Fall Colors Drive

October 11-12, 2014

 

Southern West Virginia / Southwest Virginia

 

Since Mike did not have to serve as organist this Sunday at church (Youth Sunday), we had the weekend to go view fall foliage.

We were up early on Saturday morning and were on the road by 7am.  First stop - the Charleston Market!

 

 

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Located in downtown Charleston just off I-64 Exit 99, the Charleston Market has both outdoor and indoor sections.

 

 

 

 

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Lots of choices - fresh tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and much more.

 

 

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Plenty of chrysanthemums to choose from!

 

 

 

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And, since it's October, lots of gourds. 

 

 

 

 

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Indoors, there are shops selling wine, meat, jellies, souvenirs, candy, and more.

 

 

 

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Something for everyone.  Get your Christmas shopping done early!

 

 

 

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We like this seafood diner - good food and reasonable prices.

 

 

 

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Today, we split a fish sandwich and a bowl of clam chowder.  Yummy!

 

 

After our early lunch, it was eastbound on I-64 to Beckley (pronounced Bay-eck-lee with 3 syllables)

 

 

 

 

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Beckley is home of the Tamarack - a collection of West Virginia artisans displaying and selling their goods.

 

 

 

 

 

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A glass blower in the Tamarack making a vase. (Photo taken through protective glass)

 

 

 

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Some of the glass wares for sale. 

 

 

 

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More West Virginia crafts.  Nice quilt.

 

 

 

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So many styles of cutting boards, each made with several different types of wood interlaced.

 

 

After looking around the Tamarack, we headed south about 30 miles to Twin Falls State Park.

It's a beautiful drive down curvy roads ablaze with the colors of fall.

 

 

 

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The Old Pioneer Farm at Twin Falls State Park.

(authentic Old Pioneers in foreground)

 

 

 

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The Old Pioneer Farm (without the Old Pioneers)

 

 

 

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Chickens in the yard - must be West Virginia.

 

 

 

 

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This horse was eating his dinner and enjoying the fall colors.

 

 

 

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On our way out of Twin Falls State Park, this horse was also grazing in an idyllic setting.

 

 

We stayed Saturday night in Beckley (did you remember the proper pronunciation?)

Sunday morning, we enjoyed a quick breakfast of cereal and toast at the hotel before setting off south towards Bluefield and the far western side of Virginia. After crossing into Virginia, we looped northeast and came up along the WV/VA border.

The rain came and went throughout the day - at times raining hard, and at times just overcast.

 

 

 

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Every time you look out there is a scene more beautiful than the last.

 

 

 

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The cows seemed more interested in grazing than the beautiful scenery.

 

 

 

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After crossing into Virginia southbound on I-77, we turned off at Bland

and headed northeast on Rt 42.

 

 

 

 

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After about 20 miles, the road narrows and becomes Rt 635.

It goes through some beautiful mountain and stream scenery.

A stream always adds to the beauty of the scene.

 

 

 

 

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This stream offered many photo ops along Rt 635.

If you would get out of the car and hike about 3 or 4 miles west, you would be in WV.

 

 

 

 

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For a short time, the road becomes Rt 17 and crosses into West Virginia.

 

 

 

 

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Pretty scene near Waiteville WV.

 

 

 

 

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Another view near Waiteville WV.

 

 

 

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As we came around a corner, this eagle was in the road and took off flying down the road.

We followed it for 200-300 yards before it stopped in this tree to pose for our photo.

 

 

 

 

 

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There were several buffalo farms in the area.

 

 

 

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More colors near Covington VA.

 

 

 

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Falling Springs - just north of Covington VA.

 

 

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Better view of the falls.

 

 

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We continued north on Rt 220 past Monterey VA.

These sheep and cattle were grazing in a field just south of Franklin WV.

 

 

 

 

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Beautiful colors at Germany Valley near Franklin and Spruce Knob.

 

We had to pass on Spruce Knob (highest point in WV) since it was thick fog above about 2,500 feet.

 

 

 

 

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Speaking of fog, Seneca Rocks was very ethereal looking surrounded by the fog.

 

 

 

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For a short while, Seneca Rocks was completely blocked by the fog.

Then, there was a brief break and I spotted this hiker standing on the very top ridge.

 

 

 

 

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The leaves that have already fallen make a beautiful blanket for the ground.

 

 

 

 

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Seneca Rocks Discovery Center. One of our favorite hangouts.

 

 

 

 

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From Seneca Rocks, we turned north through Canaan Valley.

(It's pronounced "ka-nane" here in WV)

 

 

 

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More colors at Canaan Valley.

This is one of Spencer and Lauren's favorite places to camp.

 

 

 

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Supper time and we were getting hungry. This looks good.

 

 

 

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Nice and clean - not fancy.  Perfect.

 

 

 

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Great Pizza!

 

 

 

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Our next stop was Blackwater Falls.  This is a West Virginia landmark.

The water is dark in spots because of all the pine sap from upstream.

 

 

 

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Hi from Blackwater Falls!

 

 

 

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Pretty setting with the leaves and the ferns growing on top of a rock.

 

 

 

 

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Another photo of the falls with some color thrown in.

 

 

 

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And one more pose by the lower observation deck.

 

 

 

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Just north of Blackwater Falls is the Fairfax Stone.

This marks the headwaters (spring) of the Potomac River,

and is located just below the far southwest point of Maryland.

Spencer and Lauren live at the other end of the Potomac River, 200 miles away.

 

 

 

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The fall leaves were just like this when we arrived - really!

 

 

 

 

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And one more photo of the young, beautiful couple!

 

 

We hope you enjoyed our fall colors tour 2014.

 

Mike & Beth