About brandib1977

I'm a single gal living in rural Appalachia. I have a job that keeps me busy and a to-do list so long I'll never see the end. Adventures- both big and small- are an important part of my life. Since I don’t even have a houseplant depending on me right now, I’m free to do basically whatever I please. This blog tells some of those stories. Life is pretty darn good!

Nature’s Cycle

“In towering splendor once I stood
A regal monarch of the wood,
My branches once reached to the sky
See me now but do not cry.
The Creator’s work has yet to cease
I’ve become a shelter for bird and beast,
And when at last I fall to the Earth
The life I leave will inspire new birth;
A seedling springs forth from the ground
Nature’s cycle goes round and round.”
S. Edward Palmer, Spirit Tree

I was devastated when a storm caused this tree to uproot and collapse earlier this year. It’s at a park where I walk often and I once looked forward to the shade it generously provided.

Now the mere sight of it hurts.

Imagine my joy last week when I turned the corner and saw a splash of color in the water. Fall is amazing for many reasons, not the least of which is how decay becomes beautiful and joy can be found in the most unexpected moments.

October is my month. It’s beautiful, cooler and packed with fun things to do. Falling leaves dance in the crisp air and the aroma of dry leaves mixed with campfire smoke is intoxicating.

Sadly, it’s fleeting and the weather is fickle so I try to make the best of every day. It’s easier to do that when you realize there’s evidence of change and something new to see around every bend.

Here’s to beautiful weekend weather and lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy it!

Randolph County Courthouse

This is the Randolph County Courthouse in Elkins, West Virginia. That tower is 150 feet high and is an impressive sight to behold.

Here’s another view.

This building and an adjacent county jail were built between 1902 and 1904. It is a prominent anchor in the town and one of my favorite courthouses that I’ve seen in person. It’s also just down the street from that gorgeous church I told you about yesterday. Click here if you missed it!

Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church

I went to West Virginia on a little hiking trip with friends last month. We spent the night in Elkins, arriving in time for dinner, a little exploring around town and an early bedtime.

There are stories waiting to be told here but I’m starting in an unorthodox place with this old church.

You see, I have several great memories from the trip but one of my favorites is of the way the light hit the roof of this church.

Silly, I know.

Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church seemed to sparkle in the late September sun and was positively captivating. Near magical, in fact.

It is also sprawling and impossible to capture in one photo.

Check out the roof tile. Pictures don’t do it justice but, in that moment, I had never seen a roof so dazzling.

These are side doors.

And the front door.

Yes, I’m still fascinated with doors even though I don’t publish as many pictures of them here as I once did.

This was one of those experiences that I likely couldn’t replicate if I tried. I can’t recommend that you drive to Elkins, West Virginia and look at the sparkly roof because you might go on a cloudy day or at noon instead of the exact moment 35 minutes before sunset or whenever it was we stood there.

Again, this is one of the things I hope you take away from my daily ramblings. Adventuring isn’t about the destination. It’s about the unexpected moments and places and people and sights you find along the way. It’s about the perfect timing that gets you to these things. It’s about keeping your eyes peeled and your mind open so you are ready to see, hear and feel what’s waiting.

You see what you’re looking for and you receive what you’re ready for. Keep yourself open and ready. You won’t regret it.

Durango

Of all the places we visited in Colorado this summer, Durango is the one I truly hated to leave.

The climate was pleasant and the town is the rare combination of charming AND prepared for guests. There’s a ton of opportunity to get outside and plenty of places to be entertained and engaged.

This southwest Colorado town was founded in 1880. It has a rich railroad history and is near Mesa Verde National Park which I enjoyed immensely (aside from the snake).

The Animas River cuts through town and there’s a River Walk that gives you a beautiful place to view the water while getting some exercise.

The historic downtown district has a host of restaurants and cute shops including some great used bookstores. We had a few delicious meals here too.

My friend was especially thrilled to find that the local humane society runs a thrift store. It was a nice one too, arranged more like a boutique than a traditional thrift store which always seem a little too messy.

This area is blessed with charm, beauty and so much opportunity for exploration I regretted not scheduling more time to enjoy it.

I’m already plotting a return trip next year. This time, I’ll be with two friends and I’m hoping to find a good Airbnb in Durango to use as home base while we adventure.

Isn’t it wonderful having a place to look forward to exploring?

Jack O’Lantern Walk

Why, hello October! It’s so good to welcome the Autumn season here in southern Ohio. The weather has turned decidedly cooler and it’s beginning to look and smell like fall.

Last night, my cousin Sherrie and I strolled through a corn maze lit with Jack O’Lanterns at Walker Farm near Logan, Ohio. I recently interviewed the owners for a story at work so I was more than happy to say yes when Sherrie wanted to go.

The sky was magnificent and the company was good. I can’t imagine a better way to kick off what I hope will be a festive, busy season.

Who Could Blame Me?

When the color of the car complements the sky so well, there’s really no choice but to slam on the breaks and pull out the trusty cell phone for a picture. Who could blame me? Look how nicely the lines and colors of the buildings contrast with this car.

This classic Dodge was in charming downtown Chillicothe, Ohio on Sunday morning after my hike. That building is Fifty West Brewing Company, a popular hangout in a neighborhood that’s experiencing an impressive renaissance. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a long weekend, there’s plenty to do in the Chillicothe area to keep you entertained.