Seneca Rocks, WV: Deadly Storm

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Seneca Rocks Discovery Center
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , West Virginia
Friday, June 29, 2012

On a hot & humid Friday afternoon, I set out to explore the Shenandoah River Valley starting with Seneca Rocks with my cousin, Watky.  Mark Rollins reminded me of this impressive East Coast precipice in West Virginia during a dinner meeting a few weeks ago; I thought I should stop by to explore it.  We parked at a general store for cool refreshments, a bathroom break, and a few photos of the sign post before driving to the closed visitor center as we arrived late in the afternoon.  We were perhaps the ONLY Asian Americans in town!  

Watky and I then descended the steps of the visitor center to an open field of green grass.  We walked on towards what looked to be a trailhead and crossed a rainbow trout-and-crawfish filled creek to hike up a short wooded trail to an area just below the fins of the crag.  I saw many rock spiders and creepy daddy long legs of various colors.  I tried to concentrate on something else as I ascended to higher elevation.  The cold water of a tributary that feeds into Seneca Creek was a welcome relief as sweat and humidity soaked our shirts.  On our way back, we met Sierra and her dad at the creek; she caught a rainbow trout with her pink fishnet and released it back into the water.  A WV Natural Resource Police came to warn us of the approaching storm.  The sky turned from blue to gray very quickly. I was glad to be back on the road to rendezvous with the rest of the posse with plans to hike up Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park the next morning.

We stopped by two bales of hay to take pictures as storm clouds gathered in a not so distant area.  No sooner than we were back on the road, we started to see multiple flashes of lightnings.  The electrical intensity was amazing; I had never seen anything like it.  I knew I had to rush to get to our hotel in Strasburg, VA as the sky opened up with howling wind that downed tree branches; closer to our destination, entire trees were either uprooted or snapped in half by the terrible wind.  Parts of Moorefield and Wardensville were out of power.  We were hoping to arrive in town to find a good place to eat.  At 10:11pm, we walked into Rancho Viejo next to the Ramada Inn on Old Valley Pike just below I-81 to feast on beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, and scallops; I didn't even touch the rice and beans.  I did have an expensive pineapple soda as it had been imported from Mexico.  Watky ordered a guava-flavored soda, but they were out of stock.  As we ate, the storm passed over us to cause more destruction in the Washington, D.C. area when we received a phone call from Thinh informing us of their terrible road condition. Fortunately, Kong's Prius took them safely to Ashburn, VA where the posse stayed the night at Khoi's apartment.  At the Fairfield Inn and Suites, I heard on the news that the storm left 3M people in the dark and killed a few, like those two boys in New Jersey when a tree fell on their tent.  So sad :(

At the Marriott in Stasburg, VA after the storm passed
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