Thursday, July 7, 2016

Mountains are Calling and I Must Go

I'm about to make a statement that will be controversial here in Michigan: I can take or leave lakes. They're lovely, and I have certainly enjoyed time I've spent on lakes since I've lived here, but give me a wooded hiking trail in the mountains any day. Last week I got my mountain fix, and as I sit here writing this blog my husband is sitting next to me researching vacation homes in the mountains of my stunning home state of West Virginia. This mountain mama needs a mountain home.

Two weekends ago we spent the weekend in Boyne City. I love the city, and we had a nice time on Lake Charlevoix. I left there thinking maybe I could do it; maybe I could be one of those people who has a place in Northern Michigan and goes there all the time. Fast forward less than one week and Northern Michigan is all but forgotten, left behind in the shadows of the West Virginia hills. 

We met my family in Davis, West Virginia near the Canaan Valley ski resort where we rented a house for the holiday weekend. Friday evening was relaxed, and we grilled out for dinner, cracked open a few bottles of wine and spent some time in the hot tub. The house we rented backed up to a bubbling creek and towering trees. Even though there were other houses around, it felt private. I felt relaxed as soon as I arrived.

In the hot tub with my sister and niece
On Saturday morning I got up early for a run. I ran down the hill and stopped in my tracks at the view. Fog kissed the top of the mountains as the sun threatened to burn through it. There was a beautiful house at the end of the road where we were staying, and a horse grazed leisurely in the foreground. The view was nothing short of breathtaking. 

We headed out to Thomas, WV for the 4th of July celebration. It was my son's first parade, and he helped his 11-year-old cousin catch candy. Thomas is a charming town with quaint stores, galleries and restaurants. We had lunch after the parade before heading back so my son could nap.

In the late afternoon we walked down the hill to a ski lodge and took the ski lift up the mountain. We hiked the few miles down, my son's first hike. He was a champion, even yelling "Go go go!" at the end of the hike. 

On Sunday we left early to hike to the top of Seneca Rocks. I hadn't done that hike since college and was looking forward to it. It was an ambitious 1.5 mile hike on a really steep trail with a 23 pound child strapped to my bike, but it was worth it. The views were amazing. 

I promised myself I'd start a running streak on the 4th of July, but my hips were killing me from hiking and it was pouring rain when we woke up. I decided I could start a streak any time I wanted right? We braved the rain to go to Blackwater Falls. It was relatively deserted in the crazy rain, and it was so beautiful. My son continued to insist I let him down to go look at the falls more closely by continually screaming "I want!" at the falls. At least I've got a kid who knows what he wants.

I was sad to leave Canaan but loved spending the weekend there. I only ran once, but I got three solid hikes in which I take as a good trade. I used muscles I don't usually use, and I relaxed in the process. Bonus. Now if I can talk the hubs into a house at Canaan I'll be able to get my mountain fix any time I want. 

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