Sunday, November 08, 2009

A handful of lay-cation photos

So, I took a brief vacation this past week. With the help of a dear friend, I reserved a cabin out in the wilds of West Virginia, just past the small town of Petersburg, right on the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River. The North Fork is a relatively modest stream, stocked with the locally-raised "golden trout." I never saw one of these critters the whole time I was there, but there is a fishery nearby I'd planned on visiting and snapping fishy photos.

I had a lot of plans for the week -- most of them involved brisk walking in the Spruce Knob National Recreation Area (using my spiffy Nordic walking poles!), shooting some arrows at a local archery range, and writing. Lots and lots of writing.

However, a few days before leaving for the cabin, while recovering from bronchitis, I coughed or sneezed and utterly screwed up something in my lower back, still unhealed from June's car accident. Overnight I went from Relatively Mobile Merujo to Weeping, Gasping, Crippled Merujo (also known by my Native American name, She Who Walks and Grunts Like Yoda.) My physical therapy doc told me I shouldn't be traveling ANYWHERE and handed me a Disability Certificate for work, with the box for "Totally Incapacitated" checked. Ugh. Not good.




But I was committed to going away for a few days, and I refused to let the spine get in the way of an escape from DC. You have to understand, I haven't taken any vacation since 1997 that wasn't connected to a family illness, death, or had at least one sibling in tow. (And I loved the trips with siblings -- I just needed Alone Time in a big way.)

The Sasquatch loaned me a tripod for this trip, so I could try to take some non-wobbly nature photos with my point-and-shoot camera. Alas, my back radiated so much agony, I couldn't have picked up the tripod from the car to set up the whole damn week. Most of the week was a "lay-cation." Not a stay-cation, since I did travel a whole three hours away from This Nation's Capital. But there sure was a lot of lying around like a big, mellow slug in front of a fireplace, watching DVDs of "Battlestar Galactica" and drinking wine.

Courtesy of being remarkably crippled with pain, the only photos I have to share with you are almost all taken from the relative comfort and safety of a parked car or from the porch or sofa in the cabin. The full story of the week? That will have to wait a bit. It may take a different form, in a different venue. More on that as developments happen.

Right now, I have to keep my online time to work hours and a few minutes here and there, stolen from the sofa. It's hard to blog from the laptop when you are curled up like a human pretzel. So, for now, I'll leave you with these images, fuzzy and shaky - much like the photographer...

One of the wonderful Arts & Crafts style lanterns at the entrance to the cabin property...


A quiet spot on the North Fork, just as you enter the cabin property...



The bridge over the North Fork out to the remote cabins where I stayed...


Home Sweet Temporary Home: Cabin 11...


The fire circle outside the cabin, overlooking the North Fork...


Trout? I don't see no stinkin' trout!
(But I did see a lot of fisherman in waders!)



Me, chewing on my lower lip, trying not to grimace
after my one and only nature walk all week.

Those are my Nordic walking poles in my hand.
They work great. As long as you can walk...



The view from the sofa...


The sun dropping from the sky over the North Fork...


The cabin is located in the Monongahela National Forest.
I love the font they use to spell out "National Forest."
I've asked a web guy at the Forest Service to tell me what the font is called.
It immediately takes me back to camping with my family as a kid...


Just some mailboxes across the road from the Ranger Station...


Ah, paintball. At least it's not bullet holes, eh?


Smoke Hole Caverns
Just a couple of miles down the road from the cabin.
It retains that fabulous 1960s/1970s feel with the signage. Love it!


UPDATE: Very sadly, only four days after I took these photos, a fire has destroyed the gift shop/restaurant at the caverns on 11/10/09. I'm glad I got to see at least the exterior in all its wonderful kitschy glory. Fire officials call the blaze suspicious. Not good.

The gift shop at the caverns has everything you expect from one of these spots.
I didn't go in, but I bet they had stick candy and jackalope piggy banks.
(This is the building that burned down.) :(


Even the caverns had golden trout, somewhere behind this decaying fence.
I'm pretty sure there's no coral occurring naturally in the Monongahela Forest...


Old barn across the road from the cabin property,
at the start of the road up to Dolly Sods...


Small cemetery in Petersburg. The town was founded in 1745,
and there are some lovely old headstones...



Sallie here died in 1859. Hers was the oldest headstone I could read.
The bottom text is the Psalm 73:26...



This interesting roofing style is found throughout the town of Petersburg.
Not sure of the significance, but it's lovely...



Outside the local grocery store. I saw these posters all over the place.
"After all - if you're gun's loaded, shouldn't you be, too?"




Still only twenty-five cents! Ride 'em, cowboy!!


I like how it looks as if he's racing his own shadow...


A view of a raging autumn mountainside in Dolly Sods...


That same hillside, only 30 seconds later, as the sun dropped suddenly from the sky.
Seriously, the sun doesn't set out here, it plummets!


Whooooooo!
I made it down the cabin steps without screaming in agony!
Hallelujah!



5 comments:

runningbudgie said...

Making a trip down the stairs without screaming in agony is indeed a feat.

Seriously, though. I hope you're on the mend now and that you have a better run of luck coming up!

xoxo

Chuck said...

Nice pics! I do miss the fall New England colors. But not the New England winters. I think they didn't look blurry at all.

lacochran said...

I have the same associations with that font. Well, that and Yogi Bear, maybe. Or was it Smokey? Or both... hm.

Cyn said...

Beautiful location! Sorry your back wasn't cooperating...but the view from the cabin looked fine too.

Regarding the font:

http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/forum/viewthread.php?threadid=160722

Mme.Meow said...

Lovely pictures!!!

Oh, and I found this: http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/forum/viewthread.php?threadid=160722