Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Packing Up and Moving On

Race is over, a relaxing post-race evening behind me, and Sunday morning it was time to pack up and check out of the lovely Blennerhassett hotel and drive to Elkins WV to meet some friends for lunch.

My GPS has been a real pill on this trip.  So in keeping with this trend, she routed me onto Highway 47 all the way to Elkins.  In my mind, I was thinking that this wasn't right...even turned around and drove back to I-77 thinking I should be on US 50, not on highway 47.  But being unsure and not able to zoom out on the Garmin to get the bigger picture yet retain any road detail, I let the GPS take charge.

I'm here to say that Highway 47 is torture on wheels!!  I'm sure it's a terrific motorcycle road on a sunny day, but in a car in the rain, it was agonizing.  By the time I got to Elkins, I was so tired of that road!

My arrival at Scottie's restaurant was timed perfectly.  Mike and Joanne were there waiting, and Brian and Donna rode in just seconds behind me.  We had a very nice lunch and good visit at Scottie's before we all went our separate ways.

Next stop for me was Lakeview Resort on Cheat Lake just north of Morgantown.  I traded one of my deposited timeshares for a 2 bedroom-2bathroom unit here at the resort.   I had a little bit of a wait for my timeshare unit to be ready but soon I was humping my luggage up the narrow wood stairs to the front door.   I was a little unimpressed by the exterior appearance, which seemed a little shabby, and so didn't expect much once inside.  It's certainly not up to the quality of the timeshares that I own, and definitely not luxurious, but it's free (trade through Interval International).

A quick check of the coffee pot to see what kind of filters it takes and a look at the pillows to see if I needed to buy a better one (I do), and I got back in the car and drove the 7 miles to a Super Walmart on I-68 to buy groceries - and a pillow - for the few days I'll be staying here.   Walmart carries a Beautyrest pillow that is my go-to pillow if I must buy one on the road.   I can't sleep on stiff, pancake-flat foam or polyester fill pillows!  I like a pillow I can scrunch and mold!

I spent much of the next day - Monday - just relaxing and getting caught up with my reading and blog entries.  But that afternoon a friend from Virginia drove over and joined me for dinner.  We had a chance to discuss some issues and the future of an organization that we both belong to.  It was a very enjoyable visit!  She had booked her own room in the hotel section of the resort which gave us plenty of time to visit without worrying about her getting back on the road. 

Tuesday morning I slept in.  As I ate breakfast, I did a little research on the internet, looking for places to visit in the area.  Several good options came up, including a winery not too far from the resort. 

Right after lunch I put the route to the winery in to my Garmin and headed out.  It was very close - just a few miles away and easy to get to.  The winery is Forks of Cheat Winery and sits up on top of a hill with a spectacular view in all directions. 

The tiny lot in front of the tasting room was full so I drove down the steep narrow drive to the overflow parking and then walked back up to the winery.  Along the way I made friends with a pretty gray tabby cat and paused to admire the wild berries and the beautiful landscaping surrounding the outbuildings of the winery. 
Forks of Cheat Winery tasting room

Lots of container garden plants - peppers, tomatoes of several varieties - and lush flowers and coleus were everywhere!  It was spectacular!
View of event pavilion below and valley beyond

I browsed the selection of fruit wines and red grape wines and also noted that they also distill grappa.  I was mightily impressed by that!   Too bad I'm not in my own car!  I would take several bottles, different varieties, home with me if I were in my own car.

A beautiful deck next to the tasting room was very inviting, giving a great view of the valley below.

Another view of event pavilion below

A couple of bottles of wine left the tasting room with me: a Cabernet and a red table wine blend that had a very nice texture and taste.

And then wouldn't you know it!  There was a country store prominently advertising ice cream right there on my route back to Lakeview!

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it great how wineries have such beautiful vistas? Of course with ice cream down the road it is win-win.