Located in Jackson County, between Ripley and Spencer, you’ll find Elk Fork.
Don’t expect to go to camp up here but you can find a place to stay in Ripley and you’ll only be a short drive away from the lake.
This is more of a day/evening trip location- they do allow people to fish at night and they will enforce fishing license as well as boat licensing.
There is a ramp and the lake is peaceful, so it’s a good starter location when you’re learning to kayak.
All in all, I don’t like this location as much as Charles Fork but my husband does enjoy going occasionally with his dad or friends to spend the day fishing. The lake is big, so if you’re learning to kayak and trying to catch up to a troller motor, it will feel almost like you will be paddling all day.
I went out with my husband and father in law. They both had boats with troller motors and I was trying to meet them. By the time I caught up with them, I felt I had a decent grasp on how to paddle in general.
The Compass Cove has become my favorite hotel. As a child and teen, we did stay at a few different hotels but none as memorable as Compass Cove and now, I can’t see myself staying at a different hotel.
Compass Cove could be a vacation all in itself. There is a DJ 1-2 days a week live at the pool (the Tiki Hut right outside the main building). They offer three buildings- the Pentacle, the main building and the Indigo (the Indigo used to be a hotel itself but they bought it out and it’s now under their ownership). They offer five kiddie pools, seven hot tubs, two indoor pools and water slides, four outdoor pools and three lazy rivers.
There are a few notable restaurants located inside the hotel as well. If you’re looking for a place to go when the kids are in bed (if you have more than yourself with the kids), The Crow’s Nest, located on the second floor of the Pentacle building has a great atmosphere. They serve foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, onion petals and a lot more, including a full bar. They are also a fun place to take the kids. The prices aren’t bad either and the onion petals are the best I have had. They offer vodka made with corn, for those who have gluten intolerance/Celiac (Eddy’s flavored vodka) and sweet tea or pop for visitors who don’t drink. They have nights with live music, karaoke and always have the TV on at the bar.
When you make your reservation, you can get free breakfast buffet tickets for the Compass Rose. The Compass Rose is located near the check in desk on the main building (Schooner). They open at 6 am and close for breakfast at 11. The buffet has something for everyone- if you like bread, they have biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, sausage, cereal and anything else. The coffee is actually good and you can also get coffee to go after you finish.
The Tiki Hut offers slushies, drinks (alcoholic and non) and other fast/grilled foods poolside. They are open from 11 to 7 at the main pool in front of the Schooner building.
The Compass Joe is located on the bottom floor of the Pentacle building. They sell Starbucks brand coffee as well as pastries (mostly Starbucks brand) The bad thing is that you don’t get points with a Starbucks card, can’t use Starbucks gift cards nor the app- but it’s still Starbucks food/coffee.
If you go to the fifth floor in the Schooner building, you will find a fitness center, reservations come with a free DVD rental (the DVDs are located in the pentacle building), if you have a room with no washer/drier, there is a laundry room in the pentacle building but some rooms come with washer/driers and dishwashers. They have grills for resident use located by some of the pools with plenty of picnic tables. They offer free Wi-Fi for residents as well as a business room with computers and printers.
From the friendly service when you check in at the front desk, to the friendly staff you constantly see working hard around the hotels, this hotel has me expecting a lot from a hotel and the staff. We haven’t ran across unfriendly servers any of the times we visited any of the restaurants and even when you walk back to your room and interrupt housekeeping, you still get your fresh towels and trash taken out (although it’s extremely easy to take it out yourself). There are ice makers in some of the rooms and ice machines all over.
One problem we run across nearly every year, though, is that at least one of the three elevators is always broken down in the pentacle building. My father in law stayed in that building this year while we stayed in the Schooner. At one time, two of the three elevators were broken down.
We always stay in one of the family suites, ocean front. It offers a large, wrap around balcony with a great view of the beach. The room has three beds, two bed rooms, dishwasher, coffee makers, microwave, range, washer and drier and large living room with a pull out bed. The single rooms offer one bed, a large room, ice maker, coffee maker, range and microwave and both room types offer all dishes, pots and pans.
This is a hotel I always recommend to people when they’re thinking about going to Myrtle Beach. It’s my favorite hotel out of the hotels I have stayed in, in any state. There is always something to do and even days it storms, you are bound to find entertainment.
Event- Doo-Wop Car Show
Location- Charleston downtown boulevard
The Doo-Wop is a show that happens annually in the beginning of October. It starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday, with fireworks displayed on Saturday night at the Kanawha river.
They have vendors, people selling auto parts, some of the cars being shown will be up for sale but most of the cars are being shown by the owners and a lot of care have been put into the (primarily hotrod) cars.
Since it’s close to Halloween, they always have a group that comes in with fun themes. This year had better Halloween props than most stores. It was a “Zombie hunter” theme complete with animated zombies and monsters jumping out when you walked past.
They have food, drink, fireworks, cars, the Drag Racer hall of fame induction and a lot of older music. It’s a fun (but loud) atmosphere to bring your future car lovers. It’s located down one street, so it’s easy to walk from one side to the other as you’re viewing all the cars and there are a lot of interesting stories- from car owners from WV and other states.
Charleston, WV is the largest town/city. It has a bad reputation and there are areas that are dangerous after dark, but no where near as bad as big cities in other states. It’s the capital city with a lot of history and a lot of stuff to do.
There are more areas to visit than just the downtown area, but just downtown has the Towncenter mall, the shops on Capital Street and all downtown is loaded with small privately owned shops.
If you’re going out near South Hills, or going to Kanawha State Forest park, you may want to drop by Bridge Road to check out “The Shops on Bridge Road“
If you have babies/toddlers:
If you come in the Summer, Coonskin Park and Kanawha State Forest are both great for all ages. There are plenty of hiking and walking paths in both parks with playgrounds, picnic areas, ponds and creeks.
If you have older kids
If you travel as far as Southridge, you’ll have a few choices. There is the Memorial ice rink beside Target where you can take your kids ice skating.
Marquee Cinema is the best movie theater in the area and after the movie, you can visit
If your kids want to play, Chuck E Cheese is up the street from the Walmart
There is also the Sky Zone right beside Marquee Cinema.
Outside of Southridge, there is a museum inside the capitol complex, the Civic Center has events- you just have to watch to see what they have. They have concerts, conventions and on occasion circus and on ice events for kids.
If you travel to the east end, there is the Clay Center which occasionally has
If you have teens
If you have teens, the towncenter has several trendier shops to go clothes shopping, there is Live on the Levee during the summer, the civic center and most of the other locations I mentioned for older kids work for teens as well.
If you’re traveling with adults
If the adults are over the age of 21, there is the bar district downtown. You walk around after dark on a weekend, and you’re likely to hear music and meet a lot of friendly faces standing around.
There are lots of restaurants to choose from and you can choose one of the not-so-child-friendly movies. The shops up and down Capitol Street and Bridge Road are filled with boutiques and other fun shops and the city of Charleston also has events like walks for various charities.
There are options for artists downtown, music lovers- a lot of the bars have local bands play shows on weekends, if you enjoy jogging or running there are plenty of places to go, downtown is friendly to walkers and bikers so if you’re traveling through WV, Charleston can be a destination worth visiting.
Charles Fork Lake is a 70 acre lake with 21 miles of hiking trails where people fish, kayak and take other boats out. It’s a peaceful and relaxing area with a camping ground and bait shop located just above the lake.
You can choose between renting an electric campsite where you can plug phone chargers and other devices or a nonelectric if you’re camping more traditionally.
If you want to use the pavilleon for a birthday party, reunion or any other event, it is free- as long as there is an open picnic area.
We went with the intent on going camping the weekend of our anniversary (3rd-the 5th of August) and picked the wrong time. It rained the first night, so we stayed in the Boggs Grandview Motel located just a few miles away from the lake.
The inn was a good experience, they had cable and friendly staff. It cost less to stay, than fancier motels and we didn’t need fancy accommodations since we were going to the lake the next day.
We happened to go during one of the major events, so it was too crowded for us to finish what we wanted to be a private celebration, but we have gone together on many day trips fishing and riding the boat. We’ve taken my kayak, it’s a great place for a beginner kayaker and every year they have the “Light up the Night” kayak event, usually around the first weekend in August.
If you ever want a place to really get away from it all, Charles Fork Lake has great fishing, boating and hiking options but be prepared to get away- many phone carriers don’t get reception.
Event: Gritt’s Fun Farm
Location: Buffalo, WV (Putnam County)
Dates: September 21-November 2, 2019
Family friendly, alcohol free, mainly for kids
Gritt’s Fun Farm is an event that starts in late September and ends in early November.
To get to the fun farm, you have to go up a huge, windy hill. It’s a long way off the main road. When you get there, you’ll have flaggers directing you to a parking spot so parking is easy.
There are two paths to take to get to the ticket booth. As soon as you enter, the events inside are free. There is a large corn maze at the entrance.
They have several small playgrounds up on the top of the hill, a corn crib for kids under 6 to play in, a pumpkin “house” set up with several pumpkin displays with huge pumpkins set out, so there are tons of photo opps. There is a pen where your kids (or you) can feed goats (the highlight of my trip was me and my kids being licked by the goats)
They also have a pen with rabbits.
When you’re finished playing up top, every 15 minutes on weekends, they have a tractor ride down to the bottom of the hill. Down bottom, you’ll find several more playgrounds, some large slides, two bouncy pads for kids (Four feet and above on one side, under on the other side but if a child is special needs, they will make exceptions- if you’re not comfortable with your child bouncing with much rougher kids and they aren’t rough.)
They have some carnival type games set up as well.
There is a pumpkin patch where your kids can pick out pumpkins, they sell mums and they have apple and pumpkin donuts and their lemonade is really good.
When you go, it’s best to go early in the morning and plan to stay at least a few hours. It likely won’t be a full day trip, but definitely will take a couple hours and as you get closer to noon, it will get more crowded.
For our anniversary two years ago, in August, we booked the sweetheart cabin at Smoke Hole Cavern.
We originally were supposed to go in August, but due to a death in the immediate family, we had to reschedule. They have a 48 hour cancellation policy and we had to give shorter notice, so we had to reschedule instead of cancel. We also only had a very short time we were allowed to reschedule or they told us they were going to lose our deposit.
We rescheduled for a new date in September and ended up going during a very cold, rainy weekend and we were both starting to get sick BUT the cabin made up for everything. We stayed in the honeymoon (sweetheart) log cabin. The cabin was made for 2 people (actually has rules that you can’t have visitors) and they offer several extras- champagne, souvenir coffee mug (I loved it and used it daily until I dropped it) and some romantic foods. Since neither of us drink alcohol and I have to watch what I eat very carefully, the only extra we got was the mug, which like I said, I loved.
We were recovering from a four hour car trip so went straight to our cabin after grabbing a bite to eat in the gift shop and crashed a bit with some movies and trying out the hot tub the first night. The second day we went on tour of the caverns and shopped around before going back to try to find the football game. The food was good at the gift shop and there were tons of shirts and stones for sale. We got a gold hunt game and a few pieces of rock for the kids as souvenirs. The staff was friendly.
The tour of the cave lasted around 1 hour. It was decently lit but some parts were dark, they take people in groups, so you’ll be going with several other families more than likely. The tour guides know the cave well and will answer any questions you have.
They have grills spread out randomly through all the cabins for grilling out, there is a small kid fishing pond and a bait shack in the middle and it’s only a couple hundred feet from the river where you can go and fish (make sure you have your license, though). It was too cold and rainy for us to use those accommodations but we would like to go back to use those and see how great a vacation it is for the whole family.
If you’re looking to get away with your partner, honeymoon or anniversary, I highly recommend staying at the Sweetheart log cabin.
If you have been interested in learning dream interpretation, this is for you.
In this course, you will learn to delve in to the internal world of your dreams. You won’t wake up again from a dream and wonder what it meant, this will give you the knowledge and tools to sit down and analyze the dream yourself. You will know what to look at, which parts of your dream were more important and you will have a reference sheet to look at to determine what everything means.
Why should you listen to me?
I have been studying dreams and dream interpretation for over 20 years. In that time, I have compiled a list of the most important details in dreams that I look at when I’m analyzing other peoples’ dreams. I also am in the process of writing a 3 part dictionary/journal to guide people through meanings and explain the significance in dream symbols.
Why am I writing this?
I’m preparing this course as a full dream symbol exploration for beginners- around 10 courses and I’ll be covering different topics in depth. Join me and I’ll help unlock the messages your brain and the universe are trying to tell you. By the end, you’ll be able to interpret dreams for your friends, family and coworkers just like I have been for over 2 decades.
The introduction is up and anyone who signs up will be notified as I get each lesson up.
There will be a total of 12 lessons- major topics. My journal can easily compliment it and you can get it at the link above.
The Year of Simple Living is written by Steph Parrell
She is the creator of ScaleitSimple.com. She wrote this book as a guide to living a more simple life over the course of one year.
The book starts off with the author listing the benefits beyond financial to living a more simple, back to nature lifestyle. She also goes into how her grandparents lived and how she started exploring their way of life a little more.
The concept of the book are working through 12 different areas in the span of 12 months. The challenge is to take the full month and do every part with an open mind, so I cannot tell you how much of an impact it has had already, I’m just getting started with month one but I will update over the course of the 12 months.
If you’re feeling stressed, frazzled and you’re wanting to live a less stressful, simpler and more natural life, this book is definitely worth the read. Remember, nothing happens literally overnight- so how this book is broken down month by month and all the aspects of your life are laid out, this makes it easier for beginners to the lifestyle to ease into the change.
The Whole30 Day by Day is a journal. It’s best to buy than check out so you can write in the book.
It gives you a day by day on what to expect, possible symptoms and gives you a place to write encouraging thoughts as well as record your feelings, cravings and thoughts.
It’s a very helpful guide that helps track cravings and helps you get through the challenge easier- because it warns you how you will possibly feel, you can get an action plan started and continue on the journey.