Saturday, September 24, 2016

First Adventure

Can you even believe my dogs still like riding in the car?  Even after being cramped in the back of a loaded Explorer for upwards of 1,000 miles and having meal times, sleep schedules, and potty breaks turn completely upside down and irregular they still perk up and get excited by the words, “let’s go for a ride.”  I think they are better road warriors than I am!!

So today, I loaded them up and we went in search of what we could see.  It started with a trip to Harrisville.  The mileage marker says it’s 4 miles but I swear… it feels more like 40!  Ok, that’s an exaggeration.  But it does feel like a lot more than 4.  My friend, when he was still here with us, called it the longest 4 miles in the whole world.

I forgot to get a couple of gallons of drinking/cooking water when I got food earlier so my plan was to stop in Harrisville and do that.  I failed.  But we sure had a good time site seeing!

Part way through town, there’s a brown sign with an arrow that says Public Creek Access.  That sounded like a good way to start our afternoon’s adventure so I turned and followed the signs through many streets worth of residential neighborhood… Finally, we arrived at the entrance to Haught Lakeside Recreational Area and a sign announcing it is the site of a Bass Tournament tomorrow (9/24/16).  I’ve never really seen a Bass before… but apparently, if I decide to take up fishing again, that’s what I will be catching.  With any luck, I’ll be catching some anyway!  Maybe I’ll drive back over and see if I can get a look and some tips for catching, cleaning and cooking a Bass.
One of the boat launches at Haught Lakeside
Recreational Area in Harrisville, WV.

It’s a lovely park laid out along one bank of a reservoir.  There are picnic shelters and a baseball diamond and a really nice playground, too.  But it was the scenery that had me intrigued.
More of the shoreline at Haught Lakeside
Recreational Area.

The supernally loud and enthusiastic eeeeee-yah'ing of a brown donkey made our exit memorable.  Even the animals are friendly around here!  He hot-footed it down the hillside, until the fence around his yard stopped him, braying like he'd only just discovered the joy of music and had every intention of using all the notes.  At once.  Of course, my boys had to answer in kind.  Manners, you know?
Our new donkey friend held back from a personal visit
only by the electric fence around his yard.

After a bit, we meandered our way back down to Main Street and I saw the brown sign pointing to North Bend State Park and we were off again.  First, we ended up on the other shore of the reservoir at Cokely Recreational Area.  I was so reminded of Idaho!!  It’s not exactly the same, but there were sure some striking similarities…  Trekking on, we entered the park.  Also beautiful!!  And more developed than I anticipated with a golf course, lodge, pool, gift shop, and lots of campsites and picnic areas.

Cokely Recreational Area.
This place made me think so much of
Idaho.  Or at least the way I remember
it from childhood... Think the roadways
around Heise.
Cokely Recreational Area.
Made me think so much of driving over
Antelope Flats in Idaho.

Cokely Recreational Area.

When I was completely lost, I pulled out the Garmin to get us home.  It showed a 15-minute trip… and then it guided me over a lovely metal bridge and down a 1-lane gravel road where I expected to hear banjo music ringing out from any one of the run-down houses.  We emerged back onto Hwy 50 less than 5 miles from where we started the day’s adventure.  How’s that for driving in circles?

North Bend State Park.
The dam holding back all the water for that reservoir that provides
recreational opportunities in the area. I saw a deer just before the
turn in here and wanted to take a photo... I could have, too, except
for the "bumper humper" who was urging me on down the road.
There were several people fishing all along the spillway. What
a peaceful and idyllic setting!!
Part of the spillway below the dam.  One of the trail heads starts here and runs
along those big rocks in the background.

Watershed draining rain and snow runoff into
the reservoir.  I bet, after a good storm, it
looks like a water fall gushing over those
downed tree branches!

Roadside driving through the park.

We crossed this bridge after leaving the park and before the road out turned
into 1-lane and gravel.  I'm a big fan of old metal bridges!!

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