Making a Break for the Mountains
"The mountains are calling and I must go." Naturalist John Muir said it first and I get it! When the cold winds blew snow in the middle of April, I found myself sitting by the fireplace and recapping our West Virginia spring break album titled 11 Reasons to Make a Break for the Mountains.
1. Getting to know the local talent.
3. Taking the high road...and the road less traveled.
3. Embracing our heritage! We enjoyed eating at the Hutte Restaurant in Helvetia (Little Switzerland), WV where our taste buds danced with their incredible alpine cuisine! And a stop at the general store offered locally made maple syrup while a Fasnacht mask honoring the beloved late Senator Robert C. Byrd looked on.
4. Pausing to take promotional photos. Here the model holds one of my hand stitched leather clutches.
5. Holding lambs. Their soft fuzzy ears, tightly curled wool only hours or days old, and the smell of lanolin renders them irresistible.
6. Fulfilling the annual tradition of catching loud yet extremely illusive SPRING PEEPERS, tiny frogs with a distinctive X marking on their backs. (We practice a catch and release method.)
7. Simply being still and listening, putting down the phone and exploring. This photo was taken at Holly River State Park.
8. Gathering fresh warm eggs. (Still not sure what compelled me to say yes to helping my sister trim chickens' toenails...)
9. Clearing our heads at 2700 feet while taking care of the Balli Farm, my grandmother's homeplace. We pruned grapevines, mended fences, checked on the new cabin, let the dogs off leash, and spring cleaned the house and yard.
10. Showing my daughter the pine grove I fell in love with as a child. The trees were much bigger but it held the same magic.
11. Being reminded where home is. Sure, if someone had bought me a plane ticket to a warm sunny beach, I might have taken it in a momentary lapse of judgement, but I can say with great certainty how glad I am to have spent spring break in the mountains. Where else do they invite you to don Swiss Army ponchos and split wood, ride dirt bikes in the rain, and watch grandma snow surf on an alligator!?!
4/23/2018 10:42:38 am
I'm convinced! Every time I look at pictures and read your comments on Balli, I want to visit. This time I have the pressing question, WHY to chickens need their toenails clipped? Wonderful pictures, Janet!
4/24/2018 06:05:43 am
Thanks for your kind words about the photographs and the place! WV is a uniquely special environment, honest and comforting yet excitingly adventurous! The Balli Farm and the entire area really is rich with heritage—and we rent out the house for weekend guests or those who wish to get away for an entire week. (Reasonable rate, full amenities and seven beds!) And as for the chickens needing mani pedis—normally chickens wear down their nails scratching in packed hard dirt and rocks but my sister’s chickens have soft dirt and grass in their run so their nails needed clipped like a dog’s would. I agreed to help before I thought it through properly, but it turned out easier than I thought. Her chickens are such sweethearts! One even rewarded us with a warm egg;)
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Janet Cowger- Fliegel