Random (but not really)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

We went hiking on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Black Friday, that Sunday, and Sunday the 3rd. I forgot my camera for the first two hikes, and only pulled it out once when I did remember it.

The thing about the woods in fall is that it’s beautiful, but I can’t say it’s especially photogenic.

At Coopers Rock, unless you’re hiking Ravens Rock, pretty much every trail is down hill on your way out, and then uphill on your way out.

Here you’re at the bottom of the Rhododendron trail. Mont Chateau is off to your right. Henry Clay Iron Furnace, Clay Furnace Trail, Clay Run Trail, and Advanced Ski Trail are all behind you. Several of those trails have trails branching off of them, so you can make a variety of loops.

But it’s all going to be uphill from here, unless you go down to the lake. Then it’s even more uphill upon your return, unless you have someone to drive you back from the lake up the mountain to where you left your car.


Here is one of the two bridges by Henry Clay Iron furnace. This is the area where multiple streams meet to then run down to the lake. Going up most of the trails you can see the streams turn from running water to run off areas that are flowing only after a rain or when the snow melts.

But down here, there is always water.


And then leaves piled up in the stream.


I can spend, literally, hours wandering around these streams, building rock towers, knocking down leaf dams and moving sticks that are blocking the stream.

My excuse is that I want to keep the streams and run-off areas from backing up onto the trails, which makes them a muddy mess that is exacerbated by all the mountain bikes, but truly, I just like playing in the water.

Written by Michelle at 1:39 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Holy Cats! How is it December already? We did a fair amount of hiking in November, since the leaves were at least two weeks late changing color across the state.

Mostly re-reads this month. But that means most of what I read was stuff I loved, so that’s a good thing, right?

Some particular favorites are: Patricia C. Wrede‘s Thirteenth Child and the rest of that series. It’s an alternate history of the frontier US, only there is magic. It’s YA and it is NOT cowboys (the magic kept North America from ever being settled by humans).

Diana Gabaldon‘s Lord John series. Although characters from Outlander appear here, there is NO time travel. At their core, these books are historical mysteries set in the 1700s. The main character is both a military man, and gay at a time when that was a hanging crime.

I’m also reaching some of my favorite books in Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series. This month it was Walking Shadow. However, I had to switch to reading because the narrator after Michael Prichard is just plain awful.

Fantasy, Historical

Thirteenth Child (2009) Patricia C. Wrede (9/10)
Across the Great Barrier (2011) Patricia C. Wrede (8.5/10)
The Far West (2012) Patricia C. Wrede (9/10)

Fantasy, Supernatural

Once Burned (2012) Jeaniene Frost (8/10)
Twice Tempted (2013) Jeaniene Frost (8/10)
Bound by Flames (2015) Jeaniene Frost
Into the Fire (2017) Jeaniene Frost (7.5/10)


Double Deuce (1992) Robert B Parker (8.5/10)
Paper Doll (1993) Robert B Parker
Walking Shadow (1994) Robert B. Parker (9/10)

Mystery, Historical
Barker & Llewelyn
The Limehouse Text (2006) Will Thomas (7.5/10)
Lord John
Lord John and the Private Matter (2003) Diana Gabaldon (8.5/10)
Lord John and the Hand of Devils (2007) Diana Gabaldon (9/10)
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (2007) Diana Gabaldon (8/10)

Graphic Novel

Rivers of London: Detective Stories Vol. 4 (2017) Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Luis Guerrero, Lee Sullivan (8/10)

Audio Book

Stardust, Audio Version (1990/1991) Robert B Parker narrated by Michael Prichard (8.5/10)
Pastime, Audio Version (1991/1992) Robert B. Parker narrated by David Dukes
Sonchai Jitpleecheep
Bangkok 8, Audio Version (2003) John Burdett narrated by Paul Boehmer (8.5/10)

So here’s how things turned out this month.

Mostly ebooks this month, almost all re-reads:

Trade Paperback: 1
eBook: 14
Audio: 3
Re-Read: 16

More than one genre this month, though I think half those were historical of some sort

Fantasy: 8
Mystery: 10
Romance: 4
YA: 3
Comic: 1

Gender-wise, pretty evenly split between male and female authors, with women holding a slight lead over men for the year 41% : 44%. Mostly because I’m re-reading the Spenser series, and those are quick reads (it’ll go slower once I can get back to listening).

Male: 8
Female: 10

And those are the books of November.

Written by Michelle at 8:55 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

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