Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What's Not To Like--Tygart Lake State Park, West Virginia

Sitting around Tuesday a.m. I am toying with the idea of a new lake to explore. Ken looks at me like I'm nuts and exclaims, "What! One time out and you are already tired of the Cheat"!!! Hummm.....Next I'm out on the net to see what else is in the area when Ken mentions, "I seem to remember seeing a sign about a Tygart Lake where's that?" And a plan is born.

Heck we've been near or by Tygart Lake in the past. Down south of Grafton, West Virginia in Taylor County, I have dragged Ken down there to do a little genealogy work. This will be a no brainer!!!

All geared up and ready to go, Ken pops the info into Garmin and we are off down Route 119 heading south.

Not my photos

Grafton, the downtown area, now somewhat depressed, must have been, in it's hay day a spectacular town. The original buildings (now advertised as the Historic Area) are beautiful...although in need of a face lift. Grand old structures line the street. Refurbished and with shops and eateries, Grafton would be a destination for travelers looking for food and shopping housed in turn of the century buildings. Unfortunately, we did not stop to walk the streets, so no Miss Snap Happy photos....maybe next time.

We chose to ignore the sign in Grafton pointing the way to Tygart Lake and followed Garmin's voice....out of town. As we left Grafton and the blue lake that was showing on Garmin's screen, there was the question that begged to be come the lake isn't on the screen anymore? No matter, Garmin will get us there.

Along the road, we saw a coal train that had just derailed. Looks like Mr. Peabody's coal train was traveling little too fast.

Here's a little trivia you can pull out next May....Did you know that Grafton West Virginia is the home of Mother's Day? Although the biography on Wiki of Anna Jarvis and the sign in front of her childhood home differ, Grafton advertises that it is the home of Mother's Day because Anna Jarvis was born there. From what I have found so far, Grafton is the home of Mother's Day because Anna first celebrated her mother at a church in Grafton. Anna's mother, Ann Jarvis, was also a social activist. This needs to be explored by Flipside at a later date.

Traveling on, following Garmin, we began to see that blue come back into the screen. Are we there yet???? Then Garmin said, "You have arrived at your destination." Really???? Where??? Surrounding us was swampland and forest. GRRRRRRR

Now, what! Ken continued on down the road until he could turn to the left. Recalculating....don't ya just love it when Garmin says that!!! Ken's rule of thumb on dirt roads, Garmin. She lead us off....up and over.....hills, ridges, into sparsely populated areas and finally onto what can only be described as a highly rutted, gravel, one lane path. Ken is humming "Dueling Banjos as" we were bumped around....I wonder how the kayaks are faring on top...;-)

NOT my photo
Take this road, make it one lane,
curving around hairpin turns with forests
on either side and an occasional house on a ridge

On these roads we saw a house with the Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, in the front yard and a rowboat with an Ohio license....what's with that???? Frankly, there were some extraordinarily nice homes on this road(?) and there were other cars traveling it....we were not alone. The silliness of it all, by this time, had gotten the best of me....I was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face.

This little error on Garmin's part actually had allowed us to see another slice of Americana along with some history in the Anna Jarvis house.

Once back on paved surfaces, we headed back to Grafton. Did I mention without Garmin's assistance. In Grafton, we did it the old fashioned way.....followed the signs to Tygart Lake State Park.

This is a beautifully maintained West Virginia state park. Once we entered, there was a sign for the dam. The lake was formed back in 1938 by damming up the Tygart River. Looking down from the "lookout" area we questioned our sanity (once again) big lake.....big dam.

We followed the roadway down to the marina area. There were two boat ramps and we chose the one that was near a beach area. Although there were posted "no swimming" signs, the beach was populated with water and sun worshippers.

Once in there was only one place to paddle.....up to that dam. Miss Snap Happy had a NEED to get photos of us up close and personal with that cement structure.

Tygart Lake is a good place for kayaking. It was not overly busy with motor vehicles and it did have many places along the shore to put in if tired or in need of some snacks....although Ken and I just have a "bite" while in the kayaks. After yesterday on the Cheat, I came armed with cheese low blood sugar for me today.

All in all....a delightful day and a BIG bonus.....when finished with the kayaking, we spent about an hour swimming around in the lake.


© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

1 comment:

  1. On this Memorial Day I was thinking of Grafton. The city where I was born, visited as a child and young adult every Memorial Day and for Summer Vacation to see my Grandmother. What Great Memories!!!!! Couldn't wait to go to Tygart Lake and swim out to The Raft. Sun Bathe along the rolling hillside and water ski. We always looked forward to the Big Parade and watched to see which cousins were marching that year. I felt like we knew everyone in town since my Mother's Family consisted of 10 children and my Father's, five. My Grandmother's house was next door to The National Cemetery and I would spend endless hours walking thru looking at the historic gravestones. Of course, as a child, I didn't quite appreciate the meaning of those fallen heros. My Father, who by the way, helped Re-Roof The First Mother's Day Church as a young man, is now buried at the new National Cemetery in Grafton. On this Memorial Day, My thoughts are with this great man and the town that I will always think of as home.