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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Copperhead !!

(Craig/Karin) Memorial day weekend has come and gone with little to no problems. We worked in the store on Saturday and had Sunday off. Craig handled reservations and Karin was the sample girl. She was dipping animal crackers into homemade cinnamon honey butter and passing them out. The funny thing was that she had the last jar of that specific honey butter! So many people wanted it, but couldn’t have it. What a tease! Some people griped a little that the store didn’t have animal crackers to sell. Oh well, you just cannot please everyone.

On Sunday, we decided to head out on a road trip. Not too far…..we just wanted to go the opposite way of all the weekenders and do a little hiking. We ended up in a small town called Fenwick. The Cherry River ran through it and looked inviting. So we pulled over and jumped in. Typical cold water coming down the mountains. It was a hot day, so it was very refreshing.

Mondays and Tuesdays are now Craig’s days to be the fill-in as the pool guy. Clean it up, sweep it, check and add chemicals if necessary. It’s a pretty easy job. On Tuesday, there was a group of high school students there for a private party. They sat in the pavilion that is right next to the pool as Craig was cleaning it. Some of the kids were calling out to Craig, saying “Hi Mr. Pumpkin”, referring to the bright orange polo shirt that he had to wear for work. Craig thought about responding with a single finger salute…..but then remembered that he was a ambassador for his employer. So he just did the old “grin and bear it” stance. A couple of teachers approached Craig and asked him where there was a water spigot at to fill up water balloons for a fight with the students later. Craig showed them the spigot and asked the teachers to forewarn him before the water balloon fight started, so that he wouldn’t get wet. The teachers said that they would do so, and turned on the spigot. Well, they had forgotten to attach a balloon to the hose, so water shot out and sprayed Craig. How funny was that! After they all stopped laughing, Craig smiled and responded that now he knew for future reference to watch out for the teachers as well as the students.

Karin has gotten into the swing of things in the store. She loves to converse with people as she rings them up at the register. The guys just love her! Craig was at the next register and asked the next person in line if he could help him. The gentleman responded “no, I’ll wait for Karin”. Craig can understand that…..her warm smile, blue eyes and bubbly personality are very appealing! Craig just smiles and thinks to himself “ enjoy it now guys, ’cause later on she’s heading home with me”. :)

Wednesdays and Thursdays are looking like they are going to be our regular days off. This past Wednesday, we just relaxed and visited the library. On Thursday, we decided to explore Hawks Nest, overlooking part of the New River Gorge. You drive through the small town of Anstead to get there. After checking out Lover’s Leap overlook, we wanted to get down to the bottom of the gorge. So we drove back through Anstead and found a dirt road that went along Mill Creek. Good thing we have a four wheel drive vehicle. We passed by and took some pictures of the creek, which had several waterfalls along the way. At the bottom, we found a rail trail that went back along the creek, so we began our hike.
Craig usually leads the way, using a hiking stick just to watch out for any pesky critters. The trail was about four feet wide, so Karin felt safe and passed up Craig to lead the way. About a half mile into the hike, as Craig followed Karin, Craig noticed a brown coil off to the right side of the trail. It was on top of a rocky area, maybe a foot from the trail. Karin was about to walk right by it. She didn’t see it at all. But Craig did…and he realized that is was a coiled up snake. Copperhead! Craig had never seen one, but it was very obvious now as to why they are named copperheads. Should he yell out to Karin, startling her and possibly frightening this venomous snake? He decided not to say anything until after Karin was well past it. Craig walked past it also, acting as if he had not noticed it. About ten feet past the snake, Craig stopped Karin. “Honey, now don’t be alarmed” is what Craig said. Before he continued, Karin knew instantly what he was about to say. But she didn’t realize that they had already past it. He explained why he didn’t alert her, and she fully understood. We walked back to take a look at it from a safe distance. Craig took pictures and then we moved along.

For some reason, Karin decided to follow behind Craig for the rest of the journey. We stumbled upon an old coal mine entrance barred by a steel grate. The date carved into the stone arch was 1921. It was rather eerie. As we stood there, we could see the miners going into and out of the entrance. Ok, it’s been closed for some time, but the mental image was there. Not a job that either one of us would be enthused about. There are many coal miners in this state. It is a very dangerous job, hence the mining accident that just took many lives in this state several weeks ago.

We returned to the trail and headed back down. When we reached the area of the copperhead, we stayed on the right side of the trail to give us a lot of space as we passed back by. The snake was still there, just enjoying a little sun. We went passed it and stopped again to observe it. We were about twelve feet away when the snake seemed to sense our presence. It moved slightly and tighten it’s coil up, raising it’s head as if to warn us that we were close enough. We understood it’s message, and continued down the trail. Another day in West Virginia was gone. Karin has a list of places for us to hike and see. Like sands in the hourglass, these are the days of our lives. :)

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