Old Kick Mule (kickmule) wrote,
Old Kick Mule

Dolly Sods and the man-eating lawn

M and I booked a cabin in the West Virginia woods for our sixth anniversary trip. Although this was a luxury cabin, fully equipped with modern conveniences, certain words should have tipped us off that we were headed for trouble:

  1. cabin
  2. woods
  3. anniversary + trip

Nothing involving these words in any combination has ever worked out very well for us. This time was no exception. The place smelled musty. Well, sure, it was built in 1856. It was isolated. Well, sure, it's a private cabin in the middle of the woods. It supported an abundance of insect life. Well, sure, bugs come in from the woods. Our cats and dog weren't there. Right, they were at home.

These factors combined to give M an acute case of The Creeps, which gave her insomnia, a matter of such urgency that I had to be awakened on a regular basis to be reminded of it.

The next day, we weren't in much of a mood to hit the trail early and hike the Dolly Sods, which is what we came for. The Sods are an upland plateau region of bogs, grassland, and heath barrens, quite unusual for this latitude, being more characteristic of Canada than the lower 48. We'd always wanted to see it. Eventually, we did, that afternoon, mostly from the car. Getting there involved creeping our Toyota wagon up the Allegheny Front on a rutted, vertiginous gravel track optimistically called Forest "Road" 19, and down another called 75. In between lay the Sods, and we were impressed, even through our haze of sleep-deprivation. Then we checked out a night early and headed back to DC.

Next time, we'll stay at the Widernest, the Inn where we rented the fateful cabin. The actual inn has an incredible view and interesting innkeepers, a conservationist couple from southern Africa. We met some deer that they feed, but we missed Bruno, the black bear who hangs around the place.

Sunday, back home again, it didn't rain early enough, and so I had to tackle the lawn. Our lawn is really the Sods in minature: steep, wild, swampy, and unforgiving. I spent about three hours on it and left the back for later.

Had some time left over to finish putting my little table saw together. Next, the stand. Then, we saw. We saw until we are knee-deep in wood chips, and then we saw some more. By we, I mean me, of course.
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