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Pricketts Fort State Park

April 20, 2013

West Virginia – Sunday, April 14

My plan today was to get my walking done – hopefully somewhere kind of nearby – and then go back and work on taxes. I have a donation possibility that I noticed yesterday, but I’m going to hold off on that one, and see if something I like better pops up later in the week. So I headed north, and decided to skip the town of Fairmont for the time being. My destination was Pricketts Fort State Park – I had read there were some trails there, and I thought I’d start with those.

This part of West Virginia is also very hilly and rugged – it had to have been tough land to settle back in the 1700s and 1800s. I found Pricketts Fort State Park, and the first thing that caught my eye was a replica of the fort that was built here in 1774 as a place for settlers to come during Indian attacks. It wasn’t open inside since it’s still early in the season. After checking things out, I discovered there’s both a river trail and a rail trail, and both were tempting, and I didn’t know which one to start on! I got Tula out of the car, and then noticed someone else with a dog had just set off on the rail trail, and I didn’t want to be following them, so I headed for the river trail, and it was absolutely beautiful. The river we followed is the Monongahela River, which means “river with the crumbling or falling banks.” Locals simply call it The Mon. It was a pretty day, and the trail stayed right by the river nearly the whole time. West Virginia had a hard winter, and the faintest of green is now settling over the land on all the trees and bushes as the buds begin to pop out – spring really is here! There were a lot of people out on small boats fishing along the banks, and a few high speed boats zipping along the middle of the river – seeming to barely skim the surface. There were bluffs on the opposite bank, and houses and trailers scattered here and there along my side. Some of the trailers had things like a little deck or a better foundation or stairs added for a sense of permanency, and I have seen a lot of people living in trailers in West Virginia. But these people all had the big outdoors and the river right outside their door, and that no doubt is a big draw!

Tula and I walked a little over 6 miles and she did pretty well, although I don’t want to push it. Her eyes are still goopy and I think we’re going to go to the vet tomorrow. I want to try to sort out if she’s dealing with allergies or something. To finish off my walking for the day, I started a short part of the rail trail, and definitely want to return to walk on more of that. The old railroad ran along the side of the mountains up a little way, so the views were down into valleys and it was pretty. But today wasn’t a day to be doing extra walking, so I just did 2 more so that I had my 8 for the day.

I stopped for a late lunch on the way back to the motel, and then I was fortified to spend the rest of the day working on the taxes. They were kind of confusing this year and maybe I should have had some help, but I waded through all the charts and worksheets and statements and tables. One worksheet in particular was giving me unexpected results so I had to make a couple phone calls to my dad for some help with that one, although he agreed my results were correct. So it was late by the time I was almost done – I was going to sleep on it, and then fill out the final form in the morning. I was happy to at least be in a room with big desk space!
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