Random (but not really)

Monday, October 26, 2020

Hiking WV: Stauffer’s Marsh Preserve

An accident led us to seek a detour which led us to drive past Stauffer’s Marsh Preserve. Since we were mostly wandering, we decided to stop.

Stauffer’s Marsh Preserve is a small preserve, but it was a nice walk.

They day was overcast and gray, which is why we didn’t have any specific hiking plans, so little color came out in the pictures.

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Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area

With rain forecast across the state, we decided to head to the Eastern panhandle to hit an orchard, and then see where we ended up.

An accident that stopped traffic led us to seek an alternate route, and that led us to visit two new places.

We literally did a three-point turn in the road upon seeing the sign for Sleepy Creek Lake after we ended up driving through the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area.

We had no idea what to expect, and were quite shocked to discover that Sleepy Creek WMA is huge (22,928 acres). Despite the sky being overcast, it was a gorgeous drive.

Since it’s hunting season, we didn’t even attempt a hike (since we had no safety gear) but did walk across the dam.

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Written by Michelle at 10:29 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hiking WV: Otter Creek Wilderness

Saturday’s hike was somewhat decided on-the-fly. We knew we were going to stop at Valley Falls, but not sure where we wanted to go from there.

We’d discussed Cathedral, as well as the Davis / Canaan area, but decided that hiking the Otter Creek trail would be gorgeous if the leaf color was good.

It was and it was.

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Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Valley Falls State Park

The WV Tourism site claimed that Valley Falls State Park would be good to visit for leaf color, so we took an extra scenic route and made a quick stop at Valle Falls Saturday morning.

The color was a little disappointing, but the drive along 310 was quite lovely.

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Written by Michelle at 4:17 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Friday, October 16, 2020

Black. Lives. Matter.

I had a flagpole on my deck, and generally hung my US flag on US holidays and the WV flag on WV day.

Late this spring, I ordered two more flags: and LGBT Pride flag (Philadelphia) and a Black Lives Matter flag.

Black Lives Matter

It took more than a month, but my flags finally arrived, so early summer I hung up my BLM flag and left it up 24/7. (The US flag (as per US Flag Code) would up after sun rise, down at sunset, and didn’t go out if it was raining.)

I live on a high-traffic street, which is why I got the BLM flag.

I am a white woman in West Virginia, the third whitest state in the US. Yeah, where I live is more diverse than the rest of the state because of the university, but it’s still pretty damned white in here.

Racism is something I have had the privilege and luxury of ignoring—because it just wasn’t something that I saw. I knew it existed, but I didn’t see that there was much I could DO about it in my day-to-day life.

Then the Black Lives Matter movement happened, and I finally realized that it wasn’t enough to not be a racist, it was my responsibility to become anti-racist. Unfortunately, there was a lot going on personally for me, and I failed to do anything. (I have struggled with mental health issues since I was a teenager, and when things are difficult, I can manage going to work but little beyond that.)

But this spring was so awful, I realized that the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM I could do was put up signs, because I have white privilege and it is my responsibility to speak out against racism since it is predominantly a white problem. Yes, other types of racism exist, but in the US whites—particularly white men—have power and privilege and have blithely used that privilege to further consolidate wealth and power. And if you think that isn’t real, I invite you to research white housing covenants.

So I got my flag, and I hung it up and fretted that I should do more, but failed (mostly because of mental health issues).

Late summer I got an email from Gwen. Her mom had spent her life in WV politics and had worked with Mike Caputo, and so remembering that I’d put up signs in previous years asked if a sign for him could be put up in my yard.

Of course!

So the sign went up and I thought nothing more about it.

A month or so ago, the news was all about white supremacists harassing a BLM march in Preston county, and making Danielle Walker specifically a target. I realized (I’m slow sometimes) that I could ask about getting one of her signs to put in my yard. And up it went.

Earlier this week, we looked out to realize that someone has stolen the Danielle Walker sign from our yard AND come up to the deck, torn down our flagpole and stolen the BLM flag.

But they left the Mike Caputo sign.

If you’re not familiar with WV politics, Mike Caputo is a white male. Danielle Walker is a Black woman.

If you think racism is a thing of the past or that white privilege doesn’t exist, then not only have you not been paying attention, you have been willfully ignoring what has been going on around you for your entire life.

Which is, itself, white privilege.

Black Lives Matter

Written by Michelle at 6:58 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown,Politics,West Virginia  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Coopers Rock State Forest

Wednesday we took the afternoon often and headed out to Coopers Rock to see the leaves and for a midweek hike.

We walked to the overlook, then hiked the Rhododendron and Mont Chateau trails (my favorites).

A fair amount of color, but it was really dry.

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At the Overlook.

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Even middle of the day on a Wednesday there were quite a few people there.

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Normally this spot is inaccessible unless you’re willing to get wet up to your knees, and you still have to be careful because the water rushes through this spot. Instead there was a still pool and just a trickle of water.

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Written by Michelle at 5:39 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Canaan Wildlife Refuge

Since the weather wasn’t great, we headed over to the Canaan Wildlife Refuge and Beale Trails, because I wanted to get down to the river.

First you walk through fields before you head down the hills, through the woods, to the river.

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Despite the gentle rain, it was a lovely walk.

Written by Michelle at 6:18 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  
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