Random (but not really)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Traveling WV: Paw Paw Tunnel

Technically, this is in Maryland.

But it is labelled the Paw Paw tunnel, and Paw Paw is in WV.

I can’t believe we’d never been there before.

When building the C&O canal, they were in a race against the completion of rail lines, so they decided the it would be easier to build a tunnel than to follow the river (understandable really, because the river is really twisty and the riverbanks weren’t necessarily good for canal building).

It’s pretty impressive.

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We totally counted all markers and found the four markers for shafts.

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Oops.

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Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Maryland,National Park / Forest,Photos  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Traveling WV: Berkeley Springs

After a long search, we found that there was a break in the rain on Saturday in the Berkeley Springs area. So that’s where we headed.

This is a beautiful, and we spent some time wandering around the town. I wouldn’t want to live on the main street, but it is a lovely little town.

The pools fed by the springs were quite high–higher than I ever remember seeing them.

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They were also as pretty as they always are.

For something different, instead of going to Cacapon, went up to what used to be called Panorama Peak. Still not much color, but beautiful never-the-less.

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Written by Michelle at 7:24 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Train! A Train! The Potomac Eagle

Our friends ended up with two extra tickets for the Potomac Eagle in Saturday, and asked if we’d be able to go with them. A train ride AND time with two lovely small people (and their parents)? Of course!

Three of them rode in the gondola through the trough. Michael and I and one of the small people declined. I was more interested in the scenery than the eagles, and the small person thought the gondola would be too loud, since it was behind the engine.

It was a beautiful day, and there were actually eagles, but I enjoyed the view (even if there was almost no fall color).

Look an old house!

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Look! A couple of walls that used to be a house!

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Interesting rocks!

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The river!

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Fields and mountains!

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An excellent day!

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Valley

There was also a dearth of color at Canaan Valley (and Blackwater Falls).

Still pretty though.

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Written by Michelle at 7:16 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Seneca Rocks

Since the weather was forecast to be nice, and Michael had the day off, Saturday we decided to head down to Seneca Rocks, in hopes of catch some fall color.

The weather was lovely, but there was a distinct lack of fall color.

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Location: Seneca Rocks
Trail: Seneca Rocks Trail
Distance: 3.7 miles
Elevation: 1573-2520 feet (1003 ft rise)

Hike Up
1.2 miles
1611-2446 feet
33 minutes

It doesn’t look like there’s that much water going over the bridge!

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Guess who had wet feet for this hike?

One of the reasons I wanted to make this hike on a Friday and not Saturday is that it tends to be really busy on Saturdays, and I selfishly prefer solitude when at the top of the rocks.

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Written by Michelle at 7:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, October 1, 2018

Hiking WV: Cranberry Wilderness

After a week of rain, Saturday was clear, so we headed to the Cranberry Wilderness, which has become one of my favorite places, since it is far less visited that most other spots in WV.

We hiked two shorter trails, wanting the views as much as the hiking.

Location: Cranberry Wilderness
Trail: Red Spruce Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 4386-4722 feet (420 ft gain)

Is that… a bear track? (Click through to Flickr for a comparison picture.)

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The trail at the top of the mountain was unbelievably gorgeous. Look at that! So beautiful!

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Because Red Spruce Knob is the highest peak in the area, there was a fire tower here at one point. That tower is long gone, and most of the overlook is overgrown.

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Still worth the hike.

Trail: High Rocks Trail
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation: 4312-4507 feet (471 ft gain)

The trail to High Rocks was possibly one of the easiest we’ve ever hiked in the Mon Nat’l Forest. We kept waiting for it to get super muddy or terribly rocky or ridiculously steep; Nope. It was a very easy hike.

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It was a ridiculously easy hike, for the view at the end.

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hiking WV: Dolly Sods

Since we had a long weekend and didn’t have to drive, we wanted to do a long hike on Friday.

There are so many places to choose from in the Canaan Valley area, but we eventually settled on Dolly Sods, and a trail we’d wanted to hike before, in the hopes that it being a Friday morning we wouldn’t see so many people.

We saw… fewer people than we would on a Saturday, but we still saw more people than I particularly wanted to on a hike in the wilderness.

Location: Dolly Sods Wilderness
Trails: Rocky Ridge, Blackbird Knob Trails
Distance: 7.6 miles
Elevation: 3757-4184 feet (1137 feet gain)

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Blackbird Knob Trail

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Yes, the trail really is that rocky and wet and muddy. So many people hike Dolly Sods that everything is very worn and never gets a chance to recover.

Despite the wilderness being busier than one would expect, views like this make the trip worth it.

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blackwater Falls & Elakala Falls

Since it was raining off and on (and then on and on and on) we went to the main falls three different days to see the water levels. (Because of COURSE I needed to have points of comparisons.)

Saturday:

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Sunday:

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Monday:

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I also took video, because of course I did.

On Saturday we also did the scramble down to the base of Elakala Falls.

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Written by Michelle at 5:00 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls State Park

We hadn’t been out to Pace Point in awhile, so we decided that’d be our easier hike after a long hike at Dolly Sods.

Location: Blackwater Falls State Park
Trails: Pendleton Trace, Dobbin House and Pase Point Trails
Distance: 2.9 miles
Elevation: 3009-3170 feet

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Location: Blackwater Falls State Park
Trails: Lindy Point Trail, Canaan Loop Road
Distance: 1.4 miles
Elevation: 3139-3216 feet

The next day we decided to head out to Lindy Point (and the stream along Canaan Loop Road)

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Here’s the stream that crosses Canaan Loop Road. I haven’t seen that much water there before.

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We ended up having a multi-day debate as to whether you can see Lindy Point from Pase Point (and vice versa)

I say you can’t, Michael says you can.

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

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Wildlife Refuge

We did two hikes at the Canaan Wildlife Refuge. A hike along the Beale Trail that’d we’d done before, but chose because it was easy, because it was raining.

The first hike was new to us, partway up Cabin Mountain. We considered hiking to the top of the trail, but were afraid it’d be dark on the way down, and I’d trip over everything.

Location: Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge
Trails: Middle Ridge and Sand Run Trails
Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation: 3246-3571 feet (597 ft gain)

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Is that… a bridge?

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Yes! A completely useless bridge!

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Michael: They need to mow this bridge.

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All kidding aside, it was a nice, if rather steep hike, and I definitely want to hike up to the top of the Cabin Mountain Trial to see the view.

Location: Canaan Wildlife Refuge
Trail: Beall Trails
Distance: ~3 miles (I forgot to turn on the GPS until half a mile in)
Elevation: 3151-3375 feet

It’s raining. Where shall we hike? A bog of course!

At the Bog Overlook

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Written by Michelle at 6:53 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Sunday we made it to my happy place.

Location: Coopers Rock
Trails: Rhododendron, Notmucha, Clay Run, Mont Chateau Trails
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation: 1511-2156 ft (851 feet rise)

Written by Michelle at 7:07 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Hiking WV: New River Gorge, Grandview Area

Forecasts around the state were calling for a possibility of rain and thunderstorms, so we headed south to New River Gorge. It’s been awhile since we were at the Grandview area, and I’ve wanted to hike the Glade Creek trail.

On the way, after looking at the maps, I decided we should take the Little Laurel trail up the Grandview proper.

Here’s the sandbar area. We saw kayakers and rafters go by but mostly it was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday afternoon.

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Location: New River Gorge
Trails: Little Laurel, Grandview Rim Trails
Distance: 7.2 miles
Elevation: 1305-2596 ft (1466 ft rise)

Little Laurel Trail
2.5 miles
1480-2539 feet
It took us just over an hour to hike up.

The maps we had said the Little Laurel trail was 2 miles. According to my GPS, from one sign to the other the trail was 2 1/2 miles and 1000 feet elevation rise.

Start HERE. At the BOTTOM. At Glade Creek Road near sandbar area.

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This is NOT readily accessible from the main portion of the Grandview area. It’s a 2 1/2 mile hike from one area to the other, but it’s an 22 mile drive and that 34 minutes is almost certainly a lie.

Here’s the drive:

Here’s the hike. (View both in Satellite mode to see the comparison more easily.)

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Here’s the top. If you’re starting here… Don’t. Unless you like the second half of your hike to be 100% uphill.

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I’m not quite sure what this tree is doing, but I am impressed.

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And here’s why you want to hike or drive here.

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Written by Michelle at 5:51 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Hiking WV: Tea Creek

I absolutely adore the Cranberry / Tea Creek Wilderness areas. They’re beautiful and they are usually not a lot of people there.

The trail we chose yesterday was along Tea Creek itself, so we saw lots of people fishing, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment (probably because there were no mountain bikes and everyone looked happy).

Location: Tea Creek Wilderness
Trail: Tea Creek Trail
Distance: 6.6 miles
Elevation: 3009-3569 feet (756 gain)

Signs your trail might be on an old rail bed.

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The light was lovely, so I took a picture of two other people out on the creek.

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Cascades

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

Monday, August 6, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Mountain Backcountry

Michael had a long and busy week at work, so we didn’t want to go too far afield. Davis is a relatively easy drive, so we hiked the Canaan Mountain Backcountry, out of Blackwater Falls.

It was gorgeous. No scenic views or water falls, just a lovely hike.

Location: Canaan Mountain Backcountry
Trails: Davis, Plantation Trails
Distance: 7.0 miles
Elevation: 3236-3615 feet (808 feet rise)

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

Monday, July 30, 2018

Traveling WV: Babcock

We were meant to go hiking Saturday, but at about Summersville I realized I had forgotten my hiking boots.

So we had some nice walks instead.

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Written by Michelle at 9:51 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Back-to-School, Back-to-Free Lunch

Two news bits, one after the other, struck me the other day. They were the following:

Staff Council to collect back-to-school supplies for children of WVU families

Third Annual Back-to-School Supply Drive sponsored for local families

It’s laudable and awesome that the WV and WVU communities support WV and WVU families in need.

HOWEVER

I find it upsetting that so many local families and WVU EMPLOYEES are unable to afford the basic necessities for their children to get a proper education.

WVU is the state’s flagship university but doesn’t pay some employees enough for them to buy pencils and papers and notebooks for their children for school.

How can anyone read that and not be mortified? How can we live in a day and age where people need go-fund-me pages to pay for medical bills so they don’t go bankrupt?

How can people think that education, health care, and a living wage are privileges and not basic human rights?

How such people can live with themselves–especially people who claim to be Christian–is beyond me.

Written by Michelle at 9:05 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown,Politics,West Virginia  

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Hiking WV: Canaan Mountain Backcountry

More heat in Morgantown, so we headed south to Canaan. We hadn’t hiked the wilderness since last fall, so that was where I wanted to go.

Beautiful, and much cooler than up north. We did the southern portion of the Lindy Run trail–the northern portion is no longer maintained; I’d like to hike it in the future, because it was quite lovely.

Location: Canaan Mountain Backcountry
Trails: Fire Trail 6, Plantation, Lindy Run Trails
Distance: 3.8 miles
Elevation: 3534-3716 feet
Temperature: 78-81 F

Trails: Table Rock Trail
Distance: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 3374-3471 feet

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Written by Michelle at 2:10 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, July 9, 2018

Hiking WV: Cranberry Wilderness

I was craving some solitude, so we headed to the Cranberry Wilderness where there were few people AND the temperatures ranged from 66-70F.

It was SO LOVELY.

Location: Cranberry Wilderness
Trail: Black Mountain Trail
Distance: 4.9 miles
Elevation: 4236-4643 feet
Temperature: 67-69 F

Cranberry Overlook

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

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Cranberry Wilderness

Rhododendron (The WV State Flower!)

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Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Lotus cornicilatus)

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Sweet clover (Melilotus)

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Coreopsis (Tickseed)

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Written by Michelle at 10:55 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,National Park / Forest,Photos  

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hiking WV: Dolly Sods

This hike in and of itself isn’t one of my favorites–it’s muddy, it’s busy, the trail is in bad repair, and there is very little shade.

That said, it has one of my favorite views, which is why we went out on it.

But seriously, the Dolly Sods Wilderness may not be developed, but except in winter, I see tons and tons of people there on my hikes. On the one hand, I’m glad people are enjoying the wilderness. On the other hand, I no longer go to Dolly Sods expecting solitude.

Location: Dolly Sods Wilderness
Trail: Rocky Ridge Trail (partial)
Distance: 4.6 miles
Elevation: 4014-4198 feet

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Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  
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