Monday, June 12, 2006

Stormbringer Goes To Beartown

As I acknowledged quite briefly yesterday evening, I got to visit a place called Beartown yesterday...

Beartown is a West Virginia state park. And despite the Gatorland-like name, there are really no bears in Beartown. Instead, Beartown is a area very reminiscent of Mammoth Cave AND the Grand Canyon. But unlike the former and somewhat more like the latter (I think...unfortunately, I've yet to visit Arizona's most famous landmark), the rock comprising Beartown is sandstone, not limestone like many geologists, both professional and "arm-chair", would think. But also unlike the Grand Canyon, Beartown is not quite as grandiose in size...if it was, you would certainly hear more about it overall than just reading here. ;D

Really showing off my video game geekiness, I could see Beartown being an inspiration for a section of Hyrule in a Legend of Zelda game or a forest/mountain area for most medieval/fantasy/swords and magic RPGs.

After Beartown, I also got to see the Civil War battlefield memorial a couple of miles further down the road. The particular battle having been fought there being the Battle of Droop Mountain*. That battle was won by the Union Army in a Union State, BUT the park/battlefield sure does not want you to believe it. From the Confederate graves (no Union graves) to the two HUGE Confederate favoring paintings greeting you when you enter the tiny museum to the majority of exhibits (including two pieces of Confederate paper currency), it's all the more amazing that they actually have signs admitting the Conferderate army's defeat at Droop Mountain. o_O

All that said, it should be noted that the only reason West Virginia joined the Union was because the farmers, coal mining outfits, etc. could not afford slaves AND therefore were opposed to Virginia's joining the side in favor of slavery. At the time, West Virginia was part of Virginia...and the Union/Confederacy dispute grew to the point that Virginia told the western part of itself to take a hike. And hence the formation of West Virginia...and that be your history lesson for the moment. ;)
Anyhoo, before heading back home, my day trip came to a close with a late lunch/early dinner at Tamarack, outside of Beckley. There, I had what has become my usual dish whenever I get the opportunity to visit Tamarack on Sundays...the Pesto Chicken and Portabella Pizza, with Cinnamon Bread Pudding for dessert. And I washed all of that down with a nice cappucino from the Greenbriar Coffee kiosk. Supposedly, the java served there is the same as what is served at the rather prestigious Greenbriar Resort, making the coffee WV's answer to Starbucks. BUT, at almost five dollars for the largest size, equal to Starbucks' Grande/Medium, Seattle's pride and joy's brew comes in at least a dollar and half cheaper.

All in all, it was a wonderful journey and day. :)

* - Named after the very Droop Sandstone of which Beartown is composed.

Current Music: "Everybody Wants To Rule the World" by Tears For Fears