A Must-Have Guide to the Oddities and Wonders of the Mountain State, 4th Editionby Jeanne Mozier
The latest edition of this very popular guidebook features 72 new pages, making it a must-have for all Way Out devotees. In case you hadnâ€™t heard, author, star-gazer and entrepreneur Jeanne Mozier has compiled the ultimate insiderâ€™s guide to all that is wild, wacky and wonderful about West Virginia. Way Out takes you on an incredible tour of the Mountain State, whether in an armchair as a great read or on the ultimate West Virginia road trip. Enjoy a slightly skewed look at the stateâ€™s best bathing, best driving, best dining, best pool halls and best shopping. Visit sites of UFO activity, moldy mummies, and ancient Indian curses. Learn about the stateâ€™s incredible geology, amazing history, white water rafting, remarkable collections, and fun festivals. Travel with her on her quest for West Virginiaâ€™s best pepperoni roll, five-star restaurant and ramp dinner. With Jeanneâ€™s help, you too can visit the baths and spas where George Washington took his historic soaks.
Open Way Out in West Virginia to almost any page â€œand find strangeâ€”and strangely usefulâ€”information, in this case about a state whose borders, not to mention its voting residents, consistently defy straight-edged rulers. Mozierâ€™s descriptions and photos of more than 600 of the stateâ€™s â€˜wild and wackiestâ€™ sights, sounds, tastes and smells are unabashedly fondâ€”but often funny, and filled with insider advice and asides. â€“ The Washington Post
QUIRKY W.VA. SHINES - STATE AUTHOR HAS A LITTLE FUN WITH THE ODD OFFERINGS IN STATE
Publication: CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL
Byline: THERESE S. COX
Trekking to the edge of an experience is mere routine for Jeanne Mozier.
After all, the Berkeley Springs woman views the world just a little differently than most.
To her, wild and wonderful are synonymous with weird.
Though she studied and worked in international relations, Mozier enlisted her bizarre taste and the creative side of her brain to write "Way Out in West Virginia: A Must-have Guide to the Oddities and Wonders of the Mountain State."
More a Guinness listing than a travel book, its 254 pages nevertheless pinpoint such alternative destinations as the three-acre, 60-foot-deep lake under the city of Charles Town; the Gray Barker UFO Collection in Clarksburg; and the one remaining ferry crossing the Ohio River at Sistersville.
Mummies in Philippi? Check out the Barbour County Historical Museum, next to the famous 285-foot-long Philippi covered bridge (one of 16 in the state).
On a quest for the best pepperoni roll in West Virginia? Mozier nominates Country Club Bakery and Colasessano's in Fairmont, among others.
What about drive-in theaters? Have any survived the modern-day multiplexes that grow bigger by the week?
At least seven are hanging on. They can be found in Glen Dale, Grafton, Newell, Parkersburg, Pineville, Athens and Shinnston.
"I did look for different kinds of things people might not necessarily think of," Mozier said.
A graduate of Cornell and Columbia universities, Mozier gave up luncheons in Russia with the likes of Yevgeny Primakov and
congressional election consulting for a 150-acre farm in Morgan County, 20 miles from Berkeley Springs.
She and her husband, Jack Soronen, settled there in 1977 after working in Washington, D.C., and roving around the country on a one-year odyssey for the perfect place to live.
"I'm drawn to springs," Mozier said. "Nature makes magic places with special little things. Hot springs are indicators of power spots."
An astrologer, theater owner, arts consultant and devotee of Eastern Panhandle tourism, Mozier enjoys basking in an occasional hot tub.
Witness an entire chapter called "Great Plumbing" which soaks attention on the pleasures of bathing. First and foremost is her
beloved town - the first spa in America. She also writes of The Greenbrier, Pence Springs and the Bavarian Inn.
Taking it to extremes Mozier-style, the 54-year-old dynamo located at least 100 lodging spaces in the state with in-room whirlpools.
And her admiration for George Washington is evident in several chapters.
The state's premier land developer, Washington owned tens of thousands of acres between the Ohio and Potomac rivers, including land in St. Albans and Dunbar. The first 550 acres he bought from his salary as a surveyor flanked Bullskin Run in Jefferson County, on a spot now graced by one of the state's finest bed and breakfasts, Hillbrook Inn.
While five Washington Family homes still stand in Jefferson County, Harewood alone is inhabited by blood descendants.
And the largest of the houses, Claymont Court Mansion, is open to the public.
Mozier also visited the pre-Civil War, family-owned retreat, Capon Springs and Farms, on Hampshire 16.
Once a getaway for presidents and notables, Capon Springs boasts gracious Victorian cottages and an organic farm, whose products are served to the same families who return year after year during reserved weeks.
Invitations or referrals are necessary at this "friendly but reclusive" casual family camp, grown up around its springs and now
operated by third-generation offspring of founder Lou Austin.
For major decisions in life, Mozier listens to her personal epiphanies, occurring at times in threes.
"People kept telling me the water tasting (in Berkeley Springs that she helped organize) was really weird," Mozier said. "That's when I first got a vision of an oddities tour."
Then a flight with her pilot husband to the New River Gorge's Bridge Day in 1997 convinced her that bizarre things happen all over West Virginia.
But she knew she was fulfilling a mission to write a book when she started her inaugural tour to the Northern Panhandle.
"I had to do some arts training at Oglebay," she said. "On the way there, I stopped at the Palace of Gold. Then I fell in love with
Wheeling. We decided I would map out different trips Jack and I would do."
The planning paid off.
Here are a few more of the many tidbits Mozier turned up:
- Skinny-dipping extraordinaire - Clothing is optional at Avalon, a family-style naturalist resort hidden in the Hampshire County hills.
- Barring none - The Shamrock in Bluefield is the oldest continuously run gay and lesbian bar in the state.
- Things that are no more - About 500 company towns sprouted and subsequently wilted in West Virginia. She gives driving and walking directions to some.
- Link to the past - America's first golf course, Oakhurst Links, opened in White Sulphur Springs in 1884 and still operates. Grazing sheep mow fairways and golfers play with replica equipment from St. Andrews in Scotland.
- Different viewpoint - Mozier takes readers on vicarious tours of some of the best views in the state.
She sprinkles still more fascinating trivia about her amusing text.
Some 50 Indian burial grounds dot the West Virginia landscape, as well as 38 airports and more than 100 private landing strips.
Several singular shopping experiences include Brier Rose Studios in Beckley for costumes; Mountain State Muzzleloading in Boaz; and Eddie's Tires in Berkeley Springs.
And oddities in the Kanawha Valley include the first-ever brick paved street (Capitol Street), the first low-income housing project
application (Washington Manor) and the oldest continuously inhabited location in both Americas (St. Albans).
Mozier provides colorful geographic and historic accounts of West Virginia's birth and dutifully indexes each entry by county and with addresses, phone numbers and directions.
"If you do find yourself viewing the mummies in Philippi or listening for messages from outer space at Green Bank, be sure to tell them that Jeanne sent you on this pilgrimage to the edge," Mozier writes in the foreword.
Jeanne Mozier http://www.starwv.com