Random (but not really)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hiking West Virginia: Valley Falls State Park

Saturday we were still pretty tired from the previous days’ hikes, so we just went to Valley Falls State Park to take pictures of the water and maybe take a short hike.

We hiked the Rhododendron trail to the Dogwood trail, and then the signage got a little wonky, and we were following signs that simply said “Picnic Area”. We came out on the Rocky Trail, but were only on that for a little bit. So who knows where were actually were.

Location: Valley Falls State Park
Trails: Rhododendron Trail, Dogwood Trail, ??? Trail
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation: 615 feet

Valley Falls hike (gps map)

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

Weekend Ramblings: Valley Falls

Valley Falls is really beautiful. As has happened previously, there was a wedding taking place when we arrived, and there were lots of people walking around on the rocks by the river.

If you want to get good pictures of the river, get there early, before the hordes arrive.

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Word Association: Hiking Edition

Today’s word is: snake

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Caption This Photo

Michael did NOT, in fact, scream when he saw this snake.

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We both, however, were highly amused when we got a little closer.

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NOTE: This is a Black Snake, and completely harmless.

Michelle:
Geo-cache SU-prize!

Michael:
Geo-cache prize: snake bite kit!

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Photos  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Seneca Rocks: Hike in Memory of Ben

My cousin Ben would have been 34 today.

Just as we did last year, this year we hiked up Seneca Rocks in his memory.

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

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekend Ramblings: Decker’s Creek Rail Trail

Today’s excursion was biking along the Decker’s Creek Rail Trail.

When I was little, Decker’s Creek was dead. Due to acid mine drainage and other pollutants, nothing lived in the creek, it was an unappealing shade of orange, and it stank.

Today, I still wouldn’t drink from Decker’s Creek on a bet, but it’s a whole lot better, and the community is working to continue to improve it.

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Ride details
Location: Mon River & Decker’s Creek Rail Trail
Distance: 22.3 miles
Elevation change: 693 feet

Written by Michelle at 6:48 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Morgantown,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Dolly Sods & Seneca Rocks

There were, of course, lots of flowers blooming at Dolly Sods. It’s much cooler there, so flowers that bloomed here last month are blooming now at Dolly Sods.

Fringed Polygala / Gaywings Polygala paucifolia

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Wild Bleeding Heart Dicentra eximia

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Mountain Laurel Kalmia latifolia

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Enkianthus serrulatus

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Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata)

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Wild blackberry Rubus

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At Seneca Rocks is the Jacob Sites Homestead house, which includes a working garden such as would have existed at the time. There were vegetables and herbs, but there were also flowers.

Strawberry Shrub / Sweet Shrub Calycanthus floridus
Grandmom had a Strawberry shrub growing in her yard, and although I tried several times to root a cutting, I was never able to do so.

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Bleeding Heart lamprocapnos spectabilis

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And to close, some Black Raspberry Hawt Bee-on-Flower action.

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Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hiking West Virginia: Seneca Rocks

Friday we hiked up Seneca Rocks, in memory of my cousin Ben.

We hiked to the top without stopping, because that’s what Ben would have done. One the way down, however, I stopped many times for pictures.

Location: Seneca Rocks
Distance:4.4 miles
Elevation: 1092 feet

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Most of the above pictures were taken from the viewing platform (noted with red arrow below), or several feet above. Because of COURSE I went past the STOP HERE DO NOT GO FURTHER sign.

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The hike started approximately from where the next two pictures were taken, and then went up to the viewing platform (and just past).

Seneca Rocks at sunset:

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Seneca Rocks mid-day:

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Seneca Rocks Hike (gps map)

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

West Virginia Ramblings: Dolly Sods

As I said, pretty much as soon as we get back to the car, the sun came out, and the day was beautiful from there on out.

And from these pictures, you can see why we wanted to hike Dolly Sods in the first place.

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Written by Michelle at 10:11 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Hiking West Virginia: Dolly Sods

We took Thursday and Friday off, and traveled south. Thursday, we hiked Dolly Sods, which ended up being far less pleasant that it sounds, because 1) it rained for about 3/4 of the hike 2) it’s been raining for most of May and 3) about 2/3 of the way through our hike, the trail went through a swamp. And it’s been raining a lot.

Location: Dolly Sods National Wilderness Area
Trails: Blackbird Knob Trail, Upper Red Creek Trail, Dobbin Grade Trail (swamp), Beaver Dam Trail, and then Forest Road 75 back to the Blackbird Knob Trailhead)
Distance: 6.7 miles
Elevation: 838 feet

Here is what part of the non-swamp portion of the trail–the Upper Red Creek Trail–looked like:

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Here’s another view of the Upper Red Creek Trail area. Yes, it was raining. And raining. And raining.

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This is part of the Blackbird Trail, and approximately where we made the mistake of turning onto the Upper Red Creek Trail. Which would eventually lead us into the swamp.

I admit that even in the rain the Blackbird Trail was beautiful.

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Here are the remains of the swamp I took out with me.

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Dolly Sods Trails Hike (gps map)

After we finished our hike? The rain stopped, the skies cleared, and it was beautiful.

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