I hurt. My legs, which have treated me kindly over the years, are protesting a form of abuse called exercise. I have aplogized to them profusely. I have given them ibuprofen and a heating pad. I have propped them up, tucked them in, and hydrated them. I plopped them into a Jacuzzi and let the jets massage them till they were pruny. My legs are not forgiving me. They hurt and here’s how it happened….
I probably spend too much time looking for new things to do but, when I finally find an activity I want to try, I have a lot of fun with the planning. Are tickets available? How much will it cost? What else is in the area that I can do? Are there free activities I can add to the main event? Once the details are worked out, I send a message to my friends: “Who wants to go?” I can always find someone who is willing to join me.
My latest brilliant idea was to go to The Greenbrier Resort for the Fall Flavors of Appalachia event. What could be better than a drive to White Sulfur Springs, WV, in the middle of October? Only the drive followed by a feast prepared by The Greenbrier’s culinary team! I’m talking uber mac and cheese, shrimp cocktail, raw oysters, and Virginia ham and cheese plates. I’m talking whole roasted pig, brisket chili, smoked beef brisket, and grilled quail. Add in some cornbread with apple butter, greens with bacon jam, and five different desserts, and I was drooling on my iPad while I was researching the event!
I would have liked to have stayed at the resort, but the dinner tickets weren’t cheap. A room there would have put the trip out of my price range. I could have made it a day trip but it would have been a long, tiring day. I was excited to find a room at the Old Victorian Inn, a bed and breakfast, in nearby Alderson, WV. Staying overnight would give me time to work in another activity I’d been wanting to do, a hike to the Falls of Hills Creek. Both were places I’d never visited before, so I could add them to my list of sixty new places in my sixties. I also knew that we’d enjoy the fall colors along the winding West Virginia back roads as we drove to their locations.
We left Fairmont on Friday morning and arrived at the Oakford Diner in Richwood, WV, just in time for lunch. The food was good, the prices were cheap, and the weather was sunny and cool. Next, we went to Rudolph Falls, a bonus stop that my friend had found. The falls fell into a swimming hole that looked to be straight out of a childhood dream. Some good times have been had there, I am sure!
We then headed to The Falls of Hills Creek, which are located just off the Highland Scenic Highway. There are three waterfalls there, all along the same trail. The lower falls is the second highest waterfall in West Virginia and, while the hike is only three quarters of a mile long, in that distance there are 382 stair steps! Going down was easy enough, although my legs were shaking when I got to the lower falls overlook. Climbing back out was a hot and sweaty challenge but we did it, and I was feeling good!
We left the falls parking lot and drove to the inn where we were staying. I fell in love with the whole house, which sat right along the Greenbrier River and across the street from an Amtrak train station. It was a beautiful house, our room was perfect, our bathroom was even better, and Doris, the hostess, was delightful! When we heard the first train coming, we were like kids. We had to run outside to see it! It was a long train, hauling empty coal cars back to Kentucky from Norfolk. Several trains later, we had lost our enthusiasm. Just before falling asleep, I remember thinking “there goes another bloody train”! Fortunately, it was the last one I heard before waking up to a wonderful breakfast which included bacon and the best cranberry-nut muffins I’d ever eaten. Doris was kind enough to share her secret family recipe after we swore we wouldn’t share it. Perhaps I’ll make you some of them one day!
The Greenbrier event, which was held at the Kate’s Mountain Lodge venue, was a bit unorganized, which surprised me, but we had the best parking spot in the resort, the food was delicious , and we had a safe drive home, despite the rain. It was another wonderful experience and I was still feeling great when I got home. Until today. With every step I take, my calf muscles are reminding me that taking a few steps beyond normal is a good thing only when 382 stair steps aren’t involved!