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Posts Tagged ‘Seneca Rocks’

Watching me from a nearby oak tree is a large male cardinal with bright black eyes.  My camera is across the room.  He will surely be gone before I can grab it and race back to the window.  What to do?  Just remain still and enjoy my unexpected encounter with a red-feathered friend.  Unexpected.  There is no better word to describe my life at present.  Since my last update, there have been lots of unexpected experiences.  Some have been as simple as spotting the cardinal at my window, or the above leaf as I walked to the grocery store.  Others instances have been more complex.  Their creative impact and outcomes remain to be seen.  Meanwhile, here are some brief highlights of experiences from the past month, with a focus on recent travels.  Enjoy! 😉

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Virginia

In September I traveled with Steve to Virginia and West Virginia.  Virginia is my  home state.  While there, I visited one of my favorite nature trails along the Blackwater Creek.  See the little fish at the bottom of the picture?  Other sights along the trail:

And in a neaby national park  …

 

West Virginia

In Virginia, I showed Steve my old haunts.  In West Virginia, we journeyed to one of his, Seneca Rocks.  There I had several unexpected and memorable experiences, first attempting to climb a mountain, and then riding a horse.  When I wasn’t afraid of tumbling, off the mountain or the horse, I managed to snap a few photos. 😉

 

On the Horizon

Well, one of the most unexpected opportunities is an upcoming trip to Japan.  I don’t expect to encounter any horses, but Steve is determined to introduce me to octopus in all its varied culinary forms.  We’ll see about that one!

Also, I’m pleased to share that I will be making a guest blog appearance November 1st on The Evolving Critic, A Metro Boston Blog for Art, Architectural, Urban Planning and Community Explorations.  I’ll be sharing words and images about one of my favorite Boston sites, the Charles River Esplanade.

That’s the quick scoop from me.  Wherever you are in the world today, I hope you are healthy, happy and feeling inspired!

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As mentioned in previous posts, my travels this past month took me to Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. Steve and I have determined that when he first climbed Seneca Rocks I was probably sitting in a high chair smearing pink frosting on my face. I would have been celebrating my first birthday while he was celebrating the freedom of being a freshman at college on an outing with the Explorers Club. Over the years he would return many times to the mountain, sharing the experience of climbing with friends and family. He wanted to share the same experience with me.

I’d rock climbed in the past. Once at a gym where there was a climbing wall. Once in the wilds of New Hampshire with a bunch of middle schoolers participating in a summer writing program. All wonderful experiences. Were they enough to prepare me for Seneca?

Steve's Classic Gear

Steve Mapping "Easy" Route

Me All Dressed Up

So what happened?

We climbed. On occasion I swore under my breath. We finally reached a plateau where we could take a short break. Around us, others climbed.

At some point, gently, Steve reminded me that we had our own climb to finish. I tried focusing on what was before me and above, but at some point I made the mistake of looking behind me. And then looking down. And down and down and down. I will never forget the sight of both an eagle and a butterfly soaring above the clouds. We were all above the clouds it seemed. I looked at Steve and said, “I’m done.” I must have had “that look” on my face because he simply congratulated me on the distance I had traveled and then we sat for a bit in the quiet.

We just sat and shared the space, together, though I am sure our heads were in very different places.  Eventually, we rose.  The climb down was not so bad.  All in all, it was a good day.

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This beautiful, gentle-eyed beast is Shadow.  Recently, he carried me up Seneca Rocks, a famous West Virginia mountain, and brought me down safely.  But he wasn’t happy about it.   Since I was a child I have loved horses, but it was a love based purely on literary and cinematic exposure.  My favorite books were The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley.  My favorite movies included Black Beauty, My Friend Flicka and National Velvet.  It just so happened as an adult I found myself riding a water buffalo in Arkansas and an elephant in Thailand, but Shadow was to be my first horse. 

By horse standards, he was a teenager, his owner said.  And so it was with the recalcitrance of a teenager being forced to clean his room before supper that Shadow ferried me along the rock-strewn path up Seneca Rocks.  I swear he wanted to ditch me a couple of time, but he was well-trained.  Once back at the base of the mountain, we parted happily, he with a swish of his tail, and me with a much greater respect for horse attitude, not to mention the width of their barrel backs.

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