Spring is almost here and we cannot wait although we have been lucky to enjoy a few days this Winter with temperatures as high as 60 deg. The high temperatures gave us the opportunity to take the “side by side” out for a spin. Our neighbors had told us about a trail through the mountains that would bring us all the way to Cheat Lake and through Coopers Rock Drive. We decided to fill up the side by side with gas, load a spare jug of gas in the back and head over the mountains. We were not sure how we were going to find the way but we knew that people in the neighborhood were friendly and we could ask for directions.
We started our way and we took a wrong turn to end up in someones farm but we turned around and asked for directions. We were finally on our way! We went up a steep muddy hill and through miles of national forest. A beautiful scene with a few turkey and nothing else on site. We finally found the paved road we were told we would find and would take us to another road that would take us to our final destination. It sounded easy as the man told us “follow a paved road where you would see a lake on the left then follow straight and you would find a road that would take you to Coopers Rock.” There were several roads with a couple of forks and we stopped again at the top of the hill just next to a small church with its own unique cemetery. There we waited trying to figure out which way to turn. All of the sudden a car approached and I flagged them. They stopped and I asked which way to Coopers Rock? “This road takes you to PA up the road, you got to turn back and get to such and such farm then make a right.” The couple just went on with their trip and we proceeded to make a U turn. We got to the turn and begun to go through the farm. The scent of fresh cow manure and many cows were to our right and left. No one was on site as we proceeded through the road trying to find out way. I decided to turn on my phone google gps and it actually worked, I could see the road and final destination. The road was narrowed, bumps, deep holes and mud. It was kind of fun. There was a steep road that has been turned to slippery mud by recent snow fall. The mud was so red it reminded me of my childhood trips to the mountains where my grandparents used to live in Adjuntas, PR. Right at the top of that hill was the most beautiful view of the valley and right on that spot they were building two humongous log cabin homes. We joked about it saying whoever purchases these homes must better get a 4×4 Jeep.
As we continued we went through a road that passed over a river and right in front of us there was the first sign of human life; another side by side vehicle. Through this journey all we encountered was cows laying on the side of the narrow roads. At that moment I was glad I was accompanied by my Springfield Armory …. just in case. We drove for another 15 minutes and finally we saw a road that was familiar. Bingo we were a road away from Coopers Rock. We were happy to finally find our way to the “Mountain Man and his Wife” house. We didn’t visit for too long as it was mid afternoon and it was beginning to get dark quickly. Deep inside me I had two concerns 1) it was getting dark and there were no light post through the national forest and the farms roads; and 2) how was I going to find my way back home through the mountains.
We began our journey back and quickly encountered a dare-devil driving an F150 through the narrow, steep, slippery muddy road. I had mixed feeling I was glad to see my same F150 truck I own making it through that road but at the same time I was at the top of the hill looking at the pick up bed skidding on our direction. We had no room and to the right was the cliff; I was afraid he was going to turn the car over the hill. He went by us within 12″ of the “side by side,” he was gone and we could continue our journey. Amazingly I was able to remember every turn we had taken and quickly we were right in our neighborhood. But there had to be one more adventure. There was another trail that would potentially put us closer to home without having to get on the street. We decided to take that road along the river bank. Not knowing if the road was in good condition because of the rain and snow but we slowly proceeded. We could see the river on my left and there was a nice drop down the embankment so I was trying to be very careful. Lori was constantly asking “where are we going to cross over, there is not bridge?” I continued to reassured her that there was a bridge and finally we found this narrowed wooden bridge. My only thought was if the bridge will withstand the weight of the side by side. But it did and finally we were on the road that leads to our cabin. The flock of turkeys gobbling greeted us home. It was an adventure trying to find the road to our relatives through the West Virginia mountains. After we got home we sat in our porch describing to each other the days’ experience and enjoying the beautiful evening. We can’t wait until we go back to our WV home and go riding again with the mountain man and his wife and most certainly we will find again “fun around the corner.”
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