Monday, June 4, 2007

Field Trip: West Virginia and Virginia's Allegheny Mountains

Phew. Home from a long weekend in West Virginia and the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia.

Lots of heartbreakingly beautiful back road drives; newly-discovered towns, rivers, lakes; peppered with scary camping scenarios and - the highlight - a police escort off of a lake! While others chugged beer and raced their power boats or jumped off of dangerous cliffs into the water below - the lake police decided to spend their time ticketing the unassuming squares who were hugging the shoreline in our meager little kayaks. For not having life jackets. And, then another ticket, when Corey swore in frustration upon learning about our escort back to the dock . . .

Corey - "You have got to be *&#$-ing kidding me!"
Cop - "No, sir. We certainly are not."
Me - ". . . ." (With an inaudible gulp - staring in disbelief.)

So, happily, there were also a few salves in the form of garden surprises when I least expected it.

Adaland Mansion and Arboretum outside of Philippi, West Virginia. An unplanned pit stop - the air was perfumed with roses and peonies.

On the heels of my succulent debacle - the discovery of the North Hills Nursery in Rock Cave, West Virginia. I didn't have a chance to visit (it was a Sunday) - but their website looks fascinating. Dozens of hens and chicks varieties. I am drooling over future sempervivums to, a-hem, smother with love. The photo below is Butter Bur.

Fayetteville, West Virginia. All about outdoor adventure outfitters and the New River. Plus, a satisfying experience at the restaurant Pies and Pints. This sweet hobbit-house and garden was across the street from Pies and Pints.

Monterey, Virginia. One of my favorite places in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains - it is also called the "Little Switzerland" of Virginia. Crisp air, rolling highlands, front porch living. We stayed in The Highland Inn - a place I have driven by many times, always wanting to explore. A welcome, civilized respite (pictured below). And lots of front yard gardens.

I had insatiable wanderlust when I was in my 20's and early 30's - always moving and taking every opportunity to travel. Now, more and more, I hate leaving Sugar Hollow and my favorite part of an adventure is coming home. I miss the routines, the smells, the wind in the tulip poplars, the mountains, the river, our garden and . . . the doggies. (Complete with new outfits from their weekend pet-sitters. Otis finds this humiliating to his tough-dog sensibilities. His kerchief has since been removed.)

*Big* sigh of appreciation for everything in the Hollow. I imagine that is when you know you have found home. I'm back.


Katie said...

Corey has a mouth like me! :)
I do know what you mean about home. I used to be the same with moving and traveling.

Derek Bedarf said...

Wow, so a ticket for not wearing the life vest and for swearing. What fun. So if you had the vest in the kayak, but not wearing it, would they still ticket? I have always thought that if it is in the vessel, you are ok.

I think the true squares were those cops on patrol!

Steph said...

Oh, we would have been in big trouble, because our kayaks are not even registered! I believe we do OWN life vests..........

Ahh. This post made me want to travel to Virginia.

Tracey said...

We do own the life jackets - just didn't have them on-hand. Errrr . . .