Just got back from a lovely hike in the woods, and as happens when I hike, I think about things.
Today, one of the things I was considering was the term “Black Friday.”
The other “Black” day of the week that came immediately to mind is:
That’s pretty much the opposite of Black Friday.
So… English is weird.
Thank you, to those who have served, who are currently serving, and to their families.
The books of October were almost all re-reads of Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series. I’d fallen behind on reading the series after Grandmom died, so I decided to go back to the start and re-read straight through.
I did have one audio book–Faith Hunters Raven Cursed, from her Jane Yellowrock series, which I am thoroughly enjoying as audio books. I actually have the last Jane book waiting for me–I started it, saw the character that looked to be involved, and decided I wasn’t in the mood for that and put it back down. (I have an embarrassing number of new releases waiting for me.)
I also re-read Patricia Wrede’s A Matter of Magic which is a YA Historical Fantasy that I really enjoyed. That’s probably my big recommendation from this month: if you haven’t read Patricia Wrede, you should change that ASAP. Most of her books are Historical YA fantasy, which means they’re really good fantasy without the boinking. I’ve given her books to some of the larger small people in my life.
Death at La Fenice (1992) Donna Leon (8/10)
Death in a Strange Country (1993) Donna Leon (8/10)
Dressed for Death (1994) Donna Leon (8/10)
Death and Judgment (1995) Donna Leon (8/10)
Acqua Alta (1996) Donna Leon (8/10)
Quietly in Their Sleep (1997) Donna Leon (8/10)
A Noble Radiance (1998) Donna Leon (7/10)
Fatal Remedies (1999) Donna Leon
Friends in High Places (1999) Donna Leon (8/10)
A Sea of Troubles (2001) Donna Leon (8/10)
A Matter of Magic: Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward (1991/1997) Patricia C. Wrede (8.5/10)
The Sword Dancer (2013) Jeannie Lin (5/10)
Raven Cursed Audible version (2012/2012) Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam (8/10)
As far as stats go, I read 13 books, all but two of which were ebooks, only one of which was not a re-read, and 11 of which I own in multiple formats.
I read 11 mysteries, two fantasies, one romance, and one YA.
And every single book I read in October was written by a female.
Woke up this morning to blue skies and cool weather, so we jumped in the car (after layering up) and headed out to Coopers Rock.
It was beautiful.
Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Rhododendron, Mont Chateau, Ridge, Rock City, & Eagle Trails
Distance: 5.1 miles
Elevation: 1391 – 2347 feet
University Avenue reopened today–at least partially.
It’s still a construction zone, it’s a rough asphalt job, and the sidewalk is supposed to be closed. But you can drive down University again.
Here’s what we saw:
First view coming around the corner:
Sidewalk closed! (I ignored this.)
Here’s where you can see the drop.
Panorama of Beverly & University.
Some new, nice wide sidewalk!
Oooh! Metal barriers to separate the pedestrians from the traffic! And they’re not ugly!
The garage is open! (At least the upper floors are.)
Many more pictures if you click through to Flickr.
Cran-Apple Crisp for Two
(Minus the Cranberries, which I Forgot)
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)
Serves 2 generously, or 4 if you want to be more healthy.
1.8 oz flour
1.9 oz light brown sugar
.875 oz oats
.75 oz coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
4 tbsp cold butter
2 medium or 3 small apples
1/2 cup cranberries
2.3 oz sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tbsp flour
Preheat the oven to 375 F
Mix the ingredients for the topping in a food process, or cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or your fingers.
Core and slice the apples (I don’t peel apples for desserts), mix with the sugar, cranberries, and spices.
Put the fruit mixture in the bottom of a small, square pan, or a small loaf pan, or a small round pan–whatever will hold it and is oven-safe.
Ready to go into the oven:
Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes.
Awaiting ice cream:
Top with vanilla ice cream.
Our primary destination on Saturday was Harpers Ferry.
There is a lot here to do:
Hiking the WV portion of the Appalachian Trail (and visiting the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters)
Hiking the old B & O Canal
See the site of John Brown’s Raid (and all attendant historical stuff)
Wandering Harpers Ferry
Enjoying the Shenandoah and Potamic rivers
Hiking the Maryland Heights trail
Location: Harpers Ferry Historic District
Distance: 5.1 miles
Elevation: 229 – 590 feet (yes, that’s the lowest point we’ve hiked in ages)
I remain fascinated by the remains of this church.
I also took a couple pictures of the burned buildings–there is a Go-Fund-Me site for those wanting to donate to the rebuilding of the historic buildings.
Saturday we went to the Eastern Panhandle, where the leaves were just reaching their peak colors.
As is our habit when were anywhere near that area and have the time, we stopped at Berkeley Springs on our way home.
Since we were at Canaan, we decided to go back to the Canaan Mountain Wilderness and hike back out Table Rock Trail, assuming correctly it would be a nice view.
If you are thinking about taking this hike, there are two things to note: 1) it takes 30 – 45 minutes to drive out the gravel Canaan Loop road if don’t have a 4-wheel drive (it’s rumored to be unpassable past the Table Rock Trail) and 2) it is muddy–even after a dry spell there were muddy patches. After a rain, it’s nigh near swampy.
Location: Canaan Wilderness
Trail: Table Rock Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 3031 – 3511 feet
We hiked this twice, on two different mornings, and it was gorgeous both times.
Location: Canaan Wildlife Refuge
Trail: Beall Trails
Distance: ~2.2 miles & 1.7 miles
Elevation: 3137 – 3323 feet
After hiking up Seneca Rocks, we then went to Spruce Knob.
Spruce Knob is the highest point in WV, at 4,863 feet. As it’s so high, it’s also windy and much colder than anywhere else in the area. We saw snow flakes while we were there. (But they didn’t amount to anything.)
Location: Spruce Knob
Trails: Whispering Spruce, Huckleberry (partial)
Distance: 2.9 miles
Elevation: 4735 – 4887 feet
Since the weather was so nice, we took and extended weekend to hike and enjoy the landscape.
Sunday started with Seneca Rocks.
Of course we hiked to the top of the rocks. And of course we went up without stopping.
What was surprising was just how many people were there–it was quite crowded by the time we started down.
On our way back from Bridge Day we went through the Cranberry Wilderness and stopped at the Falls of Hills Creek.
It was a gorgeous day–perfect for everything but jumping (because it was very windy), apparently.
Location: Dolly Sods National Wilderness
Trail: Rohrbaugh Trail (partial)
Elevation: 3790 – 4120 feet
As is par for the course for every visit we’ve made to Dolly Sods, it was wet and muddy, which is part of the reason we only hiked a third of the Rohrbaugh trail (the other reason was that I’m still somewhat exhausted from this never-ending cold).
The trails are nowhere near as scenic as Bear Rocks, but it was still a gorgeous hike.
Saturday was unbelievably gorgeous, and we were lucky enough to be able to spend part of it at Dolly Sods–even if there were, like, a zillion people there. (But not as many people as we at Coopers Rock on Sunday.)
I hope you had just as much beauty in your weekend.
This was perhaps the slowest slide EVER. And the more you weighed, the slower you went.
If you want a flat place to hike, then Cathedral State Park is your best bet in WV. Which is why we took a meander despite the fact that I still feel pretty crappy from this cold.
Cathedral took a substantial amount of damage during hurricane Sandy, but the trails are all clear–and the uprooted trees are fascinating.
Location: Cathedral State Park
Trails: Cathedral, Giant Hemlock, Partridge Berry Trails
Distance: 1.8 miles
Elevation: 2438 – 2626 feet
If you’ve ever tried to photograph the woods, you know it’s pretty difficult to get a pictures from within the forest that shows the majesty of what you’re seeing. It’s that old–you can’t photograph the forest for the trees.
Doesn’t mean it isn’t worth visiting, it’s just very hard to photograph and give you an idea of what it’s like.
The WV leaf reports started this week, so since I am still tired and miserable from this stupid cold, we decided to take a scenic drive.
We had to stop at this bridge on our way back from Jackson’s Mill.