Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia

Only 5 days remaining in the school year. My summer break is going to be so lit!

Let's Boogie

Summer sixteen is going to fly by, so I needed to get a jump start as the school year comes to an end.  First on my travel list was a trip to spend time with my 91 year old Grandma in Madison, WV.

She knows I love to run, and I knew she wouldn’t mind if I dipped off to a race.  I found the Poca River Run 15K and the Smart 5.29K Run going on the same day.  My post marathon runs have been less than 5 miles, and I was not willing to jump to 9 miles so soon.  Plus, the Smart 5.29K Run was for a good cause.  All the proceeds go towards children who transition from foster care and need funds for college.

In Kentucky, children who are in foster care for any amount of time automatically receive four free years of college as long as they attend a school in the Commonwealth.  According to the State Treasurer, John Perdue, only 2% of WV foster kids make it to college.

The race was held at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, WV.

The down and back course went through the small warehouse district, up a small incline on Morris Street, and ran parallel to I-64 East.  We passed the University of Charleston and had a perfect view of the gold dome on top of the tallest building in the state which is the WV State Capitol.

Kelsie smoot 5.29k run start_1463704826236

The overall female winner just completed the Boston Marathon.  The overall male winner was #1 in the State for the 1500m.

I was looking forward to the downhill action on Morris Street and making the final turn for the finish line. Off to the left, I saw my Uncle Doug watching and I ran over to give him a high five right before I crossed the finish line.

Kelsie smoot finish line 5.29K_1463704826351

Doug Smoot kelsie smoot_1463704825983

Uncle Doug is known for making the best ribs in the Smoot Family.


I ran the 3.29 miles in just under 24:00 at a 7:10 pace. I earned 1st in my age division of 30-39, 2nd overall Woman and 5th place overall.

Wv state treasure John Perdue kelsie smoot_1463704826146

WV State Treasurer John Perdue

That afternoon, I spent time talking and laughing with my Grandma. I took her to Southridge which is basically a mega strip mall on both sides of Corridor G, pronounced “Quarter G” if you are from that area.

Sunday morning was church service that was more like a mini family reunion. Most people know my name, or simply refer to me as “Phil’s daughter.”  After church I had to say my goodbyes to my Grandma and Uncle Rodney. Goodbyes are always the worst part.  I assured her I would be back again during the summer.

Lucy smoot kelsie smoot_1463704825745

Grandma Lucy Smoot after church.

One day I was watching the Food Network and saw a segment on Hillbilly Hot Dogs. I told myself that the next time I was in WV I would detour to this hot dog stand.  It was easy to access off 64 and Exit 18 around Huntington.  About 6 miles down the road sat this place I saw on T.V.

I ordered the West Virginia Dog.  Putting cole slaw on a hot dog was not new to me because that’s how my Grandma served them when we were kids.  Of course I had to get a side of chili cheese fries.  I signed “Smoot” on an empty spot on the wall and sat at the front of the bus to get my grub on.

Boy oh Boy. This food was slammin’!  Customer service was excellent and I loved the atmosphere.

I’m glad I was able to branch out from the typical “going to Grandma’s house” type of visit.  I learn something new every time I spend time with my Grandma.  She says I am a blessing to her, but I think the exact opposite!

Kelsie Lou

About Kelsie Lou

Teacher on the move.
This entry was posted in family, running, Travel, West Virginia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia

  1. First of all…WOOHOO!! One more work week and you are FREE!! Secondly…I expect nothing less of you than starting right up front (I haven’t found that confidence yet, LOL!). Thirdly…YOU. ARE. SO. FAST. What an intense and amazing pace. One day…

    And…I am SO glad I’m not the only one that makes plans to visit restaurants I see on Food Network. Food Network is my crack, LOL!! This place looks amazing. Glad you stopped in.

    Your grandmother is SO adorable. I am so glad you went to visit and had a great time.

    Keep on being amazing!!! ❤


  2. Anonymous says:

    Very nice


  3. Sounds like a great vacation. My mother’s family was originally from West Virginia. My Mom and her sisters were born in Davy or is it Davey, WV. My grandmother’s maiden name was Hattie Finney. When I retire in 2 years I plan on going there to do some Finney family research. My great grandparents are buried there. Can’t wait to travel to WV.


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