"" Writer's Wanderings: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Return to the Everglades

We had such a great day at the Everglades on our first visit this month, that we decided to return again and devote a little more time to exploring and watching the wildlife. They didn't disappoint us. We watched herons and egrets fishing and anhingas bobbing up and diving down in the water.

The anhingas are unusual in that their body doesn't really float above the water like a duck or swan but rather just below the surface. This is because they have underdeveloped oil glands. As they swim, with their long next and head above the water, they almost look like a water snake. When they get out of the water, they spread their wings to dry off and warm their bodies in the Florida sun.

We observed several herons and egrets as they fished. These characters have amazing concentration. Once their eye is on their prey, they don't move a muscle. If they have to move their body, the head stays motionless and never changes position as the body moves to best position itself for the catch.

In the video below, there is a wood stork watching the egret fish and when the catch is made, the stork decides might makes right and trys to snatch the fish. The egret manages to evade him and flies off to enjoy his lunch.

The alligators weren't as entertaining on this day but it seemed like there were a lot more out on dry land sunning themselves. When they're doing that, they don't even blink.

If you are looking for some great entertainment, and it's not mosquito season, the Everglades is a great place to be. For $10 you can get a pass that lets you and your family in for a week. $25 gets you a year's pass and if you're a senior (65+) you can get a lifetime pass for $10! This retirement thing is not half bad sometimes.

[Video to come. . .For some reason Blogger is not letting me upload, even from YouTube. Meanwhile, you can access it here at YouTube: The Everglades Birds.]

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Meeting Grace

It was only a few years ago that I met Judy. She was a spunky redhead at the time. When I commented that I liked the color of her hair, she offered to loan it to me. It was then I realized it was a wig hiding the effects of chemotherapy. Her eyes sparkled and danced with humor when I commented that it must match her natural color well since her eyebrows matched the wig. "And it takes me a while to draw them that way," she chuckled.
We were new to the church and were still learning about our new church family. Little by little, Judy's story unfolded. She had been battling cancer for a few years. The prognosis had not been good when it was diagnosed. But this lady met cancer and all its ugliness with the grace that God gave her.

Judy's spirit inspired us all. With her humor, her kindness, her grace, she touched many. With her beautiful handiwork, her crocheted gloves, socks, afghans, she warmed them as well. I only knew her a little while but I cherish the friendship.
Hearts will be very heavy this morning as my church family gathers for morning services. Her imprint on our hearts and lives will remain with us and the sadness of missing her will be difficult but we will try to exhibit that grace that Judy did--the grace that God gives us to meet life's challenges.

I wish we could be there this week to gather with her other friends and family to honor her life but since we can't, I thought I would honor her here. Enjoy heaven, Judy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spring Has Arrived In The Everglades!

Have you ever seen a frisky alligator? Seems like an oxymoron. But spring has arrived early in the Everglades in Southern Florida. We have been to the park several times over the years we have visited Florida. Never have we seen the activity of its inhabitants at such a high level.

On our walk along the Anhinga Trail at the Royal Palm center, we encounter countless birds of all kinds including the anhinga, herons, ibis, vultures, and others I didn't recognize. Many of the birds were nesting and had little ones in the nest--some to the "teenage" stage.

We stood for a long time and watched a large blue heron as he fished. Even though we were within 30-40 feet of him it didn't seem to distract him as he stood motionless, his eye trained on his dinner. In amazement, we saw him shift his body without moving his head even a fraction of an inch. Suddenly he plunged his head into the water and came up with a fish that was about 10 inches long. Deftly he maneuvered it in his beak as the fish flopped around trying desperately to avoid its obvious fate. Then he tilted his head back and swallowed it whole! We couldn't believe that is actually fit down his long throat and that he didn't dance around with the fish now flopping in his belly. It had to at least tickle.

A little closer to the boardwalk on the trail, we paused to watch a couple of vultures that seemed to be teasing an alligator. There were several out sunning themselves and one of them was "smiling." Every time a vulture took a few steps closer to him he smiled broader. The vulture would back up a bit--a little wary of getting too close. We observed for a while but then decided we'd better move on. We weren't too sure the grandkids needed to see the alligator dining on the bird.

Out on the boardwalk we watched alligators moving in and out of the water. Sunning for a while then swimming again. Kind of reminded me of the pool area back at our condo. Then I heard what sounded almost like a motor boat cutting through the water. When I finally zeroed in on where the sound came from, I saw two alligators booking through the water as fast as a small motor boat would.

Apparently this is the beginning of the mating season for the alligators and there is all sorts of activity going on including fights between the males over the females.

This was without a doubt the best outing we've had in the Everglades. There were no mosquitoes to speak of, the weather was cool in the shade-warm in the sun, and certainly the show put on by the wild life was outstanding.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Fruit?

Remember my earlier post about Florida's exotic fruits? Well, the second fruit, the Black Sapote finally ripened. At least I think it was ripe. It certainly turned black and was looking like it was melting into the plate I had it set on.

My grandkids were here this weekend so I thought it would be fun to get into it. Caleb (our 5 y/o) thought it looked like a giant rotten blueberry. Good description. It certainly didn't look appetizing but then the other fruit, the Canistel, tasted better than it looked so I got out the knife to slice the top off of the Sapote.
The inside certainly looked a lot like a sturdy pudding. Maybe it would tast like one.
I put small taste-sized pieces in some bowls and handed them out. We all tasted together. The result?

Definitely NOT chocolate pudding. I'm not sure what to compare it to. It wasn't sweet but it wasn't sour either. Actually it was more like a bland gelatinous substance that didn't excite anyone.

We tossed the rest. Maybe it's an acquired taste or maybe it needed more ripening until it actually melted down into the dish. It was an interesting food experience. Made us feel a little like Andrew Zimmern--the man who eats bizarre food on the Travel Channel.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cold War Memories In Southern Florida

When the construction of Russian missile bases in Cuba was discovered in 1962, I was a sophomore in high school. I had spent my elementary school years learning to cower under my desk, my head buried in the crook of my elbow, to avoid the devastating effects of a nuclear blast should Russia bomb Cleveland.

Youth has a way of taking a crisis more lightly than those who are more experienced but knowing that nuclear missiles could be that close to the U.S., was unnerving. Today, we would have know more about what our defenses were. Our media is probably too well informed. But then there were nike sites set up throughout the country that could hold missiles to defend us should the Russians decide to attack.

One of those sites was in the middle of the area that now belongs to Everglades National Park. They have recruited some volunteers who actually worked at the Nike site and between October and April each year (less mosquitoes then) are conducting tours of the area. The talk is quite interesting but unfortunately there's not a whole lot left to see--several missile barns, an assembly building, a dog kennel. When the park took over, they demolished a lot of the buildings. Still it made an interesting Saturday afternoon.

The base was built in 1964 just two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962. They were prepared with several different types of anti-missile technology and warheads to intercept anything that might come from Russia by way of Cuba.

Here are a couple of links to more information if you'd like to learn more of the history:
HM69 Nike Missile Base
Historic Resource Study
One of the buildings has been restored enough to allow visitors. Along the walls are posters with some of the communications that were exchanged between President Kennedy and Nikita Krushchev, the Russian leader. One of them shows that Krushchev insisted upon our removing the missile base we had in Turkey. Apparently this was part of secret negotiations that went on. With a wry smile our guide who had served at the Nike base, said, "We think he had a summer home across the lake from the site and it ruined his view."

Along with us on the tour was a group of young teen Boy Scouts. It was fun to see what they thought of everything. And especially noteworthy that what probably caught their attention most was the old wall phone with a dial on it. They all had to try it out. One kid, tongue-in-cheek, asked, "How do you send a text on this?"

Books For The Road - They Almost Always Come Home

It's always a dangerous place for me--the bookstore of a writers conference. At the last conference, I picked up several books and finally got to read this one, They Almost Always Come Home by Cynthia Ruchti. It is her first published novel and she is off to a great start.

The product description from Amazon states:
When Libby’s husband Greg fails to return from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, the authorities soon write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband’s escape from an empty marriage and unrewarding career. Their marriage might have survived if their daughter Lacey hadn’t died…and if Greg hadn’t been responsible. Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness savvy father-in-law and her faith-walking best friend to help her search for clues to her husband’s disappearance…if for no other reason than to free her to move on. What the trio discovers in the search upends Libby’s presumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith.

I related to Libby in several ways the primary being that every time my husband was late coming home from work I explored the scenarios in my head of what might have happened. Ruchti slowly develops the character of Libby unveiling the inner struggles she has coping with the death of her daughter and the missing husband who may have taken his leave before she had time to take hers.

The humor bothered some people as I read Amazon reviews but sometimes this is the only way people can cope with emotional pain. I'm not so sure I liked the first person story telling and then the switch to third person in telling Greg's tale but it all worked out in the end.
I look forward to seeing what Ruchti chooses to write next.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Worship Thoughts - God's Timing

Do you have a "smart" phone? My husband has an IPhone. And of course, with an IPhone comes all those apps. He discovered one that tells you what time the sun will rise/set, etc., wherever you are in the world and has been fascinated to find that the sun rises right on time every morning. We have a wonderful view from our Florida condo and can watch it pop up over the ocean.

One morning Bob turned to me and said, "I'm amazed. God's always right on time with that sunrise."
I'm amazed too by God's timing. If only we had an app that would let us stay in tune with all the other things in life He has timed for us. Patience has never been one of my virtues and waiting on the Lord very difficult. But I'll hang in there until there's an app for that.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Robert Is Here - Homestead, FL

There was lots more to the Robert Is Here Fruit Stand than I posted yesterday. Inside the stand is also a place that serves up some fantastic milk shakes. The shakes are made with many of the varieties of fruit available.

For the kids--of all ages--behind the fruit stand is a large display of animals starting with some macaws that greet you as you walk out the back door of the stand. But before you leave the stand to see the birds and farm animals, buy a bag of feed corn for $3 and you will be loved by every animal on the farm.
Most of the animals are regular farm animals but there are several ostrich and some turtles wandering among the goats, donkies, geese, chickens, and turkeys. There's also a small pond with some koi.

We were fascinated by the turkeys who were strutting their stuff apparently enjoying the fact that Thanksgiving was behind them and November not yet on the horizon.
All in all, Robert Is Here is a great place to stop off, learn about exotic fruits, enjoy some great produce and milk shakes and, oh yes, our son's favorite, boiled peanuts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Florida's Exotic Fruit - The Canistel

If you'd like to experience some of Florida's best fresh produce, the place to visit is Robert Is Here. The fruit stand started out in 1959 on the corner of SW 344th St. and SW 192nd Ave in Homestead, FL, when six year old Robert was set out on the corner by his father and asked to sell cucumbers one Saturday. No one stopped. So Robert's father made a sign, "Robert is here!" and placed it on either end of the table the next day.

Robert sold all of his cucumbers by noon. The fruit stand began to grow as local farmers brought more produce for Robert to sell. Eventually as Robert grew so did his expertise in farming and his investment in land as well as exotic fruits. You can read about it here.

The fruit stand is full of seasonal as well as year-round fruits and produce. Much of it comes from Robert's farm. Those who work in the stand, are all knowledgeable about every kind of unusual fruit. We purchased two different varieties of oranges, a mango, and two fruits we'd never seen before but looked intriguing--a Canistel (egg fruit) and a Sapote (black).

The helpful lady who checked us out told us how to tell when the fruit was ready to eat and how to eat it. The Canistel was ready in a couple of days. We had to wash it, set it out on a dish and when it was very soft to the touch, it was ready to eat. The information said it tasted like egg custard but I thought it tasted more like an apple/banana/mango custard. Tasty but very rich like a custard would be. Inside there were three very large seeds but the flesh around them was very soft.

Our Sapote is still ripening. We were told it would take about a week and a half to turn completely black which would indicate it would be ready to eat. It's supposed to taste a little like chocolate pudding. I'll let you know.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Books for the Road - The Rhythm of Secrets

The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy is a melody of words that draws the reader into the story and carries her deep into the richness of the characters and places that unfold as the pages turn. Without any apology, I will tell you that I am a fan of Lacy's books. This one didn't disappoint. If fact, I think it was even better than the other two I read, An Irishwoman's Tale and What The Bayou Saw.

Back cover: Sheila Franklin has masqueraded as the precocious daughter of avant-garde parents in colorful 1940s New Orleans, a teen desperate for love and acceptance, and an unwed mother sent North with her shame. After marrying Edward, Sheila artfully masks her secrets, allowing Edward to gain prominence as a conservative pastor. When one phone call from a disillusioned Vietnam veteran destroys her cover, Sheila faces an impossible choice: save her son and his beloved. . .or imperil Edward's ambitions.

Lacy tackles some difficult issues with the grace and finesse of an accomplished "musician" to use the metaphor she has adopted for her novel. To make the story even more intriguing, just like An Irishwoman's Tale, this was inspired by a true story--the story of adoption advocate, Sandy Sperrazza. The Rhythm of Secrets explores the attitudes of the 1940s where unwed teen mothers were sent away to have their babies and give them up for adoption. It continues to show how in some ways those attitudes did not change as the years went by.

One of the other things I so thoroughly enjoyed was Lacy's descriptive language. I have been to New Orleans several times and also to the Moody Bible Institute area of Chicago. She easily took me there again in the pages of her book with smells, sounds, feelings, and observations. Even though the time frame was a bit different, neither place has changed a great deal.

I have been privileged to be on her list of reviewers to receive on of the first copies when her books are released. I can't wait for the next one!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

South Florida Cuisine - Poached Fish

Stone crab claws seem to be in season in South Florida right now. There are plenty of signs around advertising them at restaurants. So far we haven't indulged. They are a bit pricey but we'll probably splurge soon.

We did revisit one of our favorite restaurants down in the Keys recently. Sundowners in Key Largo. It sits right on the water and has a beautiful view of the sunset any time of year. One year we went with our son and his family and watched the Christmas boat parade while we ate dinner.

This last visit netted us a postcard with one of their recipes on it. Sounds good. If you get to try it before I do, let me know how it tastes.
Here it is:

Sundowners Island Style Fish
(Chef and Cookbook Author Robert Stoky)

8 oz. fish filets (mahi mahi or mild white fish) skin removed.
1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
6 fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp. toasted sliced almonds
1 tsp chopped garlic
6 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
3 oz. cream or milk
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. toasted coconut

Place oil in saute pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add chopped ginger and garlic. Saute until ginger and garlic become brown. Add Tai sweet chili sauce, fresh fish filets, milk, and coconut milk. Top fish with chopped basil leaves and cover.

Poach for 5 minutes. Turn fish over, cover again and poach for an additional 3 minutes (or until fish is white throughout).

Remove from heat and serve. Serve with sticky coconut rice and fresh steamed vegetables.
Makes 2 servings.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Man O' War Beach Invasion

Signs on the beach near our condo warn swimmers, "Beware the jellyfish." Our first day here in Tavernier, Florida, just south of Key Largo, we strolled the beach and wondered where in the world all the blue packing material had come from that washed up on shore. Bubbles of blue plastic popped loudly like bubble wrap when Bob stepped on them. Thankfully he had shoes on.

That evening on the Miami evening news show, we discovered that the blue "packing bubbles" were actually Portuguese Man O' War. While many call them jellyfish, they only resemble jellyfish in that they have tentacles extending from the inflated blue air bladder that floats on the surface of the water. Those tentacles carry a powerful sting. They are actually called a siphonophore and are a colony of rather than a single organism.

The Man O' War is not self propelled and is subject to the winds and currents of the ocean. February is the time of year they reach maturity and when the winds are right, the Florida beaches can be invaded. This year, we are told, they seem to be more plentiful than usual.

With winds out of the east/southeast, our beach and shoreline was full of the beautiful blue creatures. One morning we looked out from the beach to see what looked like an armada of tiny blue ships coming in.

Another afternoon, as we walked alond the marina, we saw a fish caught in the tentacles of a Man O' War. The fish was going into spasms as if it were electrocuted. We didn't wait around to see it digested.

Needless to say, the stings from these creatures are enough to scare anyone out of the water. That makes the beach a little less crowded but the pool really busy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hemingway's Town - Key West, Florida

A trip to the Florida Keys is not complete without at least one day spent in the eclectic town of Key West. We have visited many times by cruise ship and by driving there. It is about a four hour trip from Miami. The drive itself is interesting as you cross 42 bridges from Key Largo to Key West that connect over 100 islands to the mainland. The most spectacular bridge of course is the Seven Mile Bridge that connects Knight's Key with Little Duck Key. At the time it was originally built, it was among one of the world's largest.

We checked the cruise ship schedule to see which day there were no ships in port so the town wouldn't be packed with tourists and chose a ship-free Thursday. Arriving in the historic part of town, we circled a bit to find a parking lot. They are not terribly evident and our map didn't show any. We found one by Mallory Square, the area in Key West that comes alive with sunset worshippers each night. In the past, we have caught the festivity and thoroughly enjoyed it. Entertainers and craftsmen provide diversion while the crowd waits for the last moments of the day to produce a glorious sunset that is promptly applauded by all those present before they go on to celebrate some more.

Having found discount coupons for the hop-on hop-off City View Trolley, one of three that follow a route through the town with stops near the main attractions, we opted to ride that rather than the famous Conch Train we had taken before. Their ticket booth was a little difficult to locate as it sits in the doorway of a souvenir shop but the open air trolley was comfortable and our City View drivers gave great commentary as we went from stop to stop.

In the past we visited the Hemingway house where Papa lived with his cats that have extra toes and of course Sloppy Joe's, the bar he supposedly bought for his friend and frequented often. There are actually two Sloppy Joe's. The smaller is said to be the original.

This time we got off and visited a new Eco-Discovery Center. There were lots of displays, a few aquariums, and a video that we skipped since we needed to move on quickly to see everything we wanted to before our parking time expired.

I snapped a few shots of Sloppy Joe's bars as we passed them and got a great shot of the Strand which used to be a movie theater but is now a Walgreen's. The art deco theater first opened in 1920 then became a Ripley's Believe It Or Not in 1993 before being sold in 2001 and then occupied by the drugstore.

Our next stop was at Higgs Beach where we caught lunch at a little restaurant on the beach called Salute! Then toured the Historic West Martello Tower which is actually a garden built and maintained by the Garden Club of Key West on the foundation of a Civil War fort. Next to the garden is a memorial marking the site where a graveyard was discovered of African slaves.

On our way back around the loop, we passed the southern most of everything--beach, hotel, house, etc., and the marker which declares the spot to be the southern most spot of the USA only 90 miles from Cuba.

As we continued on to our starting point, we passed a bakery that specializes in key lime pie. This fellow dressed as the baker, was posted outside the door waving to each tour trolley that passed by. Our driver said they actually perfected a way to dip the key lime pie in chocolate. We tried to find the place again when we got off the trolley but didn't have enough time. The clock was ticking on our rather expensive parking spot ($4/hour).

Taking one more drive through town in our own car, we found a small lot off of a side street that was only $10 I believe for the day. Our spot had cost us $16 for four hours. Ah well. Next time.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Natural Entertainers - The Osprey

If you have ever traveled down into Florida where mangroves populate the coastal regions, you have probably noticed large nests on utility poles. Those nests belong to the osprey commonly known as the fish hawk.

Just outside our rented condo’s window is a large osprey nest on the top of a pole with a platform erected just for the ospreys. It is in the middle of a large grove of mangrove trees, the preferred nesting area for the hawk. The birds are large and can reach a wingspan of six feet.

The osprey looks a bit like an eagle when flying. The underside of the bird is white but its back is dark brown or black and there is a black stripe that runs across its eye from the bill to the back of the head. The stripe makes its yellow eyes stand out although we haven’t gotten close enough to go eye to eye with the bird.

The birds feed mostly on fish and dive from heights of 50 to 150 feet above the water to snag their prey with their outstretched talons. They strike with such speed that at times they may break a wing.

As we were eating lunch one afternoon, I saw the osprey fly by our condo, a good sized fish in its talons. While it didn’t land in the nest, I’m sure there was a great lunch to be had somewhere by an osprey or two or three. The female lays only three eggs which hatch in about thirty-five days and the young can fly after eight to ten weeks.

I just wonder how the eggs stay cool enough to not cook sitting out in the nest in the hot Florida sun. Do you suppose there’s a little A/C unit there?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Key Largo - John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park

The John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park in Key Largo is said to be America's first undersea park but actually has lots to do on dry land as well. This time of year the weather is a bit more comfortable for exploring on land rather than under the ocean diving or snorkeling.

The park was created to protect and preserve a portion of the only living coral reef in the continental United States. It extends three miles into the Atlantic and is about 21 miles long. It is next to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The park is named for a Miami newspaper editor, John D. Pennekamp, who also helped establish the Everglades National Park.

We set out one morning and entered the park for $4.50/each. The price goes down to $2.50/each if you have a car full of people. Our first stop was the visitor center which has a large display dedicated to environmental education. There is also a nice large aquarium and some smaller ones that give you a close-up view of some of the underwater critters and fish of the area. We skipped the video in favor of getting back out into the warm sunshine and fresh air that we were here in Florida to enjoy.

Next to the visitor's center was a nice beach but we opted to take off down the Grove Trail that began at one end of the parking lot. We learned that a hammock is not just a netted lounger hung between trees. Patches of trees here are call a hammock forest. Our trail took us past lots of unusual trees, some with poisonous bark that you are warned off of touching, and one, ironwood, that doesn't float even in salt water, then into a clearing where there was an orchard of sorts with key lime trees, guava, and We only found a few key limes on one tree.

Across the street from the visitor's center parking was another trail, the Wild Tamarind Trail. The tamarind tree is a fast growing species common in the Keys and has small rounded leaves that create a lacy shade.

Before continuing on to the third trail in the park, we left the park to find something to eat. There is a concession stand in the park but the menu didn't appeal to us. Across the highway and not far from the entrance was a restaurant, Evelyn's, that served up great hamburgers and fish sandwiches and some of the best onion rings I've had in a while. Hunger satisfied, we headed back to the park and reentered with our receipt.

To get to the Mangrove Trail in the park, we had to drive a little farther past the visitor's center, the glass bottom boat dock, and the kayak rentals. We parked by another nice little beach and found the beginning of the trail. Unfortunately, it was being repaired and we couldn't complete the whole circuit which has a small outlook at the half-way point where you can climb up a few sets of steps and view the mangroves and channels of water that meander through the dense growth. Mangroves, by the way, are essential to the environment and ecosystem and are pretty amazing plants. Read more about them here.

In the past, we have gone diving in the marine sanctuary. There are some interesting sites to explore including the statue, Christ of the Abyss, looking up to the surface of the water with arms outstretched and of course lots of fish and marine life to observe. If you don't like getting in the water to dive or snorkel, there's the glass bottom boat.

What better way to spend the day in the middle of winter?

Friday, February 04, 2011

Along the Country Roads of West Virginia - Tamarack

On our latest pass through West Virginia, we stopped at Tamarack. The center features artisans, craftsmen, and foods from WV. There were beautiful woodcrafts, quilts and fabric arts, jewelry, glassware, pottery, the list goes on. There are also theaters which offered a variety of fare if you happened to be making an overnight stay in the area.

As we started our walk around the circular structure, we could hear light harp-like tones coming from somewhere. I assumed it was a recording but Bob discovered the source—a gentleman, Greg Westman, picking at a handcrafted bowed psaltery. Behind him, in a studio, was his wife/business partner, Tish, putting finishing touches on some other psalteries. Their website is Westman Instruments. com.

It was then I realized that on the outside of the circular structure, were studios that were shared by other crafts people. Not all of them had people working in them but we found a few: a potter, a glass etcher, a fabric artist.

The restaurant area featured a cafeteria-style deli/grill. Sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts were the main fare. I couldn’t pass up a fried green tomato sandwich with bacon and Swiss cheese. It was as good as it sounded.

While we were tempted by several things, our only purchase was an autographed copy of a Homer Hickman (author of October Sky) book, The Far Reaches. No matter we didn’t walk out with bags full of goodies. It was a great rest stop along the way and a great way to get a look at lots of things West Virginian other than “country roads.”
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