Random (but not really)

Monday, June 24, 2019

Hiking WV: Blackwater Canyon

I’ve been sickly for about two weeks, getting over some kind of cold/respiratory thingy. So yesterday we wanted to hike somewhere close, and take a hike that wasn’t too strenuous.

Apparently, we have a strange definition of strenuous.

We ended up going to Thomas/Davis because it’s a short-ish drive, and there are tons of places to hike. We were considering the Canaan Wilderness, but I looked through the hiking books on the way down, and decided we should try some more hiking in the Blackwater Canyon (across the gorge from Blackwater Falls State Park).

Location: Blackwater Canyon
Trails: Allegheny and Limerock Trails
Distance: 8.2 miles
Elevation: 2863-3118 feet (590 feet rise)

It seems that for us, 8.2 miles turned out to be taking it easy. We did have a much slower pace than we normally hike (30 min mile vs 20 min mile) and the majority of the hike was on a railroad grade trail, so it was a slower elevation rise. Essentially, we parked, and hikeed out until we decided we were ready to turn around.

The temperatures were perfect for hiking, the weather was lovely, and aside from one dirt biker on the RR grade trail, we didn’t see anyone else while we were out.

So: a good day.

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

Sunday, June 23, 2019

WV Roads

I’ve talked about WV roads before, and I truly don’t think most people really get it.

US Route 50 stretches from the east coast to the west coast. It was constructed in the mid 1920s. So it’s been around for awhile and used to be a major thoroughfare.

West of I79, US 50 in WV is relatively straight, and for the most part a divided highway. East of I79 it is two lanes, 7-11% grades, and hairpin turns. The GPS often loses signal along the more winding stretches and has us either inside the mountain or floating above the gorge. (“Damnit! You’re off-roading again!”)

When I talk about reasons why WV has trouble getting jobs because of lack of infrastructure, US 50 East of I79 immediately comes to mind. No one in the right mind would bring production into an area where you cannot drive large trucks.

So in an effort to try and explain WV roads, here is a small section of US 50, taken over approximately 5 minutes, up to and then down one of my least favorite stretches of US 50. (This is NOT the section with the switch backs.) I named the pictures with the date and time, and all should have GPS coordinates.

Ready? Here we go!

18-55-00. Coming up to the top of the mountain, there are multiple signs warning trucks about the hill. “Trucks must stop 1/4 mile”

18-55-16. “Trucks must stop 1000 FT”

18-55-27. “ALL TRUCKS”

18-55-39. “Trucks. 20 MPH Curve Bottom of Grade.”

Oh yeah, this section of downhill ends in a sharp curve.

18-56-03. Here we go!

18-56-20. “Rough Road”

Because of course the road is subsiding.

18-56-55

18-57-12.

18-57-15. “9%”

18-57-27.

18-58-46. “30 MPH”

18-59-12.

18-59-23. “9%”

18-59-45.

19-00-13. “9%. 1/2 MILE”

19-00-39. “20 MPH”

That’s the final turn and now you’re down in the valley.

Five minutes. 9% grade. And it you mess up you’re smashed into the side of the mountain or plunging into the gorge.

These is a US route, not a county road. THIS is why we can’t get jobs in WV. Not because the people are unwilling to work, but because businesses can’t GET to the areas where jobs are needed.

Written by Michelle at 6:19 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,Politics,West Virginia  

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Summer Food Programs

USDA: Find Summer Meals in Your Community

Nutritious free meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger at many locations throughout the nation throughout the summer while school is out of session. Use the mapping tool below to find a site near you.

Mountaineer Food Bank

Mountaineer Food Bank is located in Gassaway, WV. Our organization provides food and other household items to our emergency food network in 48 counties including programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, Backpack programs, senior programs and mobile pantries.

MFB works with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to distribute USDA commodities in 43 counties in West Virginia, almost 3.5 million pounds annually. The products are generally staple items such as green beans, corn, canned fruit, juices and proteins such as meat or peanut butter.

Written by Michelle at 10:01 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Politics,West Virginia  

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Hiking WV: Seneca Rocks

Sunday was our annual hike up Seneca Rocks in memory of my cousin Ben. Ben died in 2012, and every year since then we’ve hiked up Seneca Rocks on his birthday. And since we’re doing it in memory of Ben, we have to go all the way to the top without stopping.

I was chatting with Tania the night before, and she asked if I was still mad at Ben. I said much less than I had been.

I changed my mind about 2/3rds of the way up.

I’m not as mad at him as I used to be (once I catch my breath, that is) but it’s still hard for me to accept. And it most likely always will be.

Although there was rain throughout the day, it held off for our hike, as well as while we were enjoying the view.

Location: Seneca Rocks
Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation: 1546-2407 feet (919)
Temperature: 75 F

Hike up:
Distance: 1.2 miles
Elevation: 1578 – 2319 feet (740); 11.6% grade
Time: 32 minutes

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

Monday, May 20, 2019

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley

We’d hoped to spend some time hiking in the southern part of the state after I finished teaching in Charleston, but thunderstorms nixed that plan, so we came home, and had a day trip to Canaan.

This is one of the places we go frequently, because it’s relatively close to Morgantown, and there are SO MANY places to hike.

Location: Canaan Wilderness
Trail: Lindy Run, Plantation, Fire Trails
Distance: 4.0 miles
Elevation: 3459-3652 feet (397 feet gain)
Temperature: 82 F

Wet trail.

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Wet crossing.

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Dry trail.

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Gorgeous creek.

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Written by Michelle at 7:44 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Canaan Valley Edition

Our original plans for the weekend were thrown into disarray, so we went to Canaan Valley on Saturday for a little hiking, and to see what spring wildflowers were out.

Answer: lots and lots.

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Written by Michelle at 9:55 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Cacapon State Park

I really want an app that gives me the forecast for the state and tells me where it will NOT be raining over the weekend. Is that really so much to ask?

The forecast looked least wet in the Berkeley Springs area, so we headed east to do some hiking at Cacapon.

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Irises

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Pink Lady Slipper

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FUTURE SNACKS!!!!

Written by Michelle at 9:25 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  
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