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A Tank of Gas and $20
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by Maricia Mlynek


     

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Blueberries in Clay County

For my first trip into our neighboring counties, I decided to head South. Clay County was my destination, and I was excited to see what adventures awaited me. I knew I would find many places of interest. For this trip, I drafted my sister, Mellody, to come along. We loaded up the car with sunscreen, Esther’s pepperoni rolls, and bottled water and headed to Clay.

We chose the scenic route--no highways for these two adventurers. Rt. 16 took us along the meandering waters of the Elk River. We passed cyclists, deer, and a blue heron.

When we entered the county seat of Clay, we found the information center was closed. Mellody was a bit concerned when I told her to pull into the gas station. After all, we didn’t need gas. What we needed was someone with local information. Prepared to make a fool of myself, I waited in the checkout line with nothing to check out, but the county of Clay.

We hit the jackpot. A nice lady named Laura Beth sat down with me at a nearby table and gave me a tour of her county from corner to corner. She was a great help and sent us off in the direction of many great spots. The first one was R.T. Sizemore.

R.T. Sizemore is shown
with his farm's original grape vine.

For 30 years, Sizemore and his family have worked to make 75 acres of grape vines, apple trees, blueberry bushes, etc., into a place for any adventurer with a taste for something sweet and juicy.

Golden Delicious Apples

The vineyard boasts of 1,200 vines, including Niagara, Concord, and Catawba. Around September, Sizemore opens his vineyard to the public for picking. Grapes are $1 a pound. They also offer Golden Delicious apples in the fall. With over 200 trees, you can pick until you are all tuckered out. Apples are $5 a bushel.

Blueberry shrubs

For the blueberry lover, the time for picking is now. Mid-June is the best time to fill your belly with delicious blueberries right off the bush. Sizemore sold over $1,400 worth of Ozark Blues last year. You can take your family to Clay County and fill up on some wonderful blueberries at $1.85 a pound--you can’t go wrong.

Sizemore said, “I always tell the parents to let the little ones eat while they pick, they’re going to anyway. Don’t fight them. Blueberries are good for them.”

The Town of Clay is 37 miles from Arnoldsburg, and Sizemore’s farm is located 1.4 miles from the new Dundon bridge, which is located between Two Run and the Town of Clay.

Clay County was only a day trip, but it was a day of fun and relaxation in a quiet part of West Virginia. I am heading back down for the blueberries. You could leave Clay County with a full stomach of blueberries and a heart full of summer fun.

Firing range

Wallback Lake; above and below.

Photos directly above are from the Wallback Wildlife Management Area off I-79.

Area Events:

June 19, Mountain Lake Amphitheater, Flatwoods, Bo Dice, 7 p.m.

June 19-22, W.Va. State Folk Festival, Glenville

June 20, West Virginia Day, North Bend State Park, Mic Souter, 7 to 8 p.m.

June 21, Basket Festival, Cairo

June 21, Summer Jam 08, Bill Triplett’s Big Otter Bluegrass, Country Line with Junior Tallman, Town of Clay, 7 p.m.

June 27, Trent Tomlinson concert to celebrate City of Spencer’s 150th Birthday, 7:30 p.m.

June 28, Summer Jam 08, Beach Night, Bo Stephens, Tiff Farmer, Vicki Nottingham, Town of Clay, 7 p.m.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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