Saturday, August 3, 2013

Morgantown and Cooper's Rock

We spent an afternoon visiting my parents in Morgantown, West Virginia, where they were spending the week for my Dad's work seminar. We decided to visit Cooper's Rock State Forest, near where my parents were staying on Cheat Lake. Legend has it that a fugitive hid for many years in what is now the state forest. He was a cooper, someone who made barrels, by trade. He made a living selling the barrels to people in nearby towns, and managed to hide out in the woods for years. Cooper's Rock was named for his legend. 

This bear statue, made of natural materials, was erected this April in honor of Earth Day and West Virginia's state animal. It was created by local artist Ben Gazsi. It also apparently comes to us transported via time machine. On the sign beside the bear in the park, it says the statue was completed in April 3013. 

We took a short walk to the main overlook. 

We were greeted by amazing views of the gorge and Cheat River, which is a popular white water rafting destination. 

Doesn't this view make you want to dance? 

"Point at it," Dave said. 

It is difficult to gain perspective from a photo, but there was a sheer drop-off beyond the overlook's rails. 

Cooper's Rock was filled with neat structures, mostly picnic shelters equipped with giant stone fireplaces, that were developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1936-1942. Many were made of the American Chestnut that grew in the state forest.

Another structure was this, which we were fascinated by. It had an antennae and a small solar panel on the roof. 

When we went to peer through the windows, which had bars on them, we saw this giant metal box with a padlock. It had wires coming from it. 

Does anyone have any good guesses as to what this could be? We speculated it could have been some sort of park ranger communication box or weather station, but all the security and its location seemed very odd. 

My Dad went to college at West Virginia University in Morgantown, and my parents met there while my Dad was attending school and my Mom was working at a boutique. It was neat to drive through my parent's old town and see my Dad's college campus and the store where my Mom worked. We had dinner at a restaurant called Oliverios in Morgantown's wharf district. We had dinner outside under the covered patio with a view of the river. Dinner was delicious and the atmosphere was great. After we ate, we walked alongside the river for a bit, where we came across some neat graffiti, which Dave and I really enjoy. 

1 comment:

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