Random (but not really)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Lost River State Park

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Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

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Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Oh my god! Look at all the future snacks!

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Wild blueberries (vaccinium angustifolium)

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Sometimes you have to get close down to the ground to notice some of the tiny, beautiful flowers.

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Written by Michelle at 11:08 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Hiking WV: Lost River State Park

The forecast was for rain throughout most of the state, but I found that the Eastern panhandle was just supposed to be overcast, so off to the Eastern Panhandle we went! Since we visit Berkeley Springs/Cacapon relatively frequently, we decided to go back to Lost River State Park, since that is one of the first state parks we traveled to.

Location: Lost River State Park
Trails: White Oak, Millers Rock Trails
Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation: 2956-1940 feet (1016 feet)
Average Grade: 6% (lower portion of the trail to first shelter ~11% grade)
Temperature: 72-75 F

Here is a panorama shot from Cranny Crow overlook. It’s a beautiful view, looking over into VA and WV.

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FUTURE SNACKS!

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Switchbacks! You can see two portions of the trail below.

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It was a gorgeous view.

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Map of the hike.

Elevation Graph

Written by Michelle at 8:10 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

The GPS Really Is Trying to Kill Us

I’ve joked repeatedly that the GPS hates us and is trying to kill us. (“Here! Take this turn down a dark alley filled with vampires! Best route!”)

Here is pictorial evidence of it. Lost Creek State Park Road is a little wider than a lane and a half, full of switch backs, and much of the road is cut into the side of the mountain, so if you miss, you’re doing down the side of the hill.

You can see clearly here, the GPS believes the speed limit for this road is 55 MPH. Michael is driving 25 MPH.

The GPS really is trying to kill us. This is NOT a 55 mph road.

Michael has edged up to 30 MPH, but that’s really the limit for this road.

The GPS really is trying to kill us. This is NOT a 55 mph road.

Also: potholes and uneven road!

The GPS really is trying to kill us. This is NOT a 55 mph road.

But really, why would you want to drive super fast? The view is beautiful and well-worth admiring.

We had an excellent dinner and dessert at O’Neills in Moorefield. We’d stopped here the first time we went to Lost River, and then spent the intervening years trying to figure out WHAT that restaurant was.

The GPS really is trying to kill us. his is NOT a 55 mph road.

Written by Michelle at 7:19 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Flower Pr0n: WV Botanic Garden

ANOTHER DAY OF NOT RAIN!!!!!

Columbine

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Dutch Iris

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Bluet

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I wasn’t scoping out future snacks. (I totally was.)

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Peony

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Written by Michelle at 6:09 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos,West Virginia  

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Traveling WV: Watters Smith State Park

We stopped at Watters Smith State Park on our way home, on the off chance that just this once the museum would be open.

It wasn’t.

They are, however, repairing and reconstructing the oldest and most damaged of the wood structures, which is fascinating.

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Written by Michelle at 9:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Cedar Creek State Park

FINALLY! A Saturday without rain! And we even had some SUN! So we headed south, west of I79 where the weather looked most promising, and although the ground was soggy, the park hasn’t been hiked much this spring, so it wasn’t muddy. Which after a winter hiking Coopers Rock, was a very pleasant surprise.

Because there were so few people, we saw lots of wildlife and heard even more birds.

Location: Cedar Creek State Park
Trails: Park View, Fishermen’s Trails
Distance: 2.2 miles
Elevation: 731-1256 feet (525)
Temperature: 58-64 F

Seriously, this is the trail along the ridge line. You can just see the blazes in the distance.

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Scarlet Tanager

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(ahem) Turtles

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We also saw a baby snake AND Michael didn’t scream! (It was moving to fast for me to get a picture.)

Vending machine. Note it takes only quarters. Maybe from the 60s or 70s?

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Written by Michelle at 8:48 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Flower Pr0n: WV Botanic Garden

The weather threatened storms most of the day, so when it cleared in the later afternoon, we made a quick, late trip to the WV Botanic Garden.

Not as many flowers blooming as I was expecting, and the humidity was vile, but it was still a nice walk. Also, the spring peppers were going crazy. I thought about grabbing a video clip of how loud they were, but I’d left my phone in the car.

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Dogwood (Cornus florida)

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Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus)

Various Rhododendron:

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Violets

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Allium

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probably an apple

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

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock State Forest

Friday afternoon was gorgeous, so we of course went out to Coopers Rock.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Unofficial, Clay Run, Mont Chateau, Rhododendron, Ridge, Rock City, Eagle Trails
Distance: 5.6 miles
Elevation: 1517-2256 feet (739 ft change)
Temperature: 74-71 F

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Happy Friday!

Map of the hike

Written by Michelle at 8:55 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Coopers Rock Wildflowers

Rainy Saturday, but today was gorgeous and there were lots of wildflowers at Coopers Rock.

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Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

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Red Trillium (Trillium erectum)

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Wood Geranium (Geranium maculata)

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?Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia L.)?

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Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Written by Michelle at 6:05 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Sunday was a gorgeous day for a hike!

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Rhododendron, Mont Chateau, Clay Run, Unofficial Trails
Distance: 4.5 miles
Elevation: 1538-2096 feet
Temperature: 54-64 F

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This is a nice loop to do. Here’s what it looked like:

Written by Michelle at 5:15 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lovely Evening at Coopers Rock

The weather threatened rain and storms all weekend, so instead of hiking we just wandered around Coopers Rock yesterday evening, and sat at the Overlook for sunset.

Then we bugged out, as it started raining as we drove home.

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Written by Michelle at 11:12 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock State Forest

Two beautiful days in a row, so of course we went hiking at Coopers Rock.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Clay Run, Mont Chateau, Rhododendron, Roadside Trails
Distance: 7.0 miles
Elevation: 1491-2329 feet
Temperature: 49-58 F

Busy beavers have been too busy to finish taking down that tree.

Or, they’ve been moved?

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Future tadpoles!

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Aside from parts of some of the trails that were super muddy, it was a wonderful hike.

Written by Michelle at 6:35 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hiking WV: Audra State Park

It may have snowed Friday, but Saturday was beautiful. We saw a bit of snow, but except for the very sheltered areas, it was gone by the time we headed home.

Location: Audra State Park
Trail: Alum Cave Trail
Distance: 3.3 miles
Elevation: 1674-1820 feet
Temperature: 49-59 F

The only trail is the Alum Cave Trail that runs along the Middle Fork River, but the river is in sight for pretty much the entire hike, so who cares if it’s out and back?

Goodbye snow.

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We saw the kayakers unloading. They caught up as we were sitting on a rock listening to the water.

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There are many little trails heading off the Alum Cave Trail to take you down to the water.

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There are a few deep areas like this, where the river looks calm, but with the river as high as it was, much of it was white water.

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It was a lovely day.

Written by Michelle at 7:48 pm      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

The gate is open! We don’t have to hike the Roadside/Advanced Ski trails! Huzzah!

They’re not bad trails–after all, the Roadside trail is relatively flat and easy. The problem is that after a warm wet winter, the trails are a muddy disaster. That doesn’t mean the trails inside aren’t wet, just that most of them aren’t torn up from constant biking and hiking.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Rhododendron, Mont Chateau, Ridge, Eagle Trails
Distance: 4.9 miles
Elevation: 1503-2232 feet
Temperature: 45-55 F

Because we’ve had a fair amount of rain, the creeks were running high, which meant, as I said, wet trails, but only the ridge trail was especially muddy, probably because it gets more bikers.

Here’s the creek at the bridge on the Mont Chateau trail. There was a lot of water running through.

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Just past the bridge, as the trail starts uphill, we saw this.

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Don’t think that’s what’s meant by “Leave Only Footprints”

Written by Michelle at 8:35 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Monday, March 27, 2017

WV Botanic Garden

Since the early flowers are blooming (those that didn’t die because of the early warm spell) we went to the Botanic Garden.

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Tibbs Run

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First rhododendron of the year!

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Grape hyacinth

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These tiny daffodils are adorable.

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Written by Michelle at 3:23 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Morgantown,Photos,West Virginia  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Saturday it rained off and on, so although Sunday was overcast, we took advantage of the minimal precipitation and headed out to Coopers Rock.

Location: Coopers Rock
Distance: ~6 miles
Elevation: 1920-2421 feet
Temperature: 35-41 F

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We went a bit earlier than usual, so it was quiet and we saw very few people, which was nice.

It was still muddy on the roadside trail, however, so we ended up walking the road part of the way back, just to avoid the mud.

Written by Michelle at 9:01 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

It was a gorgeous day for a hike.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Advanced Ski, Resoivoir Ski, Scott Run Trails
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation: 1857-2289 feet
Temperature: 28-34 C

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Written by Michelle at 5:45 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Another Visitor Drawn by the Bird Feeders

Although for a different reason.

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Written by Michelle at 6:49 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: House & Garden,Photos  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Busy day at Coopers Rock, what with it being freaking 70 F IN FEBRUARY.

Towards the gate:

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Towards the I68:

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We took it kinda easy today–my back has been sore from all the bending over and crouching I’ve been doing working on the chairs.

Location: Coopers Rock
Trails: Roadside, Reservoir Ski, Reservoir Trails
Distance: 3.7+ miles
Elevation: 2169-2364 feet

So we hiked the Reservoir Ski Trail to the reservoir and then around the reservoir, which brings me to this important question:

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HOW DID I NOT KNOW THERE WERE BEAVERS AT COOPERS ROCK?

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ADDENDUM the First:

To clarify for H J Gadiyar, check out the details of these pictures!

The larger tree is in the process of being gnawed down. But in the background to the left you can see a felled tree.

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Here you can see the tell-tale v and ^ signs of the tree that fell to the left. But also you can see that the missing branches on the tree coming towards the camera have all been chewed and drug off once they were detached.

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Written by Michelle at 7:01 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Hiking WV: New River Gorge

Although last week’s snow is gone, it was a clear, beautiful day at New Rover Gorge.

We spent a good deal of time poking around Wolf Creek. One area was easy to get to, the other–less so.

Location: New River Gorge: Canyon Rim Area
Trails: Timber Ridge, Long Point, Fayetteville, Park Loop Trails
Distance: 4.7 miles
Elevation: 1784-2151 feet
Temperature: 34F

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Map of the Hike.

Written by Michelle at 9:57 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  
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