam and I, met Dylan and Jake: two guys who knew how to have some fun. Fortunately, they both had been to Blue Hole many times before and knew the ins and outs of the location. They basically told us: "Don't worry, we have the whole setup ready for you all today - two rope swings and a trampoline, we are going to have a blast today." On that note, I put my rope away and Miriam and I went back to our group to tell them our good news. Thanks to Dylan, Jake, and a couple of adventurous, poor college students, we had an amazing weekend.

 

Richy was one of the biggest highlights from our weekend. A young hitchhiker who had been living out of his tent for the past few weeks, was enjoying his stay at Blue Hole. We invited him to move his tent to our spot and spend the evening with us. He was incredibly friendly and the fact that he was able to eat some of our “real” food was awesome. We invited him to pray with us, and it was moving to see that he embraced it and seemed interested in my friend Jeremy's explanation as to why we pray. I felt as if we, as Christian’s, set an example of faith for him which brought about some joy to his life.

 

 

In the video above, Dylan and Jake are the two guys who do most of the flips. Dylan mentioned to me that he was going camping and cliff jumping the following weekend at Summersville Lake. I had seen pictures and videos of Summersville and knew it was a spectacular place. Having this in the back of my mind, I did my best to create a captivating video of Blue Hole (while secretly hoping to get an invite to Summersville).  

Turned out, my plan worked. Dylan loved the video and managed to get me a spot at their campsite for the next weekend. My buddy, Ben Jacobs and I headed almost four hours away to Summersville Lake with no idea what to expect. After unpacking our belongings and setting up our tent, we ended up on a pontoon boat on a beautiful, clean, and massive lake. Dylan, his friend Cody, and both of their girlfriends could not have been more friendly. The weekend continuously got better. After two full days on the lake we sadly had to head back to school. It truly felt like a vacation. Peep these visuals below :) 

 

 

I hope you enjoy these photos and videos! I highly recommend both locations for camping, climbing, hiking, exploring, and cliff jumping. Check out this video below. Dylan and Cody did some awesome flips. Ben Jacobs threw down some clean front flips as well. Thanks Dlyan for the invite and thanks Cody and Troy for having us on your boats. 

 

Martin Jernberg