This is the time of year when it seems that anyone with an eye in Appalachia is snap-happy. Views like this are part of the reason so many of us are loathe to leave, and others who have left yearn to return. Even if you live in a town, you don’t have to go far to get to woods and water. The Gauley River, pent-up behind Summersville Dam, creates this lake in central West Virginia. Just downstream, the river courses through a boulder-strewn riverbed made famous by the whitewater recreation industry as the Upper and Lower Gauley. Every fall, the US Army Corps of Engineers draws the lake down to winter pool. This year, the Corps drained the lake lower than usual to inspect the dam, creating a longer and even more furious whitewater season.
Fayette County, WV, photographer Karen Underwood, who took this photograph, predicts that this weekend colors will peak here, just in time for Bridge Day.