Oh, West Virginia. What a weird state you are. The people, the weather, the Internet. If you have Verizon, forget about traveling here. The second we drove over the border from Pennsylvania, my service went from full bars and LTE to Extended 1x. I’ve made way too many trips to the laundromat and the McDonald’s down the street to answer mail and upload content for my devoted 24 blog followers and 86 YouTube subscribers.
Seriously, I am sitting in a cracked booth in a run down McDonald’s right now, clicking away while the scent of soggy french fries and overweight meth addicts wafts through the air. I’m not joking. I think 90% of this towns population is on drugs. Just this town though, the rest of the state has been pretty cool and so have the people.
I don’t really have anything profound or life-changing to write for you guys. Honestly, since I started publicizing my blog more, I have felt a lot of pressure to write about every single state rather than writing what I want to write and when I want to write it. Something I am struggling with because, to be honest, nothing noteworthy or mind blowing happened while we were here.
I didn’t even catch a fish. Not a single one. I went fishing twice and the first day, I had four fish on that I couldn’t land and the second day, I was so focused on not flipping my kayak in the baby rapids that I didn’t really try to catch fish. I did use a bait caster for the first time though without instruction and did pretty well. The guys told me the one I was using isn’t considered “light tackle” so when I try to cast a normal sized one, I’m probably going to get a lot of backlash and screw up the rod and reel. Sorry in advance, Rob.
I did see a pig though. A real porker. Ha. No really though, it was huge. And I held one of Rob’s fish — a Wiper (seen below). (Striper + White Bass = Wiper). I filleted the two Walleye they caught out of the Ohio River with a Bubba Blade and somehow managed to do it really well given the nature of the knife. We were advised by the campground owners not to eat any of the fish caught there, but guys being guys, they devoured it and me being the fish-hating individual I am, didn’t try a single bite. I still ended up throwing up most of the night, though. I think it was the plastic-fueled smoke from the fire. I inhaled way too much of it, and almost sat on a needle, but I was cold so I sucked it up and paid for it later.
I was thinking about this the other day — If fish from the ocean is called seafood, what is fish from fresh water called? I can’t call Walleye seafood because it came out of a river but is it considered seafood? Things I wonder when I don’t have access to the Internet.
I am going to google it. Hold on.
Alright, here we go. It’s been solved.
The Interwebs have concluded that fresh water fish is not classified as seafood. Seafood is anything that comes out of the sea and is deemed edible by humans. But, in grocery stores and restaurants, most freshwater fish, like Salmon and Tilapia, can be found in the seafood section. Why? For simplicity purposes, but for correct terminology purposes, it would be solely considered as “fish.” Not only is their habitat different but their overall chemical makeup is different as well.. For example, fish found in saltwater and fish found in freshwater contain different levels of omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients, with saltwater fish containing more heart-healthy nutrients than freshwater. Conclusion? Saltwater fish are healthier than freshwater fish and freshwater fish are just fish, not seafood. Mind blown.
Moral of, West Virginia was not as exciting I had hoped. But a lot of exciting things happened. Joe, Nick, Rob and I made a hobo fire on the edge of the Ohio River, used broken driftwood to melt cheese and crackers from Rob’s “adult lunchable” for dinner and hiked over a mile back to our cars in the middle of the night on train tracks.
I did my first river float in the kayak with Rob and Nate, learned how to throw a bait caster on my own, watched Rob catch his first ever, non-hybrid Musky and met Nate’s fiance, Lauren, the day he proposed to her.
I say it almost every time we leave another state, it’s never the state that amazes me. It’s all the people we meet along the way. And even though we ran into some crazy, redneck, banjo playing, hill people, it’s all an adventure in itself and one I wouldn’t change for the world.
Except for the Internet. I would change that.