I love West Virginia for many reasons. One of the great features of our state is the climate. We get all four seasons. In the summer, it is hot. In the winter, it is cold and it snows. Our springs and falls are beautiful periods of transition-- life blooms in March and April, and our Septembers and Octobers are a burst of autumn color.
The summers are typically pleasant, and everyone loves a long summer of swimming and relaxing in the shade as the fireflies circle your hammock at dusk. But out winters are cold and quite bleak. The sky is a relentless gray from November until the end of Februray. It gets to you after a while, like Mother Nature's version of Chinese water torture. The first drop is painless. But give it time, and it starts to hurt. And drive you crazy.
When Hollywood decided to make a film version of Cormac McCarthy's novel, The Road, they needed a location that was sunless, gray, and leafless. The Road is about post-Apocalypse America. Something has happened-- McCarthy does not say exactly what occurred-- and the world is mired in environmental disaster. Birds, cows, and trees are extinct. The sky is a constant gray. Ash rains from the sunless sky. Because there is no source of food, gangs of cannibals wander the blighted landscape looking for humans to capture, maim, and eat.
Where did Hollywood find their hell on earth? Southwestern Pennsylvania! Much of the movie was filmed about 30 miles north of Morgantown.