The weekend before last, Chelsea and I went away for a kid-free weekend trip. Going away in early February has become something of a tradition for us – we have gone away between January 15th and February 15th without the kids in four of the last five years.
Chelsea rented a cabin for us just outside the college town of Elkins, West Virginia, which was about a six-hour drive from home. I took vacation days on Friday and Monday so we could enjoy a proper long weekend. We got down there late Friday evening – took a while to get out – and had a great dinner along the way at Lost River Brewing Company, an ambitious little brewpub along the two-lane highway out in the wilderness. It was a good omen for the rest of the trip.
Saturday morning, we woke up and went into town for brunch and a little shopping. One of the shopkeepers recommended a hiking trail to us, so we spent a quietly rainy afternoon in Audra State Park, about 10 miles (16 km) west of Elkins. The main attraction at Audra is the Alum Creek Cave hiking trail, which takes you over and then through a beautiful cave that overlooks the brilliant blue creek.
We stopped mid-hike for a snack break underneath an outcropping, which sheltered us from the steady rain.
The water in the creek really looked like it was piped in from the Caribbean Sea:
We have no idea why it looked like that – maybe some minerals in the water.
Soon enough we reached the cave, which had a wonderful boardwalk tracing through:
This was actually the only cave we would get to see in West Virginia – all of the underground caves are closed right now in an effort to protect the hibernating bats from a fungal infection that is devastating the bat population on the East Coast.
Tomorrow: A mystery contraption.