Archive | November 2021

West Virginia: Point Pleasant

Hello! This is going to be the last of my holiday snaps for now. Luckily I’ve been able to just embed them from Instagram, so it’s saved me a bunch of time – BUT it means they’re kind of scrambled up because Instagram isn’t the best medium for posting photos in groups thanks to the inability to mix vertical and horizontal.

So, Point Pleasant. In my mind, it’s most famous for the Mothman cryptid, but maybe that’s just me. (Amy was surprised I’d ever heard of Mothman, so there you go.) But once I realized it was in the general vicinity, I knew we had to stop!

One sad thing, so my camera started doing this weird thing where after you take the photo, instead of showing it in the view screen (like normal) it would flash back to an older photo. I checked the thumbnails, and they showed all the photos, so I wasn’t worried. But, eventually, it got annoying, so I powered off ejected the card and popped it back in, and when I did that, all of those disappeared, so I have zero photos of the statue without us in them, and lost several building photos, etc. that I didn’t notice until much later.

But on to these. This is hubby and I in front of the statue, of course, and then the rest are the Mothman Museum (I had no idea there was a museum!). The museum has displays on all the different components – I’ll try to keep this short. There is a lot on the UFO sightings and the Mothman sighting (of course), that went on for two years. Then there is the Men in Black, who were these strange men who showed up during those two years, talking to anyone who had seen any of those aforementioned UFOs or the Mothman (called the Birdman, btw, by the press at the time), then they cover the collapse of the Silver Bridge (that killed 46 people I think it was), which many people think was connected to those UFOs/Mothman. I have no idea if it really was all connected or not, but regardless, it’s all there, along with a section of items from the movie Mothman Prophecies that came out in the early 2000s.

Anyway, the photos. The second is the entrance inside the store, the third is a Mothman costume, fourth is all about the Men in Black, some more Mothman costumes, then a piece of “broken glass” from the movie (they had a lot of movie stuff there), a model of the bridge, some newspaper clippings from the bridge disaster (they have a massive collection of clippings on all the different elements!), and a piece of metal from the bridge that collapsed.

Yeah, how cool is that? After that we went hunting for the bridge site. The first photo is the replacement bridge – the Silver Memorial Bridge – taken coming back into WV from Ohio (of note, it now goes into Henderson, not Point Pleasant. You have to cross it, then cross that green bridge to get into Point Pleasant.) Second is a mural that I *think* is where the bridge used to be because the plaque (which is supposed to be posted where the onramp for the bridge was) is straight back from it. Speaking of the plaque, its #3. Then there’s the new bridge viewed from the river front, and finally another shot of driving over it because we ended up hopping back over to Ohio for lunch at Bob Evans, haha!

While looking for bridge stuff, we ended at the riverfront walk and wow! There was so much there! I had no idea, I guess. I didn’t think about the fact that West Virginia used to be Virginia, but it has so much old history – like Revolutionary War history! Coming from an area that wasn’t really settled until the 1850s/60s, I don’t really think about it. Anyway, the third photo is of a tiny piece of the crazy long mural that runs along the river (it’s fantastic!), then there’s a barge in the river, then there are statues of Chief Cornstalk and General Andrew Lewis from the Battle of Point Pleasant. At the end of the river walk is an amazing park, that has some of the best placed benches I’ve ever seen (this is the big monument in the middle that Instagram chopped off because, vertical.). A shot of that green bridge from the river, and another shot of the Silver Memorial Bridge, then a few more historical markers. Imagine living somewhere that has that many historical places/events! We have a single axe murder in 1912 here, and the town I grew up in had nothing.

There was also an amazing little cemetery – again divided into portrait and landscape shots:

And that wraps up what I’ve got to share with you. Hope you at least enjoyed a few of them.

Have a surprise museum kind of day!

Jo πŸ™‚

West Virginia: Mixed Bag

Hello! Hope everyone had a great weekend! It’s back to the grindstone, and on to a mixed bag of West Virginia photos. I know, if I’d posted while I was there this would make more sense, but who said I make sense?

These are just some pretty roadside photos. I forget the name of the town, but it’s near Sandstone Falls.

Some more roadside photos – I’m working on the ultimate collection πŸ˜‰

This is a beautiful sunset, and a couple of fun things outside of Point Pleasant, WV (You’ll be seeing more of that shortly.)

And this bunch is from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, famous for Mothman and bunch of other stuff that I had no idea about! The town itself is so freaking adorable – they’ve got it decked out for Christmas, and it looks like it’s off the Hallmark Channel. I seriously felt like I was on TV! There are photos of a snowman and bear that got chopped off because they were vertical (thanks Instagram – this is why I can’t mix them) The sign for Washington’s Land was actually on the way there, but too cool to skip. And the green bridge at the end has nothing to do with the famous Silver bridge – it’s over the Kanahwa River and goes between Point Pleasant and Henderson, WV.

More Point Pleasant coming tomorrow, and I think that will wrap us up. I don’t want these to get too long because in the past people complained about that.

Have a Hallmark Town kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

West Virginia: Sandstone Falls

And the West Virginia pics continue – all neatly embedded from Instagram. Pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself.

Today you get the photos from Sandstone Falls. It was a really beautiful day, and a gorgeous location. This set is mostly from an overlook higher up the mountain. It’s a neat shot of some of the falls – though I don’t think these are the same falls we see again later. We thought they would be, but comparing them to the closer shots, they don’t seem to really match, so I’m not sure.

On down the mountain we went to an observation area, where we got closer to some/the falls. We walked out on some rocks because the water was down, so that was really neat because though we were perfectly safe and dry, we were practically in the middle of the river. That’s because, as you can see in the last photo, the water drops down this fissure and goes underneath the rock shelf. There’s a photo of Charles standing way out, farther than I went. Amy (who also has a photo, haha!) didn’t go out that far, either.

Some more shots of the falls, and of us actually on the overlook deck.

We then abandoned the overlook decking and trooped through the woods a bit to get a good view of a second set of falls. The path we took wrapped around in a 2/3 circle, so we thought, “gee, it would be better if we could just get back to the deck going this way and not back tracking.” Being our scout, Charles said to stay put and he’d go see if we could get there (there was a small gorge we weren’t sure we could get over). So, we waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, I zoomed in toward said decking/bridge and there he was, playing on his phone, with no intention of coming back for us…

His excuse was that he thought if we could see him, then it was obvious the gorge was cross-able. Uh-huh. But, we made it, anyway, and lived tot ell the tale of how he tried to dump us in the woods in West Virginia (which would have been a real trip for him because we were not driving our truck, ha!)

Last, but not least, the vertical pictures, separated out because…Instagram.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Two more posts should wrap this up. Weeee!

Have a waterfall kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

West Virginia: Cathedral Falls and Lake Stephens

Hello, hello! Happy Saturday! I am back with more West Virginia photos. I know every state is beautiful and has things to offer, but it is seriously so pretty there in the fall…that’s why you’re all getting tortured. Bahahahahaha!

We’re embedding Instagram posts again – so handy.

Despite the title of this blog, we first have some random shots. Though Instagram thinks they were taken in Oak Hill, they’re in Beckley – including the view from our motel, a cool wreath that was outside it, and a restaurant that looks like Waffle House’s poor cousin. (Disclaimer: I did not eat there, so it may well be delicious)

These are from Lake Stephens. I was actually there in march 2020, in the exact same overlook, so that was kind of fun being in the same place for a different season and getting to see all the red in the trees. It looks surreal – like a calendar photograph! So weird seeing that in person, kind of like stepping into a calendar, haha!

Cathedral Falls was a surprise. When we first got there my companions were underwhelmed, but then we walked up into it, and it was awesome. Though the photos don’t capture it, there is basically like a hollowed out half bowl shape in the rock, and looking up is like watching one of those hollow earth sci-fi movies. I half expected a pterodactyl to screech overhead. 2D images just don’t capture it.

And last are some more random roadside photos because why not?

Look for Sandstone Falls tomorrow!

And until then, have a happy pumpkin hay-man kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

West Virginia: New River Gorge Bridge

Hello! If things are going well, I may be decorating for Christmas. Or I may be cleaning today and decorating tomorrow. We’ll see.

In the meantime, here is the continuation of the West Virginia trip. I promised you the bridge, but the first bunch are from just driving around in the Beckley area, or maybe from that huge park. They’re mostly roads. I have no idea. I did mention on Wednesday that there was a lot of fall color photos, so you were warned.

And now we come to a jumble because…Instagram. The first two are driving over the bridge – Speaking of the bridge, wikipedia has this to say:

The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel arch bridge 3,030 feet long over the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, West Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States.


So, yes, it IS in the Appalachian Mountains.

Anyway, after driving over it, we tried to find a good place to view it. There was a visitor’s center, and a map, but it was a bit confusing. In the end, we followed our guts and found a very long stairway that winds halfway down a mountain to a viewing platform. The photos are all mixed up, as I mentioned, some are on the way down, some are from the platform, looking to the left toward the river, and some are the bridge from the platform. My hand makes an appearance in a photo on the way down because the sun was soooo super bright it was messing with the photos, so I gave up and just flat out blocked it. Later, down on the platform, there was a perfect tree that blocked it.

These are almost all from the platform, except the repeated one with my hand. Hey, it’s hard to know what you’ve already put on Instagram and what you haven’t.

These are the vertical shots, and a close up of the educational board showing how crazy, crazy high the bridge is!

You don’t see any shots of us walking back up the stairs. That’s because a: we barely survived, and b: my camera battery died. I had a second ready to go back at the truck, but since that was a long, long, long way away….yeah.

And that’s all for today. Some day I will edit these for real (these are all just hit with a few quick adjustments on mobile Lightroom), and then you’ll get them all again. How lucky. Bahahahahahaha!

Have a gorgeous bridge kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

West Virginia: Thurmond

I’m baaaaack! I knew you’d be excited. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m cheating, and instead of copying the photos from my instagram over here, I’m just embedding the instagram posts. It seemed to work yesterday, so we’ll see if it works again.

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving, by the way.

Today’s photos mostly come from Thurmond, which is a (mostly) abandoned town the park service has turned into a tourist stop. In Iowa we just live in them, ha ha! (Seriously, there are so many around here.) I actually found the webpage on it, so if you’re interested, you can read all about it.

Anyway, first you go over the pretty cool bridge, and then we went on to Main Street, which is right on the tracks. On down a bit was the Coaling Tower. There was an information sign on it, but I haven’t edited all the photos yet, just a handful, so no info on that.

From there we drove around. There are houses scattered all up and down the hillside, and some of them are still lived in (I don’t think I copied off any photos of those, however). The church looks disused, though. Also here are a couple more shots of the bridge from different angles.

More of those houses I mentioned, a road, the depot, the river, and another shot of Main Street. There used to be a hotel next to the bank, but it burned down. There was also one that we think was across the river, that also burned down. Reminds me of my home town.

These are the vertical photos – Instagram won’t let you mix and match in a post, or at least I haven’t figured out how to do it.

And these are the last of them. It’s the bridge and the river, and then a lot of pretty trees. It was seriously so beautiful there!

And that’s all for today. Tomorrow we’ll actually have the bridge photos, ooooOOoooOOoooooo!

Have an abandoned town turned tourist spot kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

West Virginia: New River Gorge Preserve

Hello, hello. So, yeah, the vacay got busy, which made it fun. Sadly, it’s over and I am now home again and it’s back to the grind stone, or will be as soon as I get sorted out. You know how it goes.

I took a lot of photos the second week and was whining to myself about getting them copied from Instagram to here, but it turns out I can just embed them. Yeehaw! Not only saves time, but storage space, as I am approaching my limit – again – and this time just resizing won’t do anything since I already resized everything before.

Anyway, I figured that waiting until November to go to West Virginia would mean I missed all the fall colors (they were gone here, already), but it did not! In fact, it seems like I was just in time for a lot of it. So, be warned, lots of pics of fall colors.

I was originally going to put them all in one post, but I guess it’s too many, so I’m breaking it up. If the embedding works, you should be able to click the little arrows for a slideshow on each embedded image.

If it works.

First, we have some random photos of West Virginia roads. These are all in the Beckley area and/or New River Gorge Preserve.

The New River Gorge Preserve is HUGE. Look it up on google maps. It’s also gorgeous. Apparently the river was too rocky and wild for early settlers to do anything with, so it was mostly left alone. Or something like that. It’s smack dab in…um, is it the Appalachian Mountains, or is it something else? I did a quick google, but couldn’t find it, so I’m going to call them super big hills for right now. Feel free to correct me in the comments.

Anyway, here we walked down to a little beach area. I’d like to think I took a photo of a sign or something so I could tell you what little area, but if I did, I haven’t copied it off yet (plus, I admit, my instagram postings are a little muddled because of their ten photo limits). It’s labeled as being the bridge, but you can see it isn’t…

There are a few more of that little beach area (including a coupe of repeats – sorry), and some more of an area up the road from it. Still not at the bridge, despite Instagram’s tagging.

More of the little beach and the river view from it – and though it’s tagged as the New Gorge River Bridge, it still isn’t. There’s a shot of some very interesting grass we found growing along the river – it’s triangle shaped! However, we were assured by a local that it is just boring old “river grass”. Yeah, I still thought it was pretty cool.

Okay, more tomorrow. Have an awesome triangle grass kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚


Got another lesson done today, so thought I’d share. It was about how hair can make a big difference to your character – like different styles make them look like different people. I did such a study years ago when learning to do manga:

Thane in 2008

You will be happy to note that, though tempting, I did not just turn that in. (I could have, you know) but instead I did a new one, so there!

I did a lazy version of the highlights/lowlights, but it’s passable. However, there was a bit about simplifying hair, and since there were a lot of lines in some of those, I tried simplifying the line art (also used a thinner brush) and did a more specific highlight/lowlight:

Yeah, yeah, the second one is better. Stop being lazy. Blah, blah.

I’d be remiss though, if I didn’t share my Victoria approved version – she was quite concerned about why they were nekkid, and felt it needed fixed. I did it on a top layer, so she said since it would cover girl #1s hair, she could stay that way, but the rest needed a dress.

So there’s the censor approved one πŸ˜‰

Have a hair highlight kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

Dancing with the Devil

Been awhile. I fell off the blogging wagon. Though I’m in West Virginia right now, I haven’t really taken any photos, so not much to share. Been doing some of those digital art classes I’ve been supposed to be doing since July…yeah, those. They’re going to run out eventually, so I better get to it. I think I’m like 43% through it. Now that we’re past the how to use the (new to me) program and just drawing, it’s going faster as far as how long it takes me to move through the videos. The homework should take longer, but I’ve been half-assing it and being lazy trying to rush. (I always did the minimum necessary for a good grade in school and called it good) Some examples: 1) Create a character or share a character you previously created – yeah, it’s the Jo character from TTC. A lot of other people made brand new ones and I imagine spent hours on it. 2) this involved action lines and center of gravity which honestly I will probably not use because I think it’s more complicated than how I already do it. Other people did shading and even colors! Yeah…. 3) expressions. Yeah, they look fine, (though keep in mind other people did color and shading, too) but it’s low hanging fruit. Straight on, easy expressions that are symmetrical. Took me longer to watch the video than it did to draw those.

So, I decided to really go out for one of them, and since it’s not too bad, thought I’d share:

And that’s what I got. Oh, and a pumpkin painting, just a sec. There, I did take some pics of that. This is my painting, Amy’s painting, and some wine, because they have to give you wine at painting parties. My only complaint is that they drew the truck for us, and there are some lines that bug me because I followed them instead of trying to correct them. *sigh*

What else have I been doing? Eating dip and watching the K Drama Her Private Life. It was quite good, btw.

Oh, and I finally put up a new FB pic with the green hair that I don’t think I ever posted about. For that matter I never posted the final Halloween yard, did I? Bit late now Oh, well.

And now it’s past my bedtime because this is a day people place. πŸ˜‰

Have a wine party kinda day!

Jo πŸ™‚

P.S. The secret to the hair “glow” look is that I routinely do the blonde highlight kits, so my hair is varied shades of dark to blonde, then I use the Splat for brunettes…Which is super vivid on the blonde and of course darker on the brown. That’s how I did the red the year before last, too. I like the color variety it creates.

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