Our main plan for the day was to drive from Winchester the short 26 miles to Cacapon State Park just over the VA-WV border in Morgan County WV, with the closest town being Berkeley Springs WV another 10 miles up US-522. First things first. I had to ask when I first arrived in this area 25 years ago. It is kuh-KAY-pun. We did arrive at the park, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the mid-1930s, without incident, but after having executed plan B for breakfast.
|This is a Gem of a State Park|
Sunday morning, we got the dogs walked (the brown dog hopped in the bed at 6:30 just to make sure we were going to get up and feed her) and packed up in short order and arrived in downtown Winchester about 8:15. Sure enough, Steamy's was dark with a small CLOSED note on the front door. No worries: I had actually formulated a plan B in advance for just this case. We walked two blocks down Piccadilly Street to Lloyd's Tropical Island Coffee where Lloyd was just opening up and welcomed us with his trademark warm smile.
|Hanging at Lloyd's Tropical Island|
|Jamaican-Owned Business Much?|
|Not Fully Baked Jamaican Veggie Patty|
As we pulled into the parking lot at the Lodge, just shy of the golf clubhouse, the day was turning warm in a hurry and we had all the windows in the Jeep down. We were wearing just shorts and t-shirts, a big departure from what we have been wearing this spring. I made sure to put on sun block before I left, but I got distracted and failed to do my arms. I would come to regret that later. We were both really warm standing around in the sunshine getting geared up, a harbinger of things to come.
|The Day That the Redbuds Were in Full Bloom|
|Redbud Close Up, Cercis canadensis|
|This Was our Hike: Brown Woods and No Views|
|First Dogwood, Cornus florida, of the Spring!|
|Beautiful Cherries in Full Bloom|
|Chatty Cathy Carolina Chickadee, Poecile carolinensis|
|Eastern Towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus|
|Another Male Towhee|
|Lots of Vultures Cruising Cacapon Mountain|
|Chipping Sparrow, Spizella passerina|
|Chipper in Full Voice|
|Sleepy Creek Mountain from Trail|
We debated, but ultimately, it was three-quarters of a mile shorter back to the car by finishing the climb rather than turning around. So, yeah, her day was definitely not going as planned and we were planning to execute the plan B bailout trail. Fortunately, clouds were starting to form in the sky and she got about 15 minutes of cloud cover that let her sit, rest, eat a little, get hydrated, and then push on with me to the top. I left my gear at the top and slack-packed it back to her and back to the top again.
|A Great Place to Rest|
|Dwarf Cinquefoil, Potentilla canadensis|
|Trailing Arbutus, Epigaea repens|
|Birdfoot Violet, Viola pedata|
|A Crested Iris-Like Birdfoot Violet, Viola pedata|
|Common Violets (Viola sororia)|
|Rue Anemone, Thalictrum thalictroides|
|Pussytoes in Pine Straw, Antennaria spp.|
Down the hill, we started to lose the breeze and it was starting to get warm again. We needed to find water for Annie to cool off in and we quickly came to the reservoir and the creeks feeding into it.
|The Reservoir at Cacapon|
|Cattails and Pines|
|Eagle Eye Annie Spotted This Goose|
|Ecstatic to Have Found Water|
|Sleepy Creek Mountain|
|Sign Shows the Four States in View|
Ann is still branching out trying to discover what she likes in beer. I had two pints of Blue Mountain (Afton, VA) A Hopwork Orange, an orange-infused IPA. Ann had two different beers: Derrig the Giant, an Irish red ale from Chaos Mountain Brewing in Callaway, VA, and a Scotch ale from Brothers Brewing in Harrisonburg, VA. I'm not a fan of big malty beers, but Annie sure seems to like them.
|Annie Goofing with the Nachos|