Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pipestem State Park Near Athens, West Virginia

My wife was invited to a workshop this past weekend. It was held at the conference facilities at Pipestem State Park, a few miles northeast of Athens, West Virginia. She spent Friday and Saturday night at the park's McKeever Lodge and I was fortunate in that she didn't have a room mate for the event so I was able to go with her.

Pipestem State ParkThe park is a beautiful, deer infested area on the edge of a canyon cut through the mountains of West Virginia by the Bluestone River. There are cabins and a campground in addition to McKeever Lodge where we stayed. An aerial tramway takes visitors into the river gorge for a small fee. There's a riding stable. The park has an 18-hole golf course (I never took up the game). And there are a number of children's play areas and picnic shelters.

McKeever Lodge is an old, quaint facility. You can call the rooms cozy if you like. Our room was a total of about 450 square feet. Of that, about 300 square feet was actual bedroom and another 100 square feet or so of bathroom. We had a handicapped shower with a trick nozzle to make the shower actually work; maintenance had to come show us how to use it. There was a small balcony and a full sized bed. The room had a coffee pot, TV with cable, free high speed Internet access via both wireless connection and an Ethernet cord (sometimes both worked, sometimes only one, sometimes neither), a closet, a dresser, two night tables, a phone, and an alarm clock.

Pipestem State ParkIt was clean and comfortable. And small.

McKeever also had an indoor pool and an outdoor hot tub. we sat in the hot tub Friday night with a couple of friends and relaxed. The pool and hot tub closed at 10pm, which we thought was kind of early. But I guess it's a state park, not a Club Med. Oh well...

I ate breakfast Saturday morning at the Bluestone Dining Room. The workshop was feeding my wife yogurt and pastries, I wanted eggs and bacon. The Bluestone had a breakfast buffet that reminded me a little of Shoneys. It was good. It was seven bucks. The view was marvelous and the waiter was too chatty (I wanted to meditate on the fog in the valley while I clogged my arteries and he wanted to talk about moving down here from some Mid-western state).

Pipestem State ParkThe workshop kept my wife busy for most of Saturday and for Sunday morning. I worked online, watched some football, read school related documents, napped, and waited. Saturday night we drove back into Princeton to eat with some friends. On the way out of the park we saw two little spotted fawns sitting on the park's grass...

In all it was a nice place. I'd like to go back when there's nothing to occupy our time and we can actually see the place.

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