Adventure: Cabining

Adventure: Cabining

Is cabining a word? It should be… because, really, what else could so accurately describe a rainy weekend tucked away in a rustic cabin along Glade Creek in West Virginia? Cabining.

Our favorite cabin

In Virginia Beach, Spring is in full swing. The flowers are a blaze of color, trees in full leaf, and all kinds of growing things are reaching for the sky. Our garden grows more verdant by the day, tiny seeds burst into green spindles, pushing up out of the rich ground. Spring is lovely.

But traveling to West Virginia last weekend allowed us to go back in time three or four weeks and once again watch the wonder of Spring as brown, dead-looking trees begin to sprout the tiniest, brightest green buds. And here and there a tiny wildflower turns its bright face toward the sun. That too is a beautiful, lovely sight.

The West Virginia Mountains

There’s something charming and elusive about a rainy weekend tucked away in a cozy cabin. We had reserved Cabin 8 at Babcock State Park–a favorite.

Babcock is a heritage that I’m just now learning about. Husband and his family have stayed at these beloved cabins for years, sometimes this group sometimes that. Sometimes hiking, sometimes rafting the New River, sometimes exploring the tiny town of Fayetteville. My first time here was when we were engaged, family came from all around–Virginia Beach, Washington D.C., Binghamton NY, Wooster OH–his family and mine, together for the first time, planning our wedding and getting to know one another. It was during that trip that I learned my father had often vacationed here as a child himself, coming up with his parents and sister from the suburbs of DC for a weekend away. See? Heritage.

The mill at Babcock State Park.

Path to Cabin 8

To reach Cabin 8 you have to walk a winding moss-covered path from the narrow road down to the bottom of the ravine where the cabin is tucked in right next to the rushing Glade Creek. The cabin was originally built by the CCC boys (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 1930s, made of logs and chinking, with a great stone fireplace. In fact, although electricity, a tiny bathroom, and small kitchenette have been added, the cabin is still heated solely by the wood-burning fireplace. This is why we love Cabin 8.

To Cabin 8

To Cabin 8

Cabin in West Virginia

We didn’t mind the chill and the drizzly rain that defined the entire weekend. Really. In fact, we rather enjoyed it. It meant that we spent most of our time inside, in that snug little cabin, relaxing in the rocking chairs as a warm fire crackled in the large fireplace. This was bliss.

Rocking chairs in front of the fire.

Making cinnamon rolls.

We spent the majority of our time reading, writing, baking cinnamon rolls from scratch–in other words enjoying the beautiful things of life. But we did manage to get out a little. We stopped in the small town of Fayetteville to visit a favorite outfitters there, and explored a few back country roads. We chose a short hike that turned out to be quite the workout (2 miles of vertical trail–down, then back up).

Rocky Trail

Swinging bridge in West Virginia

Hiking Rocky Trail at Babcock State Park.

Hiking in Babcock State Park

Rushing creek

Hiking in West Virginia.

Swinging bridge

It was Husband’s birthday, so we also did a little antiquing with some money I had set aside just for him. We bought a shabby table and five almost matching wooden chairs. I’ll share more about that project as it comes along.

We also spent one night camping at Crabtree Falls Campground, a discovery from last year, and thankfully this time it did not rain several inches. And we visited a favorite antique shop, an outfitters in Waynesboro, and The Cheese Shop where we loaded up on all our most used baking goods–bulk flour, oats, brown sugar, yeast, cinnamon, butter, raw honey and, of course, our favorite Birch Beer. We only pass through here about twice a year, so we stock up.

Celebrating Husband's birthday.

In all, it was the weekend we needed–away from the grind of everyday life, a chance to renew ourselves, our relationship, our energy. Just enough time to begin missing out puppy and our own comfortable home. And so when we packed up it was with promises to return to Cabin 8, hopefully soon. And long off dreams of someday having our own little mountain hideaway, a rustic cabin near a lovely stream. Someday.

Cabin weekend

Linking up with Annapolis & Co.

Adventure: Crabtree Falls

Adventure: Crabtree Falls

There are few ways I would rather be spending a rainy Saturday. Right now I am holed up in a warm(ish), dry tent with a (mostly) dry puppy at my side, a mug of hot tea, a (purple) solo cup of wine. And I have my iPad to write on. It’s heaven.

Sure, it’s raining outside, it has been all day. It’s wet and muddy and just plain yucky. But I am dry and warm and listening to the rain kersplat on the tent roof with confidence that I will remain dry and warm. Husband is cooking hobo packs over the fire (yes, in the rain) and we couldn’t be happier.

A few days ago we learned that husband would not have to work this weekend, so we made semi-last minute plans to head for the mountains. And head for the mountains we did.

We booked a camping spot near a hike we had talked about taking for months and we headed out in the wee hours of the morning.

The Blueridge Mountains.

Four and a half hours later, we were there. In the glorious mountains. Someday we will move to these mountains, or other mountains, somewhere. We will make our living off the land, cattle, hay, horses, produce, B&B, anything.

For now, we will savor them while we are here, knowing our time is short.

There was a lull in the rain, just long enough to allow us to set up camp. Then we headed for Crabtree Falls, the tallest waterfall this side of the Mississippi.

It sounded like a great idea and I had been wanting to see it. It wasn’t until we were halfway up the climb that I realized that if these were the tallest falls, we would be hiking, vertically, for a very long time.

Crabtree Falls

The hike wasn’t difficult exactly, but definitely steep (and slick). When my heart began pumping so hard I could feel it pounding out of my chest, I knew we were in for a good workout. As I struggled to keep up with husband and puppy I was reminded of a very specific request I made to God when I was still single.

Hiking Crabtree Falls.

In college I was often the one to take the reins, plan the adventures, spur my friends on toward camping trips and hiking and snowboarding and many of the lovely things we did. But in truth, it is not in my personality to be the spark plug, to instigate others toward adventure.

I had asked God to give me a husband who would take that burden off of me. You see, it wasn’t that I wanted to give up the adventures. Quite the contrary–I was determined to continue having adventures after marriage or I wasn’t interested in being married. Specifically what I told God was that I wanted someone that I had to work to keep up with, not someone that I would have to drag around with me. Yep, God heard alright.

I was booking it to keep up with husband and puppy. Neither heat nor chill nor rain slowed us down!

Bright orange mushrooms along the trail.

I have to say though, I don’t think there’s any better way to spend a rainy afternoon than on a waterfall hike. Sure, it was wet, and slippery, and muddy. But we were laughing and chatting and getting our hearts pumping. And the view from the top was gorgeous.

View from the falls.

View from the falls.

And now we are sipping wine in our dry tent, or at least I am, while dinner cooks over the fire.