Somehow we knew this.
Come get your fix.
WEAR SENSIBLE SHOES! Sorry for yelling but this alone can save the day. I see a lot of unhappy people each year because they did not heed this grandmotherly advice.
Food is a big part of Bridge Day and it starts Friday night with the Taste of Bridge Day. It’s sponsored by the rotary clubs and really a good time. And if you can get to town before the Taste event starts to play around in the escape rooms of New River Gorge Escape Rooms, you will thank me.
Burn some calories so you can eat all day! This is the first year for the Active SWV Bridge Day 5k and it is going to be OSSUM! Way to go Mel!
I like my funnel cakes first thing in the morning, while the grease is fresh and clear (and I just drooled a little bit.)
This is a short Bridge Day funnel cake video we made just a few years ago to honor this food tradition.
Those boys are now young men whom I am very proud of.
You better share that funnel cake, because you need to save room for the other great stuff like gyros and sandwiches so big it takes a team to eat them, and kettle corn. I missed it last year. Thought I could wait till the end and take a fresh bag home to share with the homebodies, and they were sold out! Not letting that happen again. The food list goes on and on. Hmm, that give me an idea… I’ll get back to you on that.
Now the bridge closes at 3 p.m., so heading into Fayetteville is the ticket. Book your group early for New River Gorge Escape Rooms to ensure you get in on this really fun new attraction. (Yes, worth mentioning twice.) Bridge Day Chili Cook-off in Fayetteville starts after the bridge closes and there will be the music of Bridge JAM to round out the evening.
Wow! That’s a busy day but you still have:
May I suggest breakfast at one of our great local spots like Cathedral Cafe or Vandal’s Kitchen, both in downtown Fayetteville. Then taking a hike on one of the 70 miles of trails in our National Parks— yes we have several, and you own them, so go use them!
I will be out there in the dark setting up the Chamber of Commerce tents on either end of the bridge, and secretly taste testing my way across the bridge and back.
A big shout out to The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and CVB staff for pulling this monumental task off each year. Thank you Sharon and Mandy, and everyone else who helps make this great event happen.
See you out there wearing my sensible shoes! And enjoying the amazing day.
That’s what that past 6 weeks was. A no-stops, back-to-school, end-of-summer, Yoga Teacher training, American Birding Expo, crazy-packed schedule, no time for self, and BAM fall is here kind of whirlwind.
And Breathe. I love fall the most. (Watch, I will probably say that about winter and spring, too, when they get here. But not summer.) Fall is fresh and cool and calm— thankfully calm.
Time to get away for a weekend to “your cabin in the woods,” surrounded by nature with great restaurants in town, and and enjoy some calm before the whirlwind of the holiday season.
Very special rates begin the end of October. And weekdays, starting now.
Calm is here for you.
Once in awhile, you get to see something special.
PsicoRoc was something very special. You can tell by looking at me, I don’t climb. I do, do events. Not bragging, just saying, I have helped put on some cool events. And I only say that to say, I know a really outstanding one when I see it.
PsicoRoc was outstanding.
Hats and shirts and shoes— let’s stop there— off to all the volunteers of NRAC (New River Alliance of Climbers) for making this happen. From the happy people serving food and drinks on the flotilla:
To the local sponsors:
To the National sponsors:
To the Army Corp of engineers for being open minded!
To the athletes— some of the best in the world!
Did I mention the countless volunteer hours that NRAC has poured into this in a rather selfless attempt to help focus the spotlight on West Virginia, and the world-class destination it is?
Thank you all for taking part in what you have to know was a very special event.
Thank you NRAC for being special!
I mean, I overheard some WVU students conversations over the past couple of days that may have saved my jaded soul and given me hope. The WVU Student Government Association held their leadership retreat at Opossum Creek Retreat. Almost 40 students and an OSSUM advisor, spent 2 days working their butts off in really nasty conditions helping fellow Mountaineers!
“This was the most challenging work I have ever done.” Just one of the many amazing things I ”overheard.”
They crawled under houses and cut and pulled out vapor barriers that had become laden with flood mud. Flood mud is different from regular mud because it carries with it all the stuff in the flood water like sewage, diesel fuel, other liquids and chemicals and, well, more sewage. Officials have told residents not to eat anything from their gardens and not to plant a garden on ground that was flooded for 3 years!
They also helped with demolition work and carried piles of debris into the street (I had thought all that work was complete.) Not! They crawled under one house and scooped the flood mud out from the crawl space with
buckets, and spread pulverized lime (to neutralize the flood mud) under yet another house. They did other work, too, helping organize donations and stack cases of bottled water on pallets. These kids from WVU accomplished a lot in 2 days.
It does not take 40 young adults to help. We had a young lady stay last week and work a couple days all by herself. She made a difference. You can, too.
More help is on the way from Trinity Baptist Church in NC. Both groups took advantage of our offer. (Pay for your first night in anyone of our cabins, volunteer the next day for flood relief and the next night is free.)
Suffice it to say, much help is still needed. You can find out more here, and we are continuing our offer.
The impacts of this flood event will be felt for a very long time, as will the good work these young adults will no doubt continue for the rest of their lives. Thank you and keep up the GOOD work!
Let’s GO, Mountaineers!
Our local restaurants are OSSUM! All of them use local produce from the local farmers, and the locals love it. So will you.
We made it to The Station at long last and had some apps and summery cocktails that rocked our world. Can’t wait to get back for the full dinner. Tonight was art walk in Fayetteville, Music everywhere, artists set up selling their wonderful wares and a book signing by Eve.
Sleepy little town that even I can walk from one end to the other, but that lives so much larger.
When you are staying in one of our cabins, make sure you spend some time “in Town.” It will be quality.
That’s what this weather report looks like to me.
It’s summer. You are supposed to sweat a little when you are outside. And look at the cool night temps— perfect for soaking in the hot tub and sleeping with the window open. Or sitting next to the fire.
Come be lazy and do stuff you do not do the rest of the year. It’s summer. Act like it.
What’s your perfect forecast?
Look at this way: vacations are about doing stuff you would not normally do, right? So let’s take a walk on a trail on a warm summer night while the sun is setting and the moon is coming up, and peer into the past in the New River Gorge. You are looking into one of the oldest rivers in the world.
We made another list. Yep, we are stuck in the 60s. That may not appeal to some of you, so let me just say there is very little tie dye and no VW busses. I saw more tie dye at 4H camp last week than I have in past 20 years…
We do have a very happy, friendly vibe. It’s easy to walk around town and find good stuff to eat and buy.
And that friendliness is for everyone! HomoClimbtastic just wrapped up. It. Was. Ossum.
I have an idea: volunteer vacation in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!
There really is a thing called volunteer vacations/ voluntourism. You can sign up for trips to third-world countries online, and pay big bucks to do so. Lots of people do it every year.
Here is the great part: you don’t have to go to a third-world country to help. And West Virginia needs your help.
So here is the deal: you can stay in our really nice cabins, and we will give you 1 night free for every day you volunteer to help with flood cleanup. (There is some fine print to go with this offer— namely weeknights only, unless you stay for a full week, and it’s 1 free day per paid day.)
It will make you feel really good.
Volunteer part: We will help you get signed up with the local agency, so you have meaningful work to do each day.
Vacation Part: Then come back to your cabin in the woods to rest and relax. Take a river trip or some other adventure, and go out to dinner in Fayetteville.
Volunteer Part: Back out the next day to volunteer, because it made you feel great!
Vacation Part: Spend another night thanking your lucky stars and enjoying your cabin. Maybe head home after a morning zipline or Bridge Walk. Or just maybe do another day of helping out.
Warning! Some people get addicted to the volunteer work. (I have)
Most of the New River Gorge Area is up and running back to normal, minus a couple of trails and a backroad or 2. Summersville Lake is open again. We understand how the news would scare some people away. But it is not the whole state that got flooded, just some parts of 44 out of the 55 counties that make up Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.
Opossum Creek Retreat was unharmed by the floods. The latest numbers only tell part of the story, and many places will never be the same, never fully recover. The volunteer coordinators tell me they will need help throughout the summer, and in some places, much longer.
Come help. It will feel really good.
Almost halfway through the year, and Monday the 20th of June was the first day of Summer. That Strawberry Moon was amazing. (Kept me up. How about you?) Not to mention it was West Virginia Day, too. Oh, and the record-breaking heat wave out west— yikes!
We are cooler than most places. I am not talking about Fayetteville, WV, “Coolest Small Town,” and lots of cool restaurants that do farm-to-table. I am talking about the temperature.
The New River Gorge is a breeze machine. Yep! It is so big, it creates its own wind. We are up there (more than 2000 feet). That helps cool things off.
Your Cabin in the Woods is at least 10 degrees cooler just because it is in the shade of the forest canopy. Up here on the plateau, we rarely get over 90 degrees, and the nights cool off nicely, thank you.
Then we have lots of cool, cool waters: Summersville Lake, the Gauley River and of course the New River, although she gets pretty warm come August (but still very refreshing.)
It is half way through the year, and you need a break. Call us to book a cabin, and we promise it will be cool.
We just finished up a Beginner Bird Banding class taught by certified instructor from The Institute for Bird Population. This is an intense (too intense for me) week-long course that puts everyone through the paces. They learn everything they need to get a certificate to work under a master bander. This intensive, all-inclusive event is limited to 8 people. We have had this event before, and hope to make it annual. You can learn more; just call Keith at 888.488.4836.
This week is BIG in a small way. Small birds, small groups, big fun! The New River Birding and Nature Festival is a unique event that allows our guests to spend quality time with lots of birds and each other. Yep, bird nerds are social creatures in the right environment, and man, do we have fun.
The New River Birding and Nature Festival is in its 15th year. From the beginning, we have used the proceeds to fund educational programing for the Students and Teachers of Fayette County. Our flagship program is Leadership Fayette County. We also put on a week-long middle school academy and close to a dozen other events throughout the year.
We are very proud to be part of such an OSSUM event that gives so very much back to the community.
See you in mid-May. Till then, look at a bird and smile.
We will be.