welcome to the haikutimes

Issue #220, Epic Road Trip, July 12, 2018, New River Gorge Bridge and Grindstone Campground, Vest Virginia

July 12, 2018 Rain is competing with sunshine, here at “Grindstone Campground” Virginia; we arrived yesterday afternoon about 5:30 just as the rain began; at the same time when we were trying to push the back left wheel of the Cricket up on a rock to make it more level, the camp host, a friendly guy with a white beard, came by to make sure we were who we were, and that we had made a reservation (we did).

Finding this place had been a challenge, in that we were led to it, by Google’s “map app” over a 3.5 mile one-lane dirt road, with tree branches hanging down that brushed against the kids’ bikes, and some big ruts to navigate. The Volvo/Cricket did fine, and it also made the kids pay attention to what was going on outside the car (the lack of cell service was also a contributing factor). Phoenix complained that the road was making him car sick. Finally turning out on to a paved road, the app announced that we had arrived, but once again, it did not match up with reality, and we had to drive several hundred feet more before spotting the turn-off to the campground.

At any rate, we soon found ourselves in a very pleasant, quiet, wooded campground, with a thick canopy of deciduous pine trees screening the light. The rain eventually stopped, and we sat inside the Cricket, eating crackers and cheese, the adults having their necessary alcohol and the kids drinking their sodas. We had been rather short with each other trying to manage setting the Cricket up in the rain, but we were soon laughing at the Dad jokes that Dave Rosenberg sent me, which I read aloud.

Earlier in the day, after we had left the Flatirons KOA, we passed the “New River Gorge Bridge” and visitors’ center - a perfect place to stop for lunch, since it was 1pm by then. We made our sandwiches and then checked out the visitor center, then walked 200 feet down a wooden stairway that led to more expansive views. it was a nice, short, educational stop. The area was the nexus for a lot of coal mining, with coke ovens producing high-grade coal for industry. Orion was complaining about having to walk anywhere, claiming it was because he was wearing sandals, but he could not resist competing with his ‘ol dad as he tried to run faster than me up the stairs on our way back. He seems to be getting older before our very eyes on this trip - taller, lankier, and I swear I see a mustache on his upper lip!

We tried to figure out where the Appalachian trail crossed the highway in one spot, following directions we got from someone, but it never worked out, even though we drove out of our way for 20 minutes. After giving up, we found a small corner of the trail that cut over the highway, almost by chance; so we got out and walked up it a way, fantasizing about backpacking there someday.

unable to find
Appalachian trail crossing
despite her advice

just a few moments
on the Appalachian trail
brings us down to earth

“the everything store” -
Wal-Marts across the country:
same stuff, different town

unbroken vistas
of thickly-wooded forests
West Virginia hills

hot in black t-shirt
he waits patiently while dad
talks trailers with us

New River Gorge bridge
eagles fly where coal was king
rafters float below

singing ‘Country Roads’
by John Denver while driving
mostly big highways

back route to the camp
three miles on a country road
now we have our chance

panic in his voice -
why is there no cell service?
“No big deal” he feigns

tree canopy high
late afternoon light filters
through delicate leaves

setting up Cricket
just as it begins to rain
family now grumpy

with it’s large banner
proclaiming jesus is lord
gun store makes its case

after living here
you can see why the southwest
must seem so arid

names of British towns
like Abingdon and Bristol
here in Virginia

the family dollar
and the dollar general
have conquered the states

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen