Friday, October 15, 2021

Vacation Recap

So vacation 2021 is behind us.   That is so sad!   We struggled with getting back to real life.  Ok, we were ok with returning to our life and our apartment…we struggled with getting back to work!   But we did what we needed to do!  However, I’m not ready to let vacation go yet!   So l am going to relive vacation through this blog by recapping our vacation!

Day 1

We arrived in the New River Gorge area after traveling for about 5 hours.   We had left Mertz the cat at home but we were traveling with the bird, so we checked  into our Airbnb as soon as we could.   While kiwi settled in, we unpacked and got ourselves situated.  It was a lazy day.  We ran a few errands, such as going to the grocery store to get the perishable items that we needed for our home cooked breakfasts.  We also drove to Cathedral Falls.  We had chosen that as our spot for our elopement but had never even been there in person!  So we went to check it out!!

It was a pretty chill day.  And even though we were both 100% sure of our plans, we were both full of nervousness about the huge step we were taking the next day.

Vacation Day 2
We got married!!!!  I shared this the other day in Post….but if you missed it…on October 3, 2021 I got married at Cathedral Falls!
It was the first full day of our time there so after our nuptials, we changed our clothes and we headed out to see the sights!!!  One of the first things we always do is to go to the visitor center and check out the Canyon Rim overlook and check in with the park rangers about any closures or whatnot!  The view from the overlook is always a good one!
We next headed to Thurmond, WV.  This is an abandoned coal town.  We have been there before but I had found information about an abandoned church that we had of course we went back and hit up that trail!  And since we were in Thurmond, we walked through the town and explored it again!   (We always see new things on each visit!!). You can see a video of this visit to Thurmond here.

We did a few smaller things…stuff like checking out the location that commemorates where Hank Williams was found dead. (Hey…I was there…may as well visit it!!).  I also stopped and picked up a surprise.   We got married…so we needed a wedding cake right??

Day 3
On this day our main activity was in finally visiting the abandoned coal mine of Nuttalburg.   The road to the lower area had been closed on all of our recent visits and we had always said ‘we will wait’.  Before we went this year I vowed to hike in, even if it took me all day!   Luckily for us the road was unofficially open!  So we hiked to the top buildings and then drove to the lower trails and buildings!   It was still a full day of activity as we hit all the trials and explored it fully!

Day 4
The weather was supposed to be a bit warm this day, so we headed to Beckley, WV!   What was the attraction in Beckley?  The Coal Mine Exhibition is what drew us to Beckley!  This was a fabulous visit…well worth every penny that we spent!!  The exhibition can be broken into three parts.  The museum section which displayed all kinds of artifacts from coal mines.  The second aspect is the coal mine village that shows the buildings and life in a coal mine town/village.  And the third is the actual tour that takes you into an old coal mine on a coal tram.  The guides were excellent and it was such a neat experience!
Whilst in Beckley we decided to drive out to see Grandview.  This is another area of the National Park…and we had never visited!  The main overlook afforded great views!  But we also found the trails to be neat and full of awesome nature!!!

Day 5
On this day we headed out to hike again.  We decided to explore the abandoned Brooklyn mine.  So we laced on our hiking boots and started to hike.  Because like most of these abandoned mines to get to them (at least parts of them) you will be hiking a few miles!  It was a pretty hike…and we did reach the actual mine.  The buildings at this level were in total ruins and there wasn’t too much to explore as they were fenced off because they were in that bad of shape.  But it was a great hike and still a fun exploration!

When we were done with the Brooklyn mine Trail Hike and exploration we headed down to the nearby river access….there were more trails down there…and there were more remnants of the Brooklyn Mine!  So more exploring!!!

Day 6

We encountered rain on this day.   But we were lucky. It would pour while we were hiking and under tree cover, but would literally clear up almost each and every time we stepped out from under the tree cover to view an overlook!  It was amazing!   We hiked the endless wall trail.  This is an amazing trail!  Neat trail…awesome views!!

On this day we also picked up a few shorter trails that we had not previously completed!  And of course we stopped to view any available overlook and small thing that caught our attention!

Day 7

This was our last full day in the area.  We had a lot of smaller things that we wanted to complete.  We also had a few places that we wanted to go.  So this day was full of small stops.  It rained off an on…but once again, most of the rain occurred whilst driving and we honestly only had to wear rain jackets at one stop!
we stopped at Kanawah Falls.

We stopped on last time at Cathedral Falls (for this trip…I’m sure we will visit this canyon waterfall each tim we are in the area since it is where we got married!)

We stopped at Hawknest State Park and checked out the overview, area and gift shop.

Wr stopped back at the Canyon Rim at the visitor center to see the amazing fog that had descended

We drive the Fayetteville Station Road again (we had already driven it once or twice earlier in the week)

And we stopped at a variety of stores and places.  We vowed to enjoy every minute on this last full day and to not think about vacation ending!!!

We spent our last night in the area and the next morning we packed up and drove home.  Kiwi did great with traveling but was happy to get home to his big sister Mertz!    We unpacked on Saturday evening and then on Sunday we made the rounds and had a fun day surprising and shocking our families when we told them that we had eloped!!!   It was an amazing week!!!!  From the first minute to the last we had fun!!!


jen said...

Ohhh wow, what a holiday.
What gorgeous scenic pictures.
Congratulations again on your wedding.

peppylady (Dora) said...

Look like a wonderful time. Congrat on your wonderful day.
Coffee is on and stay safe

Lynn said...

What a great vacation!

Paula C said...

The pictures are gorgeous. You & Jason look so happy! I love the cake. What a wonderful & relaxing vacation. I love the fact you made it an active holiday. I bet your co-workers were surprised huh? Congratulations again.

Stained Glass Butterfly said...

What beautiful places you found to visit, and awesome pictures! Congratulations again on your wedding!