Saturday, September 24, 2016

A New Adventure

Toward the middle of July, I had an old friend pay a visit.  We had a great time together and decided I needed to venture north and visit him.  And then we decided that maybe my life could do with a real shakeup and I should just move.  So in the spirit of saying ‘yes’ to adventure, I said ok.  And that, folks, is how I ended up in West Virginia.
The hillside I see looking out the front
door of the cabin.  Makes me think of the
opening credits of Little House on the

Ellenboro is a tiny little town.  Their Wikipedia page says there are just over 360 residents, but I’m not so sure they didn’t count a few cats and dogs to get up to that number.  There’s a couple of little fast food restaurants, a convenience store/gas station, an insurance agent, a couple of other small businesses and a window factory.  The nearest grocery store is about 5 miles down the road and, while I’ve been getting by quite well, it does not have the selection of the big city grocers I am accustomed to shopping.  To find those kinds of stores, it’s 27 miles in one direction or 42 in the other.  Let’s just say those special purchases take some effort…

Part of the drive to the cabin after you
turn off Highway 50 and cross the creek.

I am staying in my friend’s hunting cabin on a burned out old farmstead that’s a couple of miles out of town.  The property, which is mostly leased out for natural gas wells, is primitive.  Power could be brought in fairly easily, but it hasn’t been done.  Right now anything electrical would require a generator.  And there isn’t one on site.  So, long story short:  there is no electricity.

Or indoor plumbing.

Or refrigeration.  Or a washer and dryer.  Or any of those other modern inventions we think we need to live.  

We don’t.  Think about camping.  There flashlights and lanterns to light your way.  And camp stoves to cook your food.  Or that nice big BBQ grill we moved with me.  Or the fire pit I’m currently assembling.

There’s a scary old outhouse. It’s functional, just frightening.  And next trip into a city, I am stopping at Home Depot or Lowes and getting the stuff to make a camping potty out of a 5-gallon bucket to shortcut some of those urgent and oh so inconvenient runs in the black of night.  Actually… I’m getting several buckets.  One for the potty, one for a clothes washer, 2-3 or whatever the plan says for a clothes wringer, and one to rig a shower.  You can go search Pinterest now or just stay tuned and I’ll post my misstep-by-misstep instructions, hints for using and a review of how well they work (or don’t) here over the next couple of weeks.

Ha!  I got all excited about 5-gallon buckets there and jumped ahead in the story.

Looking off one side of the submersible
bridge.  I'll do a whole post on it later.
There’s a creek.  The water is ice cold and pretty clear.  It's nowhere as muddy and brown as it looks in my photo... Not perfect but drinking it hasn’t hurt the dogs.  I’ve used some to rinse out a few clothes between laundromat visits.  And it’s been the site of more than one rather invigorating bath.  You have to cross the creek coming into the property by traversing a submersible bridge.  My friend calls it a submarine bridge… Which might be a good description after a storm or in the spring when there’s a lot of runoff.  A submersible bridge is made for water to flow across when it gets high enough.  Yes, you read that right.  Water flows over the top of the bridge.  On purpose.  And yes, the thought of driving across it when there’s water flowing over it kind of freaks me out. I think I could summon the bravery for it if there were only a few inches but from what I understand a few feet is not beyond the realm of possibility.  And that’s just plain scary!

The first few times down there, I saw minnows from ½ inch to 2 or so inches long.  I keep looking but so far nothing bigger for me to try catching for dinner.  Yesterday there was snake swimming for the far shore.  I didn’t scream.  Or cry.  Or jump and down.  I didn’t do much of anything but observe and try to get a good look at the shape of its head.  And then I dipped dog water as calm as you please.  And turned up an old brown glass medicine bottle.  I don’t have it cleaned up enough yet to make out more than “Vick’s” on the bottom but I think it’s a pretty cool find!


Unknown said...

Wow! Sounds like quite the adventure. How long are you planning to stay at the cabin? How much snow do they get in WV?

Kathy Burton said...

I understand that some people would see what I'm doing as an ordeal... but the difference in an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude so I'm looking at all the good, and not so great, as an adventure. And practice for whatever happens after the coming elections where half the country predicts civil war if one candidate wins and the other half sees it as the end of the world if the other candidate wins. I'll just be back in my hidey-hole content to live without all that foolishment! Actually, I'm really not sure how long I'm going to be up here. It might be a couple more weeks and it might be over the winter... Or maybe I'll stay permanently? As for snow, I'm still of the opinion that even one flake is too much. But I'm resigned to the idea that it's gonna be a fact of life up here and I'm going to have to get a coat and boots again. I'll have to Google how much to expect...