Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 15. Rest day.

We woke up in our wonderful cabin at Watoga State Park; there was a coffee pot on the table, but no coffee. Since it was already 9:00 (!!!) when we got out of bed, Dianne and I walked to the park office to see if we could scare up some coffee. The restaurant was closed, but the office workers were kind enough to give us 3 cups from their office coffee pot.

We had big plans for the day--Cass Historical Railroad train ride and a visit to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, WV, where Bill said they can listen for alien signals from space. First we stopped at French's restaurant in Marlinton for the authentic WV breakfast recommended by the people in the state park office... Thus fortified, we headed up to Cass on one-lane paved road with hairpin curves, many steep grades, and a view that reminded us of the John Denver song about this state. What unspoiled beauty!

We got to Cass and found that the railroad was closed on Tuesdays at this time of year. Not only was the train not operating, but the Cass Company Store was closed too. We were quite disappointed. (This was the day I could not find my camera, so these photos of the Cass company store and restored company housing that is open to the public were taken the following morning).

We got to the Observatory and found it closed too! Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in September. What's with this place!!??? We could see the radio telescopes out in the field, and there were workers around, but the Science Center was closed and there were no tours.

We found a better road on the way back to the park, which will make a difference tomorrow morning when we have to drive back up to Cass for the Greenbrier River Trail head.... We stopped at Marlinton on the way back to stock up on groceries, since it is such a long circuitous drive out of the park, and this is the only grocery store for miles around.

Once we were back at the cabin, Dianne and I decided to change the bike tires while Bill went in for a nap (he did all the driving, still suffering from allergies)... The first tube in the rear tire blew up in my face, and while setting the next tire into the rim, Dianne quietly called my name... She said, "Linda, look". I said "WHAT?" without looking up, and she touched my arm and directed my attention to the black BEAR that was about 15 feet behind me coming out of the woods! We calmly walked into the house and I started tearing the place apart looking for the camera while the bear headed for the garbage can. She made short work of the wire cage around the enclosure and liked what she found--we had cleaned all the food out of the truck and put it in the garbage can, including some moldy (but very aromatic) strwaberries.

By the time I found the camera the bear had been scared away by a car, of course, the only one that drove by our cabin that day... We came back out to finish changing tires and to clean and lube the chains, but one of us kept an eye to the woods at all times!

The bear did not come back that evening. After dinner we played Scrabble until 9 PM. We are all glad for the rest day, and are looking forward to the Greenbrier River Trail tomorrow.

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