Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hills Creek Falls

We were sitting on the porch at the camp Saturday and Dave said, "I bet Hills Creek Falls are roaring. Might go down and take some pictures."

"I'll go with you," I said. And off we went.

Hills Creek Falls are located near West Virginia's Cranberry Glades. They are a series of three waterfalls, dropping 220 feet down a narrow hollow. I'd been down about 10 years ago and well remembered the steep climb back up and how winded I was after making that climb. There are, I think, about 500 steps to the bottom, some of them in a wire cage-type of structure hanging over a cliff where you can see down below you, a challenge for folks like me with vertigo. But I remembered the beauty of the falls and have been wanting to go back even though I knew I would not be able to go all the way down to the lower falls.

It was worth the effort. The laurel was in bloom along the narrow path, and the lush green of hundreds of plant varieties created rich patterns of green, shade and light.

The recent wet weather made the steps and paths very slippery with moss and such.

The upper falls; not the best shot but as good as I got on this trip.

These are the middle falls, and as far as I was able to go, as the wire cage steps started just past here.

Dave was busy with his professional equipment, and the photos he showed me later were breath-taking.

I left him to it and started back up because I knew it was going to be a slow trip. I think I needed a slow-moving vehicle sign on my back! I was a little comforted by meeting other, younger people on the trail who also had to stop occasionally on the way back up.

Small falls graced the path all along the way, results of the recent heavy rains.

I was winded but happy when I returned to the van. I hope I can go back to the falls one day and actually make it all the way to the bottom, but for now, this was enough to keep me happy. I'd like to see these falls in winter, and in fall because they are sure to be gorgeous in any season.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Storytelling Road Trip: At Camp

Peace, friends, music and relaxation were the goal for the weekend and we met it in spades. These are photos from the cabin that belongs to a good friend, where we stayed:

 Green and peaceful, 

with quite a few four-legged visitors:

Larry named this guy Buddy--he came visiting regularly in search of the apples dropping from the trees around the cabin. Munch munch!

And then he was so scared of us he had to lie down. Right.

He had a shy female friend who tended to keep a little more distance between herself and us.

And there was an even shyer young buck who was probably trying not to get in the way of the bigger guy.

Those apples were attractive to this ol' groundhog too. He would come out, eat his fill, and then go stretch out on the roof of a low shed to sunbathe. Honestly!

I took this through the kitchen window--can you see the squirrel? He was also coming after the apples. I didn't know squirrels liked them.

We enjoyed watching all this activity. At home our dogs keep the wildlife away, which is their job so we can have a garden. But at this camp, we can share the space with them, and no one minds at all.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Storytelling Road Trip: From Philippi to Marlinton

Thursday morning saw us back on the road again. Here's the map for this day's travel:

One thing I was looking forward to was seeing the Philippi bridge again.  This unique, two-lane structure is of some historic importance in the Civil War with claims that this small mountain town was the site of the first land battle. I won't take sides in the argument over that claim--my interest in the bridge is its simple beauty. Sadly, it is under repair so we could not drive across it. According to what I have learned, the bridge will be closed for over a year. Ah me. But repairs will keep it safe for many years and that's important.

An interesting doorway in an abandoned building in town caught my attention this trip. You can read more about Philippi in the blog post I wrote a few years ago. It's truly an interesting place to visit.

The Upshur County Courthouse: imposing indeed!

I have no photos from the storytelling in this small, busy town's library. I forgot to give my camera to my #1 roadie! It was a fine time, with a very good crowd of listeners for the Jack tales. I am still loving telling these stories and am varying up the selection at each place, so the program is fresh and new every time.

I also have no photos from the next stop for this day at the Lost Creek library. I'm slipping! I've been to this little library every summer for four or five years and it's always a pleasure. Lost Creek (actually the Southern Area Library) won the American Library Association's Best Small Library Award in 2013, a high honor and a deserving one.

And then it was back on the road to the last stop for this busy day: Marlinton, West Virginia and the Allegheny Echoes Music and Creative Writing Workshops in the mountains of beautiful Pocahontas county.

Our trip to the friend's cabin where we were staying for a couple of days took us across this beautiful bridge:

Sadly, this bridge will be torn down this week. a new low concrete bridge is replacing it and I am so sad about that. I wonder why it could not have been repaired like the Philippi bridge? It was built in 1908 and has surely seen its share of history. The new bridge will never have so much character.

The view looking down the Greenbrier River from the bridge. If you look closely you can see the doe hiding in the grass on the right:

There she is!

And then the trail to the cabin, to unpack before leaving for the evening's concert:

And the skies gave us a welcoming show as we drove back into town.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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