Random (but not really)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Hiking WV: New River Gorge: Brooks and Sandstone

We didn’t take a long hike at New River Gorge on Saturday, but the trails made up for that by being very steep.

Location: New River Gorge
Trail: Big Branch Trail
Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation: 1256 – 1713

We hiked counter-clockwise, so for the first half of the trail we were gasping for breath and wondering why anyone wanted to hike this trail.

Then we started down, following the creek.

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Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hiking WV: New River Gorge: Sandstone Falls

This was less of a hike and more of a wander, but it was gorgeous and fascinating.

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Written by Michelle at 3:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: National Park/Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday Flower Pr0n

Not many pretty wildflowers out right now, but I found a few yesterday hiking at New River Gorge.

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OK, not flowers, but I still found them pretty.

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Written by Michelle at 2:35 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Monday, August 24, 2015

WV Places: Green Bank

Since we drove past it on our way to and from Seneca State Forest, we made a quick stop at Green Bank.

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My favorite vehicles are still there and running!

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

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hiking WV: Seneca State Forest

Seneca State Forest is NOT where Seneca Rocks are located. It in the south eastern part of the state, and is the oldest state forest (1925). It is a very rural state park, with rudimentary facilities (ie, the cabins have out houses), but that’s a good thing, because it’s undeveloped and beautiful and isolated.

Location: Seneca State Forest
Trail: Thorny Creek Trail (half)
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation: 2625 – 3213
Time: 2:20 (moving time)

There is also a lake.

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ADDENDUM the First: We’ve now visited 78% of the WV state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas!

Written by Michelle at 8:56 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hiking WV: Kumbrabow State Forest

Kumbrabow is not a busy forest (nothing like Coopers Rock) and we didn’t see another person on the trails, which is how I like it.

But the thing is, it should be visited, because it is beautiful and a good place to feel like you’ve gotten away from the world. Because you have. Most of the roads are gravel (although in very good shape) so you have to slow down as you drive, enjoying the view around you.

Location: Kumbrabow State Forest
Trails: Meatbox Run, Raven Rocks, and Fire Trails
Distance: 3.9 miles
Elevation: 3077 – 3841 feet
Time: 2:06

I mostly left my camera in my backpack, and although I took some pictures with my phone, they were low light and mostly terrible.

The view from the overlook at Raven Rocks trail was gorgeous, but not very photogenic. Which happens sometimes.

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If I am remembering correctly, Kumbrabow is a second generation forest, so there are plenty of fallen trees, decaying where they lay, and so very many of them are fascinating.

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There are also plenty of trees that grew up around stumps, which decayed and disappeared, which make fascinating shapes, but every picture I took like that was fuzzy and out of focus. Sorry.

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At the Meatbox Run picnic area, they’ve damned up the stream a little bit–Michael things to reduce erosion.

It was quite peaceful.

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

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock State Forest

It was a beautiful day for a hike at Coopers Rock on Sunday, and once again we went early and avoided the crowds.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Rhododendron, Mount Chateau, Ridge, Rock City, and “casual” trails
Distance: 4.8 miles
Elevation: 1366 – 2011
Time: 2:27 (moving time) 3:06 (including playing in the stream)

So, I’ve been disappointed the past couple hikes on Mont Chateau Trail that no one has created any more balanced rock art. Then I realized that I was nobody, so I made my own.

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It was really lovely.

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A lot less water this visit.

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They’ve got the new signs up!

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Alas, they haven’t done anything about this sign…

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Written by Michelle at 8:46 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hiking WV: New River Gorge

After visiting Grandview, we stopped at the bridge area on our way home.

Location: New River Gorge
Trails: Endless Wall (Diamond Point)
Distance: 2.4 miles
Elevation: 1781 – 1913

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We found the oddest mushroom. I have no idea what it was, but it was most definitely green.

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Books of July

Total slacker this month. Eight books. That’s all. I even took books when we took our long weekend at Canaan, but never got around to reading them.

The best books of the month were The Very Best of Charles de Lint by Charles de Lint. I love Charles de Lint, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. This is also an anthology I was reading for several months. Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older, and Summer Campaign by Carla Kelly. Three very different books from very different genres, but all were very good and all are highly recommended.

Urban Fantasy

The Very Best of Charles de Lint (2010) Charles de Lint (9.5/10)

Supernatural Fantasy

Half-Resurrection Blues (2015) Daniel José Older (8.5/10)
Wickedly Dangerous (2014) Deborah Blake (7.5/10)

Mystery

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005/2008) Stieg Larsson translated by Reg Keeland

Historical Romance

Summer Campaign (2012) Carla Kelly (8.5/10)

Short Story / Novella

The Girl of Hrusch Avenue (2013) Brian McClellan (7/10)
Spellbinder (2015) C.C. Hunter (6/10)
Unbreakable (2014) C.C. Hunter

All the books I read were eBooks, in fact, I haven’t read a single mass-market paperback this year. One book was a re-read.

Genre-wise, I’ve read mostly fantasy, with a smattering of other genres.

Fantasy: 6
Mystery: 1
Romance: 1
YA: 2
Anthology: 1

Genre-wise, on the face of it I read more male authors, however, it was really evenly split.

Male: 4
Female: 2
Initials: 2

Written by Michelle at 7:43 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Hiking WV: New River Gorge: Grandview

Saturday we visited one of the southern portions of New River Gorge: Grandview.

This is not a wilderness hike, although parts are rocky and along a cliff.

But it truly is a grand view, and well worth the visit.

Location: New River Gorge: Grandview
Trails: Grandview Rim & Castle Rock Trails
Distance: 4.1 miles
Elevation: 2360 – 2587

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Stairs, for klutzes like me to get to the top!

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Oh! Look! A sign for me to disregard!

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Castle Rock Trail

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

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock State Forest

Got up early to take a short hike at Coopers Rock before it got busy.

It was some lovely quiet.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Underlook & Rattlesnake Trails
Distance: 1.4 miles
Elevation: 1991 – 2133 feet

Because it’s typically so crowded and loud, I often forget how much I like the overlook.

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

Sunday, August 2, 2015

(De)Construction: University Ave – 2 Weeks Till School Starts

NOTE: The first two pictures were taken last week, by Michael, when he was on site for work.

The rest were taken by me, this evening, because I can.

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The change in this sign amused me.

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Where the triangular house was:

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The new sidewalk? The new curb? Random cement pouring?

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The road is covered in dirt–it has not been torn up yet.

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Written by Michelle at 8:44 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown,Photos  

Friday, July 31, 2015

WV State Parks: Fairfax Stone State Park

No hiking here. But we DID visit.

Here is, pretty much, the entire state park.

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Here you go! The headwaters of the Potomac!

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Written by Michelle at 5:56 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Parks,West Virginia  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hiking WV: Dolly Sods Wilderness

We took advantage of our location and took a short hike at Dolly Sods Wilderness. It was the opposite side of the area than we’d hiked last time, and it was much much busier than our last visit (as in, last time we saw one person, and he was on the road, not the trail).

One reason there were so many people is because there were fields and fields and fields of ripe wild blueberries. Amazing amounts of wild blueberries.

An added bonus to a beautiful hike.

Location: Dolly Sods Wilderness
Trails: Rocky Ridge, Blackbird Knob, Breathed Mountain Trails
Distance: 3.4 miles
Elevation: 3908 – 4175 feet

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hiking WV: Canaan Wildlife Refuge

While waiting for people to show up for our hike at Canaan Valley State Park, we decided to check out the Canaan Wildlife Refuge.

I immediately decided that we had to take the small people on a hike there. The trail was flat, relatively straight, relatively even, went through woods and fields and several different kinds of plant life, and there was a huge field full of wild blueberries.

It. Was. Awesome.

Location: Canaan Wildlife Refuge
Trail: Beall Loop (partial)
Distance: 1.1 mile
Elevation: 3217-3307 feet

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley State Park

We took a gorgeous hike at Canaan Valley State Park (checked that one off the list!) and although it was muddy in spots (it has rained for seemingly two months straight) it wasn’t difficult to get around the mud (ie, no impassable rhododendron).

Location: Canaan Valley State Park
Trail: Middle Ridge State Park
Distance: 2.4 miles
Elevation: 3210-3501 feet

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

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hiking WV: Allegheny / Blackwater Canyon Trails

We spent Thursday through Saturday in the Blackwater Falls / Canaan area, and it was beautiful. Our hikes were shorter than normal, mostly because many of them had people not used to hiking. (Hikers ages ranged from 4 to 90, so, not so much with the long hikes.)

Along the Blackwater Canyon trail were old coke ovens, from Thomas’ industrial days, and then Douglas Falls, which were gorgeous, and well worth the scramble down to the water.

Location: Thomas, WV
Trails: Allegheny & Blackwater Canyon Trails
Distance: 3.8 miles
Elevation: 2743-2946 feet

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Bonus: Wild black raspberries.

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They were very delicious.

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Flower: Blackwater Falls & Canaan Edition

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Written by Michelle at 8:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

(De)Construction: Week Two, Day Four

Here’s how things looked today!

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Written by Michelle at 7:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown,Photos  

Monday, July 13, 2015

(De)Construction: University Avenue: Week 2

Here’s how things looked today!

These are taken coming down University (heading south).

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These are taking walking south on Beverly.

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Michael: I bet the rent is dirt cheap.

As I was taking pictures with my phone, I was unsurprised that this picture didn’t turn out as I wanted.

When I looked in the hole, I could see water rushing by.

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This is taken at the Y, standing on University and looking down onto Beverly.

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And there are today’s updates.

Written by Michelle at 7:50 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown,Photos  
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