Saturday, September 6, 2014

Where did the summer go?

It is hard to believe that summer is coming to an end. Just because the summer is over that doesn't mean that the fun will stop!  I must confess that the fall is my favorite time of year as WV begins to show her fall colors.  I am excited to walk one of the many trails at Camp Creek State Park.I can finally dust off my camera and get back out into these beautiful areas.   As Thomas and I were hiding the geocaches for the upcoming Mercer County GeoCache trail we had the chance to spend some time with the wonderful people at Camp Creek.  Did you know that they now have a Pack in Pack Out trail?  You hike for 3 miles and set up camp for the night? If you enjoy horseback riding you should check out the Double C campground set up for you to stay with your horse. The falls were overflowing and just breathtakingly beautiful. Don't take my word for it get down there and visit.  Stop at the Gift shop and say hello to Frank and Pam. They can tell you all the great places to find and which trail you will want to take.

Be sure to go to the Fall Festival they will be having on Sept 20th from 12-6!  Come out and have some fun with us!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pinnacle Rock State Park

As you are rounding a curve on Route 52, near Bramwell, Pinnacle Rock State Park will appear from what seems like nowhere.  Pinnacle Rock towers above the mountains in the most southern part of the state, is an unusual sandstone formation reaching 3100 feet above sea level.

 The park was opened in 1938 with just 26 acres that surrounds the rock. It was during this time that roadside parks started popping up across the States.  The original stone picnic shelter still sits atop the hill and fireplace grills are there waiting on you to come fix dinner. I don't know what you are waiting for :) Today the park consists of 396 acres includes a 15 acre lake (Jimmy Lewis Lake), an Interpretive Room and over seven miles of trails that are mountain bike and hiker friendly.

As we were looking around I saw a sign that pointed you in direction of the overlook.  My first thought was of course we need to go to the overlook I have my we walked down the nice paved path we saw the sign for the overlook and then I saw this...
I hesitated for a moment but continued on up the steps, only stopping a couple of times to "take in the scenery" aka catch my breath. I knew that the short climb would be well worth it, or as I said between breaths it better be worth it.  I must tell you the honest truth here.... IT WAS and I would walk it again every day to take in the spectacular view from the overlook at the top of the Pinnacle Rock.  I can only imagine what this place will look like in the fall when the leaves are changing colors and WV is showing off its beauty for the rest of the world to see.  I know that I will be making the trip back with my camera in the fall.

Looking down! 

Mercer County has several hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered by you. Plan your trip now you won't regret it!  Oh and if you enjoy rock climbing it is allowed with the proper permit. You can contact the park by calling 304-248-8565! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bramwell's Spring Tour of Homes

Thomas and I have been wanting to tour the homes in Bramwell for a couple of years now but never made the time to do it.  We love the history that you can still find in this historic town. I thought for sure that the streets would not be that crowded today because the rain was pouring down.  I was glad to see that I was wrong and the streets were full of people and umbrellas.
Bramwell Presbyterian Church

The tour would start out at this beautiful Presbyterian church. When you step inside you are in awe of the architecture of this building. Words can not describe the beauty that you will find here
Stain Glass inside the church

A spiral staircase going upstairs

Love the arched door ways

 The outside of the church

This tour is easy to walk and the volunteers were friendly and would help in anyway.  They waited inside the homes to tell us of its history and how the house played a role in the history of Bramwell.  You could feel their love and pride for the community that they have maintained and were sharing with us. 

Live music was played in most of the houses we visited today and at the Depot we could hear the stories of
The Bramwell Depot, the rain has finally stopped for a couple of minutes

Fred "Powerhouse" Powers (Author, Coal Miner, StoryTeller) waited outside the depot to talk to everyone about the life of the coal miner. We talked for awhile about rats, bats, and carbide hats. 
The excitement was contagious today, even though we were walking between the raindrops, and I have a feeling the excitement is always present in Bramwell.  

I heard someone bragging today that The Corner Shop had the best Ice Cream in the world.  Now that is a statement to live up to and I doubted that anyone could, but I did not want to be wrong so we stopped in the Corner Shop and I ordered a Banana Split and Thomas had a Milkshake.  Now I won't tell you if it was the world's best Ice Cream, you shouldn't take my word for it, you should try it for yourself.  Bramwell is a short drive outside of Princeton and worth the drive and the walk around the town.
The Corner Shop Diner, A must stop! 

The Bank of Bramwell

The original safe inside the bank

Love the design! 

Start planning your trip now so you can find out if they really do have the worlds' best ice cream

Sunday, April 13, 2014

With the weather warming up WV is starting to bloom and come back to life.  We could not let a day as beautiful as today pass by without getting out in the Wild and Wonderful that can be found in Mercer County. Even the bees were buzzing with excitement! 

Rosa, Susan and I enjoyed driving around with the top down on the VW bug and visiting Pipestem  State Park for a picnic lunch and walking the trails to look for a geocache. Our attempt at geocaching today was plagued with technology difficulties but that did not stop the fun. After our visit at Pipestem we headed to a place that I had never been. Brush Creek Falls. The trail was well maintained and I was grateful to see that there was not a large amount of litter. The walk to the first set of falls is one that would be safe for kids of all ages they just have to watch the ground to adjust for the rocks and roots you will find on any nature trail. We did not venture on out to the second falls today but will make a return trip to finish the trail. 
This is a must stop for anyone. 

 We wrapped up our trip and day in the sun with a quick stop at Berkshire's Old Fashioned Frozen Custard for a delicious cold treat! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

If you love taking your camera with you and snapping as many pictures as you can of the beautiful scenery or of you friends and family, I have an experience you may not want to let pass you by.  

  I recently made a trip to his studio off of Mercer street to use his studio to take some pictures of a friend and his little girl.  This studio is packed full of scenes from beaches to barns and anything you can really imagine.  Mr. Jessee helped us set up in his studio and provided us with the flash we needed to use and was there to help in anyway that he could. Hiss studio is available for anyone to rent on an hourly basis and if you enjoy taking pictures it is not an experience that you want to miss.  I must admit that I felt overwhelmed at first but soon I was snapping away and taking picture after picture in fact I walked away with over 150 photos taken in just an hour. I look forward to my next trip there and I know there will be many more in my future. 

I had the chance to take a photography class from Steve Jessee during the fall semester at a local university.  Mr. Jessee is an award winning Master Photographer and if I listed all his titles they would fill up this page because he has over 37 years of experience. He teaches not only at local universities but offers photography classes and Adobe Photoshop classes on a local and regional level. It is great to meet someone who is passionate about what he does and is willing to share that passion with others. 

If you are sitting here thinking that all this sounds nice but you don't really take pictures you should still stop by and check out his art, and many award winning pieces,  he has on display in his store and studio!   

Monday, March 24, 2014

An evening at the Chuck Mathena Center and Driving Miss Daisy

Mom and I arrived at the Chuck Mathena Center on Friday night to watch Driving Miss Daisy.  We were able to get our tickets and enjoy the art work that they had displayed from various schools in the area. I love seeing the creativity of our children and what they can do when given the chance to show it off.
Artwork was not the only thing on display. In the lobby we saw this beautiful car, and yes if one had the money, they could have driven it home that night.
Once the doors were opened for us to be seated, staff and volunteers were friendly and ready to assist in anyway needed. We found our seat and anxiously awaited for the show to begin. And it was worth the wait. We found ourselves laughing until it hurt and even shedding tears along with the characters. We witness the struggle that Miss Daisy has as she must learn that she is growing older needs to rely on others to help her do the simple things she has done by her self for so long.  This play is set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Era, the 25 year long tale follows Miss Daisy, with a life of privilege, and her African-American chauffeur as they deal with racism and class differences while their bonds grow stronger.  Even though the play had many parts that would make you double over in laughter it also reminded us how very difficult this time in history was as many fought for equal rights and dealt with discrimination. 

If you are looking for an evening full of fun and the arts then you need to check out the Chuck Mathena Center, it truly is a treasure that we should share and use. Each year many shows are put on that will, no doubt, entertain. There are shows and events that will accommodate all age groups so be sure to check out their website

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Discover Historic Downtown Bluefield

With the winter weather on its way out, we took advantage of one of the beautiful days to discover Historic Downtown Bluefield. You can walk the streets where you will find 9 buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The town came alive in the 1920's with the arrival of the Norfolk and Western Railroad.  The architecture of these buildings take you back in time and you can feel the pride they had in the town they were building.

The buildings are not the only thing that will amaze you on this walk around town.  As you are walking by take time to look into the windows of the businesses that you pass (or visit) and you will see beautifully designed trains that tell the story of those who painted them. 

There is much beauty in this town so take the time to learn of its history by walking its streets! 

After we left Bluefield we headed back to Princeton for a bite to eat at one of my favorite places.. Angelo's pizza.  I have a weakness for their BBQ wings but I must say you can't stop at Angelo's without an order of their Douby Douby Bread

Our last stop that day was at another favorite of mine, Camp Creek State Park and Forest.  The fishermen had started to come out after a long cold winter and there were many dogs taking their humans out for a walk to enjoy the sun and warmer temperatures. We drove to the Mash Fork Falls to grab a few pictures and then we had to bring our day to the ends as the sun was beginning to set.

  Be sure to take time to visit there are many adventure and stories waiting to be discovered!