Random (but not really)

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Train! A Train! The Potomac Eagle

Our friends ended up with two extra tickets for the Potomac Eagle in Saturday, and asked if we’d be able to go with them. A train ride AND time with two lovely small people (and their parents)? Of course!

Three of them rode in the gondola through the trough. Michael and I and one of the small people declined. I was more interested in the scenery than the eagles, and the small person thought the gondola would be too loud, since it was behind the engine.

It was a beautiful day, and there were actually eagles, but I enjoyed the view (even if there was almost no fall color).

Look an old house!

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Look! A couple of walls that used to be a house!

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Interesting rocks!

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The river!

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Fields and mountains!

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An excellent day!

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley

There was also a dearth of color at Canaan Valley (and Blackwater Falls).

Still pretty though.

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Written by Michelle at 7:16 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Seneca Rocks

Since the weather was forecast to be nice, and Michael had the day off, Saturday we decided to head down to Seneca Rocks, in hopes of catch some fall color.

The weather was lovely, but there was a distinct lack of fall color.

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Location: Seneca Rocks
Trail: Seneca Rocks Trail
Distance: 3.7 miles
Elevation: 1573-2520 feet (1003 ft rise)

Hike Up
1.2 miles
1611-2446 feet
33 minutes

It doesn’t look like there’s that much water going over the bridge!

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Guess who had wet feet for this hike?

One of the reasons I wanted to make this hike on a Friday and not Saturday is that it tends to be really busy on Saturdays, and I selfishly prefer solitude when at the top of the rocks.

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Written by Michelle at 7:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Why I Am DONE with Manchin

For years I have been holding my nose and voting for Joe Manchin.

Never again will I vote for him, because with the chips were down, he lacked the testicular fortitude to do what needed to be done for the country, instead focusing what would get him re-elected.

And now we have a person who completely lacks judicial temperament given a life-time position on the Supreme Court.

Aside from the allegations of sexual assault. Aside from the untruths in his stories. He threw a temper tantrum and whined about a liberal conspiracy attempting to keep him off the court. He behaved as if that seat was his by right. He utterly exposed his partisanship and made it quite clear he is a conservative activist judge.

A judge with whom we will have to live for decades.

The only reason I voted for Manchin–the ONLY reason–was to keep conservative activist judges off the supreme court. To keep them from sending the country back to the dark ages.

His claim he is working for the betterment of West Virginians is complete and utter bullshit. He is instead working to return us to the days of out-of-state ownership of everything of value here. Of being dependent upon our employers for utterly everything.

Anyone remember company scrip? You could only buy things from the company store? You think that isn’t happen to our health care? Remember mine disasters where hundreds of men died? You think that can’t happen anymore? Remember when black lung killed men on a regular basis? You know that’s happening again, right?

This is a Supreme Court that voted that corporations are people. People who place the good of a corporation of the good of citizens don’t give a shit about what happens to us.

And that’s what Manchin has given us.

So the argument that we’re screwed if a Republican gets that seat holds no water anymore. A Democrat HAD that seat, and he failed to stand up for us, instead looking out for his political future.

To hell with that.

I don’t know who is the 3rd party candidate for the Senate, but I will write in “None of the Above” before vote again for Manchin.

Written by Michelle at 7:52 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Politics  

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Books of September

Here we are! The books of September!

Most of the best books I read this month were LGBT historical Romances (with boinking), so take that into consideration.
Non-boinking-wise, I’m still re-reading the Brother Cadfael series, which I truly love and highly recommend, and I finally finished listening to the Raven Boys series, which I also love and highly recommend.

Audio Books

Agents Of Light And Darkness, Audio Edition (2003/2008) Simon R. Green narrated by Marc Vietor  : 8/10 (Nightside)
The Raven King, Audio Edition (2016) Maggie Stiefvater narrated by Will Thomas  : 10/10 (Raven Boys)

Romance, Historical

Cotillion (1953) Georgette Heyer  : 8.5/10
Venetia (1958) Georgette Heyer   : 8/10
The Reluctant Widow
(1946) Georgette Heyer  : 8/10
A Week to Be Wicked
(2012) Tessa Dare  : 7.5/10
Wicked Intentions
(2010) Elizabeth Hoyt  : 7/10
The Richmond Thief
(2017) Lisa Boero   : 6/10

Romance, LGBT

Spectred Isle (2017) K. J. Charles  : 8/10 (Green Men)
Unfit to Print (2018) K. J. Charles  : 8/10
Society of Gentleman
The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh (2015) K. J. Charles
A Fashionable Indulgence (2016) K. J. Charles  : 8/10
A Seditious Affair
(2016) K. J. Charles  : 8.5/10
A Gentleman’s Position
(2016) K. J. Charles  : 7/10

Mystery, Historical

A Treacherous Curse (2018) Deanna Raybourn   : 7.5/10 (Veronica Speedwell)
Brother Cadfael
Dead Man’s Ransom
(1984) Ellis Peters  : 8/10
The Pilgrim of Hate
(1984) Ellis Peters  : 8.5/10

No paper this month, and fewer audio books, as I spent far less time in the kitchen.

eBook: 15
Audio: 2
Multiple Formats: 5
Re-read: 6

Genere-wise, not much fantasy this month, and heavy on the romance, mostly because I can’t stomach anything depressing or too dark right now. With romance, at least I know I’ll get a HEA.

Fantasy: 3
Mystery: 5
Romance: 12
YA: 1

Simon R. Green was the only male author I read this month, but I read as many books where the author was hiding behind a male pseudonym or initials as I did by authors with straight-up female names. Take that as you will.

Male: 1
Female: 8
Initials: 6
Male Pseudonym: 2

And that’s the month of September in books!

Written by Michelle at 7:36 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Monday, October 1, 2018

Hiking WV: Cranberry Wilderness

After a week of rain, Saturday was clear, so we headed to the Cranberry Wilderness, which has become one of my favorite places, since it is far less visited that most other spots in WV.

We hiked two shorter trails, wanting the views as much as the hiking.

Location: Cranberry Wilderness
Trail: Red Spruce Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 4386-4722 feet (420 ft gain)

Is that… a bear track? (Click through to Flickr for a comparison picture.)

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The trail at the top of the mountain was unbelievably gorgeous. Look at that! So beautiful!

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Because Red Spruce Knob is the highest peak in the area, there was a fire tower here at one point. That tower is long gone, and most of the overlook is overgrown.

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Still worth the hike.

Trail: High Rocks Trail
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation: 4312-4507 feet (471 ft gain)

The trail to High Rocks was possibly one of the easiest we’ve ever hiked in the Mon Nat’l Forest. We kept waiting for it to get super muddy or terribly rocky or ridiculously steep; Nope. It was a very easy hike.

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It was a ridiculously easy hike, for the view at the end.

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hiking WV: Dolly Sods

Since we had a long weekend and didn’t have to drive, we wanted to do a long hike on Friday.

There are so many places to choose from in the Canaan Valley area, but we eventually settled on Dolly Sods, and a trail we’d wanted to hike before, in the hopes that it being a Friday morning we wouldn’t see so many people.

We saw… fewer people than we would on a Saturday, but we still saw more people than I particularly wanted to on a hike in the wilderness.

Location: Dolly Sods Wilderness
Trails: Rocky Ridge, Blackbird Knob Trails
Distance: 7.6 miles
Elevation: 3757-4184 feet (1137 feet gain)

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Blackbird Knob Trail

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Yes, the trail really is that rocky and wet and muddy. So many people hike Dolly Sods that everything is very worn and never gets a chance to recover.

Despite the wilderness being busier than one would expect, views like this make the trip worth it.

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blackwater Falls & Elakala Falls

Since it was raining off and on (and then on and on and on) we went to the main falls three different days to see the water levels. (Because of COURSE I needed to have points of comparisons.)

Saturday:

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Sunday:

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Monday:

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I also took video, because of course I did.

On Saturday we also did the scramble down to the base of Elakala Falls.

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Written by Michelle at 5:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls State Park

We hadn’t been out to Pace Point in awhile, so we decided that’d be our easier hike after a long hike at Dolly Sods.

Location: Blackwater Falls State Park
Trails: Pendleton Trace, Dobbin House and Pase Point Trails
Distance: 2.9 miles
Elevation: 3009-3170 feet

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Location: Blackwater Falls State Park
Trails: Lindy Point Trail, Canaan Loop Road
Distance: 1.4 miles
Elevation: 3139-3216 feet

The next day we decided to head out to Lindy Point (and the stream along Canaan Loop Road)

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Here’s the stream that crosses Canaan Loop Road. I haven’t seen that much water there before.

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We ended up having a multi-day debate as to whether you can see Lindy Point from Pase Point (and vice versa)

I say you can’t, Michael says you can.

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

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Wildlife Refuge

We did two hikes at the Canaan Wildlife Refuge. A hike along the Beale Trail that’d we’d done before, but chose because it was easy, because it was raining.

The first hike was new to us, partway up Cabin Mountain. We considered hiking to the top of the trail, but were afraid it’d be dark on the way down, and I’d trip over everything.

Location: Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge
Trails: Middle Ridge and Sand Run Trails
Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation: 3246-3571 feet (597 ft gain)

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Is that… a bridge?

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Yes! A completely useless bridge!

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Michael: They need to mow this bridge.

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All kidding aside, it was a nice, if rather steep hike, and I definitely want to hike up to the top of the Cabin Mountain Trial to see the view.

Location: Canaan Wildlife Refuge
Trail: Beall Trails
Distance: ~3 miles (I forgot to turn on the GPS until half a mile in)
Elevation: 3151-3375 feet

It’s raining. Where shall we hike? A bog of course!

At the Bog Overlook

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Written by Michelle at 6:53 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  
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