Danielle Elkins: Leaving one coal community for another | CraigDailyPress.com
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Danielle Elkins: Leaving one coal community for another

Danielle Elkins/For the Craig Daily Press

Moving to a new place always has its ups and downs — whether one is moving across town or, in my case, moving more than halfway across the United States.

I was born and raised in Virginia and, until recently, had never been west of the Mississippi. Now, here I sit, about a 26-hour drive from the place I call home, in Craig.

Never in a million years did I expect to be here, yet here I am. My boyfriend and I had originally planned to make a life for ourselves in our hometown of Richlands, Virginia.

He was going to work in the coal industry, and I was planning to obtain a bachelor’s in communication in hopes for a job in human resources at either the local hospital or community college.

We have never been more wrong.

In the years following our graduation from high school, the local coal industry — the livelihood of our hometown — began to decline due to pressures from the Environmental Protection Agency and the inability of the major coal companies’ budgets to meet new health and safety standards.

We knew that the only way for us to make a living was by leaving everything we knew, so my boyfriend joined the industrial electrical company that his father works for, landing us here in this charming little town in Northwest Colorado about two months ago.

Although it’s certainly been a tough transition to move here, the local residents have been more than happy to assist in making us feel welcome. Whether it’s by offering a smile in passing or stopping to chat at the grocery store, the people in Craig have proven to be some of the nicest folks I have ever encountered.

My boyfriend and I are very excited to get to know more people here and experience all the fun things there are to do — camping, fishing, biking, hiking, local events, great food, crafts and more.

You never know, we may just get attached to Craig and stay here forever!

Danielle Elkins is a senior at Old Dominion University, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia. She’s completing her bachelor’s degree in communications through online courses. She will be interning at the Craig Daily Press through December.Danielle Elkins is a senior at Old Dominion University, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia. She’s completing her bachelor’s degree in communications through online courses. She will be interning at the Craig Daily Press through December. Danielle Elkins is a senior at Old Dominion University, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia. She’s completing her bachelor’s degree in communications through online courses. She will be interning at the Craig Daily Press through December.


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