Random (but not really)

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Ark!

We went to Frostburg to have dinner for my Dad’s birthday, and I talked my parents into stopping by The Ark!

Look! Here we are!


Ta DA!


We’re in luck! Clear skies!


It’s large, but it’s not THAT large. Guess that’s why the dinosaurs couldn’t fit.



I’m guessing this is the ramp for the animals to go down into the hold. Not much headroom for the elephants and giraffes.


All the cement is crumbling.


The footers (again, crumbling) were poured for a much larger structure than the existing steel super structure.



There you go! A closer look at the Ark, a structure that has provided hours of amusement over the years.

There are several more pictures if you click through to Flickr.

Written by Michelle at 8:54 am      Comments (5)  Permalink
Categories: Geek,Non-Sequiturs,Photos  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hiking WV: Cedar Creek State Park

Location: Cedar Creek State Park
Trail: Stone Trough Trail
Distance: 3.0 miles
Elevation: 814 feet

The trail was slightly problematic at two parts. At the sealed oil well pipe, when coming up from the stone trough, it took us a long time to pick the trail back up. (You head right, and then head back up the hill.) And towards the end of the trail (for us) the trail suddenly went down a very steep hill. The rest of the trail was relatively easy, but this part was not.

This is not the sealed gas/oil head. This was a random, rusting piece of machinery.







“Yes, you’re really going that way.”


That was moderately steep.


Yeah, a bit steep here.


“We’re not kidding. You go pretty much straight up here.”


GPS map of the trail.

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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Cedar Creek

Yeah, so, I’m stretching things this week. But they were flowers once!




There were a LOT of recently downed trees, as well as a lot of recently downed snags.

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Word Association: BOOM Edition

Today’s word is: thunder

Written by Michelle at 7:14 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fun with Jules

Like many females on the planet, I am uncomfortable with how I look in a swimsuit. I sometimes cringe when I see a picture of myself dressed, so bathing suits are like an explosion of self-loathing.

However, I’ve refused to let that stop me from swimming, because the only person who cares about what I’m wearing is Jules, who needs me to be able to swim and horse around with her.




We also went to Valley Falls.





It was a very good day.


Written by Michelle at 8:03 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family,Photos  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Flower Pr0n: DAY LILIES!

I do, in fact, have many cultivars of day lilies. And they’re all blooming right now.






I have a couple other things blooming as well.

Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)




Gerbera daisies. I didn’t get an orange flower this year, which is too bad, because they’re my favorite.



Written by Michelle at 10:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,House & Garden,Photos  

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Coopers Rock

Here are some of the flowers we saw blooming at Coopers Rock.

Rhododendron are blooming in some areas of the forest:



OMG! It’s a YIP YIP!


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

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hiking West Virginia: Coopers Rock, Mont Chateau Trail to Cheat Lake

Location: Coopers Rock
Trails: Henry Clay Iron Furnace Trail, Mont Chateau Trail to Cheat Lake
Distance: 5.3 miles
Elevation: 1371 feet

Henry Clay Iron Furnace Trail (one way)
Distance: 0.9 miles
Elevation: 267 feet

Mont Chateau Trail to Cheat Lake (one way)
Distance: 1.4 miles
Elevation: 739 feet

The best park of the hike was switching from boots to water shoes and hiking in the creek. We managed 0.6 miles in about an hour, which was pretty good, since it was a lot of trying to figure out how to move get up rocks or around deep pools.

The balanced rocks are still there!



Coopers Rock




Map of complete hike

Written by Michelle at 11:33 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hiking West Virginia: North Bend State Park

Thursday, on our way back from the Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair at Ripley, we stopped at North Bend State Park for a brief hike.

Location: North Bend State Park
Trails: Overhanging Rock Trail, Extra Mile Trail, Oil Well Access Trail to North Bend Rail Trail
Distance: 2.4 miles
Elevation: 375 feet

It’s a rail trail, so it’s quite flat (for WV).

The Extra Mile trail is a paved and has handrails on both sides, for visual and mobility limited visitors. (Amusingly, we saw this at the END of the trail, so came up with many theories as to why there were railings on both sides of the paved trail.)

It links to the North Bend Rail trail, at Tunnel 13 and the bridge over Bonds Creek.


Tunnel 13, South Entrance


Tunnel 13, North Entrance


Remains of train platform:



Map of hike

Written by Michelle at 7:39 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

The Books of June

I read a surprising number of books in June. Possible because I rained and rained and rained and rained. Again.

At this halfway point in the year, I’ve read 88 books, so I shouldn’t have any problems reaching my goal of 124 books. Can I beat last year’s count of 174? I dunno, but it’ll be fun to try.

The best books of the month were:

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach (10/10)
Fairest Vol. 3: The Return of the Maharaja (9/10)
Legion by Brandon Sanderson (8.5/10)

If you’re looking for something to read, I highly recommend any of the above books.

Fantasy: Anthology / Novella / Short Story

Dangerous Women (2013) edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (5.5/10)
(2012) Brandon Sanderson (8.5/10)

Fantasy: Steampunk

Disenchanted & Co., Part 1: Her Ladyship’s Curse (2013) Lynn Viehl (4/10)
Disenchanted & Co., Part 2: His Lordship Possessed (2013) Lynn Viehl (2/10)



Angelica’s Smile (2010/2014) Andrea Camilleri translated by Stephen Sartarelli (5/10)
The Draining Lake (2004/2007) Arnaldur Indridason translated by Bernard Scudder (8.5/10)
Arctic Chill (2005/2009) Arnaldur Indriðason and translated by Bernard Scudder and Victoria Cribb (8.5/10)

The Archangel Project (2008) C.S. Graham (8/10)

Mystery: Historical

Silent in the Grave (2007) Deanna Raybourn (7.5/10)
Silent in the Sanctuary (2009) Deanna Raybourn (7/10)



Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (2013) Mary Roach (10/10)


Comic / Graphic Novel

Fairest Vol. 3: The Return of the Maharaja (2014) Sean E. Williams, Stephen Sadowski, Phil Jimenez (9/10)


Audio Book

Something from the Nightside (Audio Version) (2003/2008) Simon R. Green narrated by Marc Vietor (8/10)

The format I read most continues to be eBooks, with about 3/4 of the books I’ve read this year being in electronic format.

Trade Paperback: 1
eBook: 11
Audio: 1

Multiple Formats: 1
Re-read: 3

As for genres read, mystery lead the pack this year, and is running neck-and-neck this year with fantasy.

Fantasy: 6
Mystery: 8
Romance: 2
Comic: 1
Anthology: 1
Non-Fiction: 1

And the gender count this month has men slightly ahead in the count for the month, but women are still slightly ahead for the year, 45%:43% so that’s not too bad.

Male: 5
Female: 2
Initials: 1
Joint + Anthology: 2

Written by Michelle at 10:03 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  
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