Random (but not really)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hiking WV: Holly River State Park

Due to events beyond our control, we arrived at the park much later than expected. That, combined with the heat, meant we only took a partial hike along the Left Fork of the Holly River.

It was utterly gorgeous, and I very much want to go back and hike the Potato Ridge trail complete, as well as other trails in the park.

The park office provides maps with distances as well as an elevation graph.

Location: Holly River State Park
Trail: Potato Ridge Trail (partial)
River: Left Fork Holly River
Distance: 3.6 miles (we only hiked 1.7 miles)

This trail is NOT going to be accessible after a rain or when the river is running high. Not unless you want to get your feet wet.


The Potato Ridge trail abuts private property, so local residents will ride their 4-wheelers off park territory to visit the river. When we got to Shupe’s Chute, there was a father with his young son (probably about 4) sitting on the rocks watching the water. When we arrive, the son excitedly told us that the water was VERY fast, and picked up leaves to throw into the water.

It was, in fact, very fast.


Shupe’s Chute was pretty fascinating. I’ve tried to stitch together three pictures so you can see it in its entirety, but I don’t think it worked really well.


Then when we mentioned we were going to hike down to the lower falls, he begged his dad to go down to the lower falls too. When we passed them later (them heading back, us heading down) the boy excitedly told us that if we crossed the river, we could even go UNDER the falls.

He was delightful.




Written by Michelle at 10:53 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

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 3, 2014

Non-Hiking Trip to Blackwater Falls

But it was better than all the other trips this year!

Ice cream was made…


…and eaten!


There was walking…


…and jumping.


Rocks were picked up and checked under.


Big sticks were found and carried.


Stairs were climbed…


…as were rocks.


It was a marvelous day.


Written by Michelle at 9:19 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Books of July

I didn’t read much towards the start of the month, but towards the end of the month I had a case of the blues, and then I got sick, so I suddenly read a lot.

Which was perfectly fine with me.

I read some really good books, and I read absolutely one abysmal book. We’re talking a book that had me ranting for days after I finished it.

The best books of the month were re-reads: A Fistful Of Sky by Nina Kiriki HoffmanRising Stars by J. Michael Straczynski, and the Jane Yellowrock series, by Faith Hunter . Plus one new read, the anthology Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran which was very good.

Fantasy: Supernatural

A Fistful Of Sky (2002) Nina Kiriki Hoffman  (10/10)
Dirty Magic (2014) Jaye Wells (7/10)
Urban Shaman (2005) C.E. Murphy  (6.5/10)
Jane Yellowrock:
Skinwalker  (2009) Faith Hunter  (8/10)
Blood Cross  (2010) Faith Hunter  (8/10)
Mercy Blade  (2011) Faith Hunter  (7/10)
Raven Cursed  (2012) Faith Hunter (8/10)
Death’s Rival  (2012) Faith Hunter  (8/10)
Blood Trade  (2013) Faith Hunter  (8/10)

Fantasy: Anthology

Magic City: Recent Spells (2014) Paula Guran  (8.5/10)
Strange Brew  (2009) edited by P.N. Elrod (7/10)

Fantasy: Historical / Steampunk

Farthing  (2006) Jo Walton  (7/10)
Hounds of Autumn  (2013) Heather Blackwood  (2/10)

Comic / Graphic Novel

Rising Stars: Born in Fire, Power, Fire and Ash  (2001-2005) J. Michael Straczynski, Keu Cha, Ken Lashley et al  (10/10)
Hellboy: The Midnight Circus  (2013) Mike Mignola, Duncan Fegredo, Dave Stewart (7/10)
Hellboy in Hell Volume 1: The Descent  (2014) Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart (7/10)
Local  (2008) Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly  (NR)

And now for my favorite part: THE NUMBERS!

I read 17 books this month, bringing the total so far this year to 105 books. I’m averaging 15 books a month, which is my highest average yet. But I’m sure that’ll drop down when cooler weather hits and I get outside more.

Because I had so many re-reads (8), I actually read more paper books than ebooks. The trade paperbacks were all comics, and I fully admit that I really prefer reading comics on paper. (The things that are supposed to increase your ereading pleasure with comics actually take me out of the story. But I’ll keep trying.)

Paperback: 6
Trade Paperback: 3
eBook: 8

I read mostly fantasy this month (with even the comics mostly in the fantasy genre).

Fantasy: 15
Mystery: 7
Romance: 2
YA: 1
Comic: 4
Anthology: 2

And I read very heavily of female authors this month.

Male: 2
Female: 11
Anthology: 4

Which brings the straight-up male:female ratio 1:1.

Male: 38%
Female: 38%
Joint + Anthology: 14%
Initials: 9%
Male Pseudonym: 2%

However, when you consider that the overwhelming majority of authors I read who are writing under initials are women, and a number of women writing under male pseudonyms, almost half the books I’ve read this year were written by women. Not too bad.

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Powered by WordPress

books main pictures cats e-mail