While eating breakfast one morning this week we noticed the spider above between the screen and glass on our window. We recognized him (or her) as the spider that we thought we had killed about two weeks earlier when we were cleaning windows. The glass of our windows is hinged at the top and swings up. When we were closing it he ran up to the top of the window so we assumed he had been crushed—apparently not. Because the weather has been consistently cool, we have not opened the window since so we decided we had to release him if he was going to continue to survive.
When Ed opened the window he found that the spider’s web was completely intact. It would have worked great when the window was open with all the bugs trying to get inside our Airstream.
We always are amazed at the spider webs we run into (literally) when we hike—this week we came across one anchored to a tree about 15 feet up on one side of the trail and to a four-foot high bush on the other side of the trail. We have read that spiders often use a “Tarzan” technique—they produce a single thread and hang down from a tree and then wait to be blown by the wind onto another object that they can use as an anchor point. However they do it, it’s amazing.
Our spider after Ed freed him. The colors and patterns are beautiful, sort of a 60’s psychedelic look. (If there are any arachnologists out there, please let us know if this spider is poisonous for future reference.)
We stayed this week at Bolar Mountain Campground that is located on Lake Moomaw near Virginia’s border with West Virginia. All lakes in Virginia are man-made and this one was built for flood control by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Most people in the campground seem to be here to fish, although Patty met two of our neighbors who come every year for two weeks to hunt squirrels. It sounds to us like an excuse to get away from home but they assured Patty that they bag the Virginia allowable limit of six squirrels per person per day. As they said: “Them’s good eatin’”. We’ll take their word for it.
This sign was reassuring because our campground was between the lake and the road. Unfortunately, almost all the hiking trails were on the other side of the road. Patty’s squirrel-hunting friends warned her that some people “go a few feet into the woods and start shootin’”.
Lake Moomaw was very pretty and not crowded which made it nice place to kayak.
Ed skipping stones on Lake Moomaw—his best was about 20 skips.
Ed kayaking on Lake Moomaw.
The upper end of Lake Moomaw—the water level is very low because they draw down the level in the fall to be able to store winter and spring runoff.
Lake Moomaw at sunset
Bolar Mountain is not too far from Hot Springs, Virginia where the famous Homestead Hotel and Resort is located. We stopped by to see how the upper <1% vacation.
The Homestead Hotel—this photo shows about one-third of the building. We had a beer ($6.50 for a draft, not too bad) on the outdoor deck on the right side of the photo.
The spa at Homestead–it is built around the natural hot springs that were the
original attraction in this area. Patty has been having neck pain so we checked on the cost of a massage. The cost was $170 for 50 minutes so she decided to stick with a heating pad.
The lobby of the Homestead Hotel—apparently they do a poor job of keeping the riffraff out. They serve afternoon tea and crumpets in this area but we had to leave to do our laundry at the Laundromat in the next town.
We were curious how much a room at the Homestead would cost versus our campground so we checked online. The “best available rate” for a room was $325 per night–for that amount we could stay for 19 days in our campground. But, we have to admit, there’s no place to get a $6.50 beer or a $170 massage in our campground.
We end this week’s blog with the following mystery photo.
This is a photo of a shale rock formation along a road in the park. Embedded in the shale are several of the round objects shown above. This one is about 2 feet in diameter and about 18 inches thick. Ed thinks they are fossils of ancient ocean-dwelling creatures but if there are any paleontologists out there, please let us know what they are.