Wild and … Wonderful?

The last couple of years, Joe and I have taken a trip the weekend of his birthday. Two years ago, it was Deep Creek Lake. Last year it was Niagara Falls. When I asked him where he wanted to go this year, he came up with Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia. Uh, okay, sure!

We booked a room at the park’s lodge for Friday and Saturday night and headed up on Friday, which we had both taken off. It took about three hours to get there and thankfully the temperature kept dropping the higher we got. That was a relief after a week of temperatures in the high 90s every day.

We immediately went to check into the lodge and it looked sort of like something out of “Dirty Dancing.” In other words, retro. Wooden panel walls and everything. We checked out the view from the back of the lodge, which was pretty nice.


View from the back of the lodge


Still from the back of the lodge

After browsing some brochures and trying to figure out what the heck we were going to do all weekend, we decided to head into the bustling metropolis of Davis, the town bordering the park, for dinner. There were only a few restaurant options so we ended up at their “steakhouse,” Muttley’s. There were maybe six tables in the whole place. I was already feeling the need for a drink to brace myself for the weekend but this fabulous little place didn’t have a liquor license. Which was interesting because they sold wine in the room that connected to the restaurant. The waitress told us we could go in there, buy a bottle and she could open it for a corking fee. A) That sounds like too much work and B) I don’t drink wine. The food was only okay but the waitress was very nice and attentive.

At this point, I was feeling kind of grumpy. Joe can attest to this. I figured we needed something to make the time pass by a little quicker. And that’s why we went and got this.


12 should last the weekend right?

So we went back to the lodge to pop open the beers and play a little catch.


Baseball and gloves, a winning combination. And yeah, we had to drink the beer out of the Styrofoam containers because a couple of the guys who worked at the lodge told us the park rangers would bust us if we were caught drinking beers. So we had to be stealthy.

The next day, Joe and I decided to check out the falls. There were a couple of “trails” to check out the falls. And by trails I mean paved paths or boardwalks that took no more than 10 minutes to walk.


Joe and I at the falls.


A closer shot of the falls.

So by now it was about 10:30 a.m. and we had nothing left to do. We tried driving to another state park about 10 miles away and there wasn’t much to do there either. We decided to try heading to Seneca Rocks State Park about 40 minutes away. That turned out to be much more interesting. There was a three-mile round trip hike to the top of a 1,000 foot summit. It wasn’t that steep and it was actually a very pretty hike.


Oh hello, I’ll be up there shortly.


Gotta cross the river first.

We made it to the top, even running up some steep hills along the way to get a power workout. The views were amazing but I was pretty tentative near the edges. We stopped for a snack of cherries and pistachios.


I made it to the top. I promise I was happier than I look here.


The pretty view from the top.


If I look nervous, it’s because I am. I am sitting on the edge of those rocks you saw earlier and I. do. not. like. heights.

After the hike, we headed back to Davis and stopped at Hellbender Burritos to grab something to eat. We took our food to go and sat at the picnic table behind our lodge. The food was pretty good and they made our food exactly to order. And I had to be that girl who ordered her food in a bowl, not a tortilla, and with no rice, just black beans. And chicken, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Yum.

Joe needed a nap since he didn’t sleep well the night before so he rested up while I took a shower. We relaxed for a bit before driving over to Deep Creek Lake, about an hour away, for dinner. The drive was really pretty. Lots of farms and rolling hills. We ended up at Archie’s BBQ for dinner. Joe wasn’t too impressed but we both liked the pulled pork.

I didn’t want to drive back on those country roads in the dark so got back to our hotel before sunset. It was cloudy off and on the whole time we were in West Virginia so we didn’t get much of a sunset but Joe took a couple of last photos.


There’s a little color in that sky.

And that was kinda it. The next morning we ate breakfast at the lodge’s restaurant. Can’t beat $8.50 per person for all-you-can-eat buffet. And trust me, I can EAT at a breakfast buffet.

Overall, we were disappointed but still enjoyed getting away for the weekend. West Virginia is beautiful but there’s not always a TON to do.

On an unrelated note, remember I said I was scaling back on the running a bit? I ran for the first time in more than a week this morning. I was getting the itch bad after seeing updates of other people’s runs all last week. I ran about three miles but I have no idea how it went because my Garmin is being a jerk and I didn’t bring my cell phone. I know that I felt a little tired and that I am so over the humidity. Fall running weather can’t come soon enough!