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West Virginia
When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 27, 2009

Road Trip - Disappointing Colors, but a Beautiful Day

Peggy (my only retired friend) and I had decided to go look at the trees in Kentucky.  According to our local weather forecaster (who talks about "kisses of frost" - why would we listen to him?!) the weather would be good (it was) and the leaves would be beautiful (they were all right, but definitely past "peak").  But it was a lovely day.  We started out around 9:30, after having to make two stops to find our Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  Leaving that early in the morning we got to watch the fog/clouds slowly lifting off the hills and that's something I love seeing.  We only took the interstate as far as Grayson, KY and then got on the road to Yatesville Lake State Park in Kentucky.  The lake is really lovely and was pretty much totally deserted - at least the part we saw.  It's all part of the complex dam system that the Army Corps of Engineers put in place in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.  These photos are from various spots where I hopped out of the car.

There were three deer here as we came around a bend in the road.  We stopped and one finally decided he'd cross the road and disappear.  Meanwhile, I was trying to get my window down and find a way to get a picture without opening the door.  One of the deer was lying down and I gave up on him cause he was so well camouflaged.  But I managed to get this one before they all decided they'd be more comfortable somewhere else.

The trees were disappointing, but it was just a gloriously beautiful day.  Sky so blue, water so clear, and all very, very quiet, except for birds.

In West Virginia, this flaming red bush is called a "burning bush" - don't know the real name of it.  But they're everywhere and this time of year, they are gorgeous!

I know I've seen this white lacy stuff before but don't know what it is.  One hillside we drove past was pretty much covered with it growing wild.  And the picture above we at first thought was a plant that had left just a wisp of fluff (like a dandelion or thistle), but when I got out to inspect more closely, it was one of those heavier cobwebs covered with dew.

This shows the dam in the distance - we were up on a knoll type place where they had a really nice area for picnicing.  It was all so clean and so well kept up.  These large grassy areas were like lawns...

These two birds flew into the tree just as we were driving toward it which is why they caught our attention.  As soon as we stopped, the one highest up (almost invisible here) flew off and I got so excited trying to get a picture of it that I really shook the camera.  So I told Peggy to honk to try and make the other bird take off, but even after two shorts and a long, he wasn't budging!

After we left there, we came to Louisa, KY (actually now that I've uploaded all these pics, I'm thinking we came to Louisa first and then the lake, but I'm not rearranging everything now!) and stopped at this really fantastic kind of "everything" place.  It was a filling station, food mart, a Taco Bell, and a Baskin Robbins.  But the incredible thing about it was it was all about country music.  The Taco Bell area had display cabinets filled with photos and concert tickets and various bits of stuff to do with Elvis, and outfits of various country singers and the food mart side had probably 10 or so of those flashy dresses female country singers wore back in the 70's probably.  It was such a hoot.  And outside they had a patio area with purple, blue, yellow, and chartreuse green chairs and tables.  And it had a big brick barbecue grill which I guess they must use in the summer.  Neat, really.  The Taco Bell walls were painted with what I would have to call frescoes!  Not like in Florence, though. :)  And I had left my camera in the car!  I should have said "wait!" but I'm still kind of shy of being a "photographer".

After some time there, we got onto an even less traveled road that I'd say probably puts US Route 60 in West Virginia going over the mountains in second place for hairpin curves.  Again, the colors weren't too great, but it is beautiful country and was an enjoyable drive.  We couldn't find any place interesting to eat and ended up at a Taco Bell in Grayson.  Came on home after that, stopped at Starbucks for coffee and tea with a chocolate graham cracker and that was pretty much it. 

Once I got back up to the apartment, I took these pictures out of my windows cause the colors here were certainly at least as pretty as what we saw on our drive.  It was a real nice day, though.  Peggy and I always seem to find plenty to talk about!

I really think Huntington has more leaves left than we saw in Kentucky - and that was a little further south than Huntington...

I sure do love the views from my windows!


January said...

I think I've been at that crazy gas station rest stop place! I think back when I was volunteering down in Kentucky I had to pass through Louisa on my way to the FNS...
I'm glad you're still writing about your domestic adventuring :)

Christopher said...

Ah, the joys of being retired---to just go out on a weekday for leaf viewing! Sounds like a very pleasant outing. The picnic area at the dam looks very nice---do people swim in that lake in summer?

Mary Lynne said...

Hi kids - January I'm glad you're glad. I feel kind of silly but I've decided it's a good way for me to keep a diary which I never have done religiously. This probably won't be done too religiously either, but not having to handwrite it and being able to include pictures, does make it more inviting.

Chris, I guess I neglected to say we went on a Sunday morning. But, we've done little road trips on weekdays too and it IS nice to just off. I'm not sure about the swimming, I know they fish there and I would assume that at least some portion of it is open for swimming. We only saw one small area.


Sandra from Sydney said...

What beautiful colours Mary Lynne! We have more evergreens in our part of Sydney and I do love the Autumn colours! Your view is wonderful - and I'll bet that you and Peggy had a ball. Isn't it wonderful being retired?
Hugs, Sandra

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