Random (but not really)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Traveling WV: Harpers Ferry

We’d hoped to catch the last of the state’s color at Harpers Ferry, but it was past peak, and the weather never cleared, so it was a grey day.

Despite that, I enjoyed walking around Harpers Ferry, especially the old buildings and fieldstone walls.

“May be uneven” is a bit of an understatement.

20171114_Harpers_Ferry_032

20171114_Harpers_Ferry_047

20171114_Harpers_Ferry_039

Just a little uneven.

I took a lot of pictures of the stairs, because I find them beautiful and fascinating. You can click through any picture to get to Flickr.

The tunnels and such from when the town was water powered.

20171114_Harpers_Ferry_103

20171114_Harpers_Ferry_078

I wish the clouds had cleared for a little bit, because I wanted some better pictures of the old church.

Not that it stopped me from taking a million pictures.

20171114_Harpers_Ferry_026

20171114_Harpers_Ferry_009

20171114_Harpers_Ferry_003

As I said, plenty more pictures if you click through to Flickr.

Written by Michelle at 5:12 pm      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Happy 100th Birthday Grandmom!

It’s been 100 years since Grandmom was born.

Grandmom and the Cherry Blossoms

Grandmom

Grandmom & Aunt Doris in daisy field behind house on Oak Grove.

Grandmom

Grandmom, Aunt Doris, and neighbor kids.

Grandmom

Aunt Sophie, Uncle John, Grandmom, Great-Grandfather Laukaitis.

Grandmom

Grandmom & Aunt Sophie

Grandmom

Albert(?) Grandmom, Popbo, Aunt Sophie.
Also: SPATS!

Grandmom

Aunt Sophie, Grandmom, Aunt Doris

Grandmom

Aunt Sophie, Grandmom, Aunt Doris

Grandmom

Aunt Sophie, Grandmom, Aunt Doris

93rd Birthday!

Grandmom & Aunt Doris

Grandmom

Grandmom

Cousin Pat, Cousin Jimmie, Aunt Chris, Grandmom

Grandmom

Grandmom & Popbo

Grandmom

Grandmom & Popbo

Grandmom

Grandmom

Grandmom

I had to put in one with curlers. :)

Grandmom

I still miss you Grandmom.

Grandmom & Lily

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Traveling WV: Shepherdstown

In 2013, I spent some time wandering around the graveyards in Shepherdstown, and I was quite saddened to see that the although the “Reformed Graveyard” was well maintained, directly across the street, the Lutheran graveyard was barely maintained and in terrible shape.

I was delighted to find that someone has stepped up and done a great deal of work cleaning up the Lutheran Graveyard, including putting back up fallen gravestones.

20171111_Shepherdstown_001

It looks like the fallen headstones that had been moved from their original place are now neatly leaned up against the cemetery wall.

20171111_Shepherdstown_010

20171111_Shepherdstown_007

Aged 82 years and 17 days.

20171111_Shepherdstown_005

Polly was the only thing I could read on this stone.

20171111_Shepherdstown_004

Written by Michelle at 4:18 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

This was more of a meander than a hike, since I kept stopping to look at everything from the view to individual leaves.

20171105_Coopers_Rock_036

20171105_Coopers_Rock_081

20171105_Coopers_Rock_039

20171105_Coopers_Rock_045

20171105_Coopers_Rock_069

Written by Michelle at 6:07 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Friday, November 3, 2017

Hiking WV: New River Gorge

I decided a couple weeks ago that for fall pictures, visiting places during the week would be less crowded and thus much nicer. We still saw people at New River Gorge, because I wanted to hike some of the best views, but it was not crowded, which was lovely.

Location: New River Gorge
Trail: Long Point
Distance: 3.1 miles
Elevation: 1779-2106 ft (539 ft gain)
Temperature: 67-70 F

They spent the summer doing a lot of work on Long Point, and it’s now open again. They replaced the board walk with a causeway, raised the trail in several of the muddy places, and rerouted the trail in other places.

All of which is a sign of how heavily used that trail is, and why you should hike it during the week, rather than the weekend.

Of course, there is good reason the trail is so busy. Because of this view.

20171102_New_River_Gorge_004

And also because of this view.

20171102_New_River_Gorge_023

Even this view:

20171102_New_River_Gorge_019

The other trail we took was Endless Wall out to Diamond Point.

Location: New River Gorge
Trail: Endless Wall (to Diamond Point and back)
Distance: 2.2 miles
Elevation: 1838-1980 ft
Temperature: 70-68 F

One day we’ll hike the entirety of Endless Wall. But since it’s generally the last hike of the day, since Diamond Point is prettiest in late afternoon/early evening, I don’t expect it to be any time soon.

I actually think the view at Diamond Point is nicer than Long Point, but you can’t see the bridge as clearly, so perhaps that’s why it’s less popular with non-climbers.

20171102_New_River_Gorge_054

20171102_New_River_Gorge_076

20171102_New_River_Gorge_046

The sun and clouds were really uncooperative, so this is one of the best pictures I got. You’ll have to take my word for it that it was even prettier than this.

20171102_New_River_Gorge_067

Written by Michelle at 9:26 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Traveling WV: Droop Mountain

The unincorporated town of Droop is named for Droop Mountain, where a Civil War battle took place in 1863. The Droop Mountain State Park has preserved these sites and is both an historical site and a state park with hiking trails.

20171021_Droop_Mountain_029

20171021_Droop_Mountain_006

There was plenty of color, and the drive down 219 was gorgeous.

20171021_Droop_Mountain_027

Written by Michelle at 9:40 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Traveling WV: Babcock

Unsurprisingly, we were too early for good fall color.

20171019_Babcock_012

We looked. We could see no signs of a trail.

20171019_Babcock_041

Little bit of color!

20171019_Babcock_046

20171019_Babcock_032

The path to cabin 8.

20171019_Babcock_029

Written by Michelle at 8:39 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Traveling WV: Berkeley Springs

There was also supposed to be good color at Berkeley Springs, which was also a lie.

However, I love Berkeley Springs and love watching the air bubble up from the bottom of the springs.

20171015_Berkeley_Springs_015

20171015_Berkeley_Springs_068

20171015_Berkeley_Springs_084

20171015_Berkeley_Springs_087

20171015_Berkeley_Springs_033

20171015_Berkeley_Springs_057

Written by Michelle at 10:09 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Traveling WV: Fall Color at Cacapon

The report we read said there we be good color at Berkeley Springs & Cacapon. There was color, but not good color, sadly.

But, it was a beautiful day, and we were outside, so the lack of color is only a minimal complaint.

Oh, for anyone with an electric car, Cacapon State Park has EV charging stations now.

This was taken on the Ziller Loop trail. I’m currently restricted from strenuous activity or carrying weight, so we just did a brief saunter and then walked back down.

20171015_Cacapon_003

Here’s the view from Cacapon Mountain Overlook.

20171015_Cacapon_017

Not much color, but you can see four states from there. (WV, VA, MD, PA)

Written by Michelle at 9:47 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Traveling WV: Fall Color, Finally

Leaf color change in the Canaan / Blackwater Falls area is supposed to be mid September. The previous two weekends there was minimal color in the area, although the hikes and walks were still beautiful.

This Saturday was sunny and gorgeous and full of color. We went to Canaan Valley State Park, Freeland Boardwalk in Canaan Wilderness Refuge, and Blackwater Falls State Park.

20171007_Canaan_Valley_081

20171007_Canaan_Valley_061

20171007_Blackwater_Falls_012

20171007_Blackwater_Falls_029

20171007_Canaan_Valley_018

20171007_Canaan_Valley_050

Written by Michelle at 9:37 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls State Park

Our last stop was Blackwater Falls State Park. Initially we were going to wander around Pendleton Point and Pendleton lake, and then hike Lindy Point trail, but we both decided we were tired, and it was time to get ice cream and head home.

20170925_Blackwater_Falls_008

20170925_Blackwater_Falls_036

20170925_Blackwater_Falls_038

Written by Michelle at 7:51 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley State Park

I’ve hiked this trail several times before, and will do so many times again. It’s a very short trail, with little elevation change, yet you go through several different types of habitat.

It’s a beautiful hike, perfect for kids, and one I highly recommend.

Location: Canaan Valley State Park
Trail: Blackwater River Trail
Distance: 0.9 miles
Elevation: 3158-3334 feet

OK, this is actually not along the Blackwater River trail, but the beaver pond is on the way to the trail.

20170925_Canaan_Valley_025

20170925_Canaan_Valley_006

The Blackwater River, meandering through Canaan Valley

20170925_Canaan_Valley_012

20170925_Canaan_Valley_016

Written by Michelle at 7:45 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Blackwater Canyon Rim

This was not a true hike, because we had difficulty getting there (you can’t enter trail head into the GPS, then we both misread what the road sign was saying) so we ended up wandering briefly around both ends of the Canyon Rim Trail, as well as climbing up Olsen Lookout Tower.

Location: Backbone Mountain, Monongahela National Forest
Trail: Blackwater Canyon Rim Trail
Elevation: 3200-3785

I did climb Olsen Lookout Tower, but since this is me, I was very slow and careful and did not stumble or fall once!

20170925_Blackwater_Canyon_056

The view from the tower. We had two separate 360 views this weekend. Pretty impressive.

20170925_Blackwater_Canyon_014

On the other side of the trail, we found this lovely waterfall.

20170925_Blackwater_Canyon_010

We will hike this entire trail eventually.

Written by Michelle at 7:36 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Traveling WV: Dolly Sods

After hiking to Chimney Top, we weren’t up for much more of a hike, so we headed across the valley to Dolly Sods.

And I do mean directly across the valley.

That’s the North Fork Mountain Range:

20170924_Dolly_Sods_005

A closer look–you can see Chimney Top.

20170924_Dolly_Sods_007

But of course the reason we went was because it’s full-on fall at Dolly Sods right now.

20170924_Dolly_Sods_066

20170924_Dolly_Sods_079

20170924_Dolly_Sods_113

20170924_Dolly_Sods_039

I love the beauty of my state so very much.

Written by Michelle at 5:04 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Chimney Top

One of the places I found that I wanted to hike was on the North Fork Mountain, up to Chimney Top. In a long weekend of stunning views, this was the best of the lot. Which is good, because it is a long, steep hike, so you deserve the reward when you reach the top.

The trail to Chimney Top is off the North Fork Mountain Trail and marked by two large rock cairns. Along the trail there are views of the west side of Dolly Sods, but if you struggle all the way up to Chimney Top, and the climb onto the rocks (I was hesitant initially but it was worth it) you have a natural 360 view.

It is stunning.

Location: North Fork Mountain
Trail: North Fork Mountain Trail
Distance: 5.2 miles (only to Chimney top & back)
Elevation: 1130-3180 feet (2063 feet)
Grade: 15.4% (avg)
Temperature: 74-80 F

Here is a 180 view facing the Dolly Sods Wilderness.

20170924_Chimney_Top_057

Here is a view facing north and west.

20170924_Chimney_Top_033

Facing south.

20170924_Chimney_Top_001

There were several scrub pine that kept me from getting a shot I liked facing west, but it was still beautiful.

This is the view I had after reaching the top of the trail and collapsing in the nearest shade where I drank water and considered taking a brief nap.

20170924_Chimney_Top_062

The rocks themselves are fascinating.

20170924_Chimney_Top_011

It was stunning and beautiful and I highly recommend the hike–although bring extra water, because it is STEEP.

20170924_Chimney_Top_020

This hike is nor for everyone, but if you think you can manage 2 1/2 miles straight up the mountainside, I do recommend it for the view.

Written by Michelle at 4:52 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Traveling WV: Harmon Rocks

One of the things I wanted to do these trips was to visit some places we hadn’t before. We were focused for awhile on visiting all the state parks & forests, so we hadn’t explored as much of the national forests as I’d have liked. We’ve started remedying that.

Harmon rocks are located just outside the Monongahela National Forest, with no signs and up a very steep and rocky gravel road. (Other vehicles could drive it, our Corolla? Not so much.) In fact we were initially unsure we were in the right place, but parked next two a truck with two gentleman and two hound dogs who had been out hunting bear all day, and they told us the rocks were straight up the hill (the road was, of course, all switchbacks). One gentleman didn’t seem convinced when we said we were good with walking up the hill, but it was less than a mile, and I said we’d already hiked up Seneca Rocks that day, so we’d be fine.

Which we were. Although a little out of breath at the top.

Location: Harmon Rocks
Distance: 1.6 miles (out and back from road)
Elevation: 3527-4151 feet (624 feet climb)
Grade: 18%

The view was well worth the slog up to the top.

20170923_Harman_Rocks_033

There is a trail of sorts there. But it’s more like a rough path hacked out of the rhododendron and mountain laurel. I don’t really recommend it.

20170923_Harman_Rocks_043

The view was marvelous.

20170923_Harman_Rocks_014

20170923_Harman_Rocks_021

I’m not sure I’d want to make the hike up there again, but it really was well-worth the visit.

Written by Michelle at 1:13 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Spruce Knob

This was more of a short wander than a hike, but the colors were better from Spruce Knob.

Also, it was warmer than I have ever known it to be at Spruce Knob. I normally wear multiple layers, and last visit, at the end of May, I was wearing gloves to be more comfortable. Saturday it was in the lower seventies.

Location: Spruce Knob
Trail: Whispering Spruce Trail
Distance: 0.6 miles
Elevation: 4865-4935 feet
Temperature: 72 F

You can see the color change moving down the mountainside here.

20170923_Spruce_Knob_001

And here, some beautiful color.

20170923_Spruce_Knob_039

You really can see quite far from the highest point in WV.

20170923_Spruce_Knob_011

A beautiful walk.

Written by Michelle at 12:57 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Seneca Rocks

We decided a long weekend was in order, to enjoy the clear skies and the color changes in the Monongahela Forest.

It was far warmer than it should have been, and the color change in this area wasn’t much, but it was still a beautiful hike.

Location: Seneca Rocks
Trail: Seneca Rocks Trail
Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation: 1670-2503 feet (829 ft elevation)
Grade: 9.7%
Temperature: 74-80

20170923_Seneca_Rocks_001

20170923_Seneca_Rocks_012

20170923_Seneca_Rocks_023

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

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Flower Pr0n: WV Botanic Garden

Please enjoy some hot butterfly on flower action.

20170904_WV_Botanic_Garden_007

20170904_WV_Botanic_Garden_003

Written by Michelle at 11:07 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Hiking WV: Canaan Mountain Wilderness

It was a gorgeous day for a hike in Canaan. And also for wandering around Davis, after eating ice cream.

Location: Canaan Mountain Backcountry
Trail: Table Rock Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 3385-3500 feet
Temperature: 72 F

20170819_Canaan_Wilderness_022

20170819_Canaan_Wilderness_012

20170819_Canaan_Wilderness_028

20170819_Canaan_Wilderness_002

Written by Michelle at 8:58 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  
Next Page »

Powered by WordPress

books main pictures cats e-mail