The wind project is complete! Homeward bound. The best time to photograph the turbines is just as the sun is coming up. Unfortunately, the fog was so thick at the magic hour, I could not even see them on the mountain ridge. I managed to get a couple that do not even compare with the beauty of the images my hubby took while standing on the top of the tower at sunrise. From his altitude, the fog is below, and the turbines appear to be floating. Despite my pleading, no one will allow me to climb a tower to get pictures. These will have to do, because I am heading HOME!
Once I calmed myself down from the hours of being lost and the grumpy stranger yelling at me, I walked through downtown and the capital grounds. I discovered an ice cream parlor, Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream, where the girl informed me everything was good, but I could have Heath 50% off. Delicious! There was a great bookstore, brightly painted outside and full of art displays inside. And, finally, it just seemed right to wander the war memorial on Memorial day weekend.
On my final day in West Virginia, I decided to head to the capital a couple hours away from where we have been living. Driving in the summer is one of my favorite pleasures. I love to cruise with the window down, blaring Weezer, drumming on the wheel, with hair whipping my face. It's awesome. On the other hand, I hate getting lost. And on this trip, not only did I get lost, but a wicked old man yelled at me in a parking garage to the point of tears for no reason other than I did not know where I was going and he felt like it. The day sucked. Until I discovered Capitol Market. There were awesome shops selling things ranging from watermelon to chocolate. Outside, there was a flower and vegetable market. It smelled like heaven. I actually wish I could transplant the Charleston market in Indiana so I can go to it every week.
I realize my blog is beginning to make me look like I'm solely a nature photographer. Soon, we will be escaping West Virginia and moving on to bigger, better things that will hopefully include other types of photography. But, until the wind farm is complete, I must take pictures of what is available to me in the Wild and Wonderful. The primary thing that is not wild or wonderful about this state are the way the roads are named (but only half even have signs), maintained, and randomly end. I spent more time lost, trying to find this botanical garden, than actually enjoying it. It was a lovely day, and fantastic stroll.
The only Sunday my hubby had off work in May, he told me to find something for us to do that might be comparably cool with the time I took him to Seneca Rocks. Due to the rain (the reason he was off work in the first place), I did not have many options. But, I remembered someone suggesting I go to Smoke Hole Cavern at some point, and that it was pretty neat. This idea was approved, and we spent part of our afternoon on a tour through the cave. I have been to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, so this one was a sneeze in comparison, but still way groovy. The best part was spotting a salamander on the way out.
On my way back to the cabin after visiting the falls, I thought I'd check out Canaan Valley when it was not knee deep in snow as well. Since I am not a native of this state, I tend to ask complete strangers on a regular basis local culture experience opportunities. Doing so has introduced me to things like ramps (the wild leek, not the kind for skateboard tricks), caves, trails, parks, festivals, moonshine, cities, and many restaurants. I assumed the gentleman I asked about which trail in Canaan Valley was the best hike would be a fairly reliable source. He informed me the hike would be "moderate" and had the best view of the valley. However, by the time I got to the top, I hardly cared about the view. The trail was not "moderate". I work out daily and had a rough go of it. The view was quite impressive though, I admit it.
I went to Blackwater Falls State Park a few months ago, but most of the trail was closed due to snow and ice. Recently, a lovely spring day motivated me to return. The falls certainly live up to the West Virginia state slogan: Wild and Wonderful.