Random (but not really)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hiking WV: Audra State Park

Cooler weather and an influx of horrific traffic to Morgantown got us on the road again, this time to Audra State Park.

The Girst Mill (it’s earlier use) is long gone, except for a grinding stone, but the Alum Cave trail along the river has multiple paths to wander down to the water, where you can swim and sunbathe in relative isolation if you’re willing to hike a bit.

I really like Audra. It’s not a particularly strenuous hike (we went out and back the same way, because I prefer to walk closer to the water) but it’s very pretty, and has lots of options for going down to the water.

Location: Audra State Park
Trail: Alum Cave Trail
River: Middle Fork River
Distance: 2.9 miles
Ascent: 497 feet

I love the board walk. It’s more solid than it looks.




We had a long discussion about this root formation:


Rotting logs can be absolutely fascinating:


And lots of paths to get down to the water:



GPS map of hike

Written by Michelle at 9:01 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Metal Chickens,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekend Travels: Deep Creek Lake & Swallow Falls

This was move-in weekend, so as a Morgantown resident, I knew there was only one thing to do: get the hell out of town.

We chose to drive east, to the Maryland State Parks of Deep Creek Lake and Swallow Falls. Having grown up in WV, where all the State Parks are free, it always comes as a bit of a shock when we have to pay to get in. But considering the amount of damage at Swallow Falls State Park from Hurricane Sandy, I couldn’t really complain.




Written by Michelle at 7:03 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Metal Chickens,Photos,Travel  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Ramblings: Rock City

This was actually a couple weekends ago, but, I forgot to post the pictures.



Written by Michelle at 9:09 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Metal Chickens,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Family Visit: Blackwater Falls

Friday we took the day off to visit my family who were spending the week in Blackwater Falls. The skies were grey, and it was rainy, but we were there to see my family, so that didn’t much matter.



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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tsk Tsk

I’m saddened that no one commented upon a common item in the last two posts: Seneca Rock and Spruce Knob.

I’m obviously too subtle for my own good.

Written by Michelle at 2:17 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Metal Chickens,Photos  

Weekend Travels: Seneca Rocks

Sunday would have been my cousin Ben’s 33rd birthday. My aunt and uncle held a memorial hike along the Appalachian Trail on Sunday, but I’ve felt very uncomfortable recently around groups of people I don’t know, so Michael and I chose to hike up Seneca Rocks, which is one of the first places he climbed.

There are two ways to get up Seneca Rocks: climb the face or hike from the side. We–unsurprisingly–chose the hike.

Here are some views of Seneca Rocks:




This is the end of the hiking path: only climbers with proper gear are supposed to go beyond here.


We also made the slightly more arduous hike (because it’s not a path, but a trail) to the base of the rock. We came in from the left, so it’s looking up at the lower face on the far left. Here’s a look upwards.


This is a gorgeous stream running below the rock face. One of the nice things about visiting state parks is the water ways tend to be clean and clear and unpolluted (ie, not orange from acid mine drainage, which used to be the state of all the creeks local to Morgantown.)


Here’s the view from the observation deck:


And here’s a sign that caught my fancy. You could see several areas of erosion where people took “shortcuts.”


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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Weekend Travels: Spruce Knob & Dolly Sods

Since we made an actual weekend of our trip (staying overnight instead of just a day trip) we had our leisure to visit several of the parks and recreation areas.

Spruce Knob is West Virginia’s highest peak. We did not hike to the top, but instead drove (I believe it’s an 11 mile hike).

Despite being the end of May, it was quite cold–there was even ice on the ground under the observation tower. But it was also gorgeous, and there were not many people, so one could actually get a sense of the isolation of the area.

It’s nice to be in a mostly wild area, and not see or hear other humans.



Mind you, it’s not quiet in these areas–nature isn’t particularly silent–just peaceful.

Coming back down from Spruce Knob, we made the mistake of listening to the GPS, which kept wanting us to turn down roads marked “Private! No Trespassing!” or overgrown dirt roads.

On the other hand, it was an absolutely gorgeous drive.


We also took a short hike at Dolly Sods


We also saw many signs of Superstorm Sandy. There are some trails throughout the various state parks that are still closed, and we had to clamber over several downed trees on some of the trails.



And there was plenty of beauty to admire.




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