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First West Virginia Hot Tub

July 28, 2010
Wetzel Chronicle

Last Sunday, a heavy summer storm dumped a quick rain on the area where I live. As the rain began to slow I decided to take off my shoes and walk in the diminishing rain out to the road and retrieve my morning paper. The concrete in the driveway still held the heat of the past week's hot summer sun. As the rain fell on the warm surface some of the rain began to turn into a light mist that began to rise into the air. At the same time heavy rain water flowed down the driveway around my feet as I walked on the warm concrete.

It brought back memories of, a time nearly 50 years ago, growing up in rural Wetzel County.

When I was growing some of the neighborhood kids and I would make our way to a place out the creek known as Turkey Run. We would ride our bikes out the country road to a small gas station near the swimming hole. We would stop and purchase a bottle of pop and candy bar before making our way over the nearby hill and down to the secluded place on the creek.

In a big Sycamore tree alongside the creek someone had hung a long rope that we used to swing out over the water. If you timed it just right you could swing out and seem to hang in the air for just a moment before you fell into the waters of the creek below. We believed this secret swimming hole was hidden from the outside world. Only the occasional train crew would wave as they passed by the swimming place filled with kids. For me life was good in the world of rural Wetzel County.

There was one summer afternoon, much like the one last weekend, that we had made our way to Turkey Run for an afternoon of rope swinging and swimming. After a time a quick heavy storm caught us off guard in the creek. We decided it was time to get home before our parents began to worry. As we made our way back to the road we noticed just past the turn in the road that rain water was collecting in a slip in the road way. Like any good bunch of kids, we decided before returning home we should explore this phenomenon of water.

Back then there was not a lot of traffic on the road, so we leaned our bikes on the guard rail and waded into the standing water of the roadway. The rain had run down the road and was crystal clear. It was about up to our knees in depth and best of all it was warm. The hot black top road had warmed the water as it ran into the depression and a light mist arose from the standing pool of water.

For us, it was a great find even if it was in the road. At first we just splashed around in the clear water. After a while we sat down in the warm water and just marveled at this wonderful adventure Mother Nature had provided for us.

As cars passed by, some people laughed and waved.Others yelled at us to get out of the road. For awhile we enjoyed the warm water of the road, but too soon the waters began to recede. We knew it was time to return home and hope no one had told our parents about our hot tub in the road at Turkey Run.

Last weekend the warm water running across my feet did more than warm them, it brought back memories of my childhood in rural Wetzel County. That incident, we had as children, may not have found us doing the smartest thing, but for the kids in my neighborhood we sometimes created adventure much like Tom and Huckleberry would have.

If we would have been smart we should have patented our hot tub in the road. If we had, perhaps the kids of Circle Drive would be rich and famous today. Well, at least, we may have a modern version of our hillbilly hot tub as we look Thru the Lens.

 
 

 

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