Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dom & Mike Visit WV

Since my May visit to NJ, Dom and I have been plotting when she and Mike could make an escape visit to WV. Three people with some of the busiest schedules imaginable made it pretty tricky. In fact, we'd gotten to the point where we were wondering if it was even going to happen this year at all pre-snowfall. But then things changed quickly on their end and my schedule was open, so within a week's time we had plans for them to visit Labor Day weekend.

I could hem and haw and give a complete and thorough play-by-play of their visit, but what it really boils down to is this: I showed them the best parts of WV (the first installment at any rate, they'll need one more visit to complete it) and stirred in some horse time with my animals and a Friesian stallion.

And so, each day's summary (followed by photos in chronological order) goes as such...

Friday: They arrive. Julio and Herbie wreak havoc in the form of play in my yard after their drive while the three humans sat inside and discussed evening plans. We decide to go to the dirt track for the Friday night race - something I haven't done since I was 8 years old. On the way we pick up Venezuelan food and beer [nomz].

Saturday: We trit trot across the street from my apartment because an opportunity has been presented that involves riding a Friesian stallion. I think the conversation went something like:

Liz: ...Friesian stallion...
Dom: YES.

After an unsuccessful ground session and a very successful riding session with the 5 year old stallion, baby Friesian sporthorses, & some draft mules, we headed to my barn to play with Griffin and Q. From there we snagged some lunch and then headed off to see the following: Olson Firetower, Blackwater Falls, Mountain State Brew Co., Canaan Valley, and Dolly Sods, the latter of which we caught right during those golden hours at the end of the day.

Sunday: A hefty breakfast at my BO's house consisting of bacon, sausage, sausage gravy and biscuits, eggs, and French toast casserole. This was followed by a riding party of 5 people, 4 horses. Lessons were given. Western horse became English/dressage. And fun was had by all. That afternoon we headed to my cabin in the Sinks of Gandy to show off some more of WV and have dinner with my family. Dom got to shoot a gun for the first time as the guys were shooting skeet when we arrived. It rained shortly after we arrived for most of the evening, stopping briefly for a jaunt to a nearby cave exit. As we settled around the fire for the evening, sunlight made another appearance and Dom and Mike opted to try to see if there was a view from Spruce Knob (WV's  highest point). I drove like a bat out of hell to the top to beat sunset. West Virginia was really showing off for her visitors on this night. Mist settled in the valleys between the hills, knobs, and mountains. The sky burst with soft colors. Visibility was better than imagined. Almost heaven. And as if that wasn't enough icing on the cake, as we drove home afterward we got a good view of two bobcat cubs.

Monday: Sleeping in. Dog play. Shining. Cheap Mexican. And with that they began their journey home.

Another successful visit by a blogger-friend to West Virginia! I look forward to hearing more about the trip from Dom in coming days on her blog; the impressions and memories made by others of my home are always far more fun and descriptive than my own. I don't take my state for granted, but my recollections of events may not be as detailed since I have the opportunity to walk out my door and experience it every day. I hope to see these two again (and Saiph & Charles) when I make my way east in October to band raptors in Cape May.


Dirt track racing.

Herbie wanting to say "hi" to her kitten and Kenai. Julio deciding that obviously he should, too, since his big sister wants to.

Dom going "squee" over his tiny ears and how soft he is.

Fire breathing Friesian. Also known as: Hi my name is Bart and I haven't been ridden/had a bit in my mouth in 4-5 months.

Griffin says RAWRRRRRR!!!!! This was one of his head gnashing/throwing days.

Blackwater Canyon

Lindy Point overlook

Dolly Sods

Herbie reunited with "her" kitten. =)

Spruce Knob sunset

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