west virginia: the endless wall

Saturday, November 5:  Before it gets dark, we’re determined to hike the 2.4 mile moderately difficult Endless Wall Trail along the New River. The trail passes through forest, crosses Fern Creek, then zigzags along the cliff edge.

the forest trail
the forest trail

It takes a while to walk through the forest to reach the cliff edge, where we have great vistas of the New River Gorge.

first glimpse of the Endless Wall
first glimpse of the Endless Wall

This trail has been voted #1 National Park Trail in the U.S. by USA Today readers.

The Endless Wall
The Endless Wall
hardy tree
hardy tree
The Endless Wall
The Endless Wall

The overlook at Diamond Point provides a great panorama of the gorge and a good turnaround spot.

trees along the cliffs
trees along the cliffs
The Endless Wall
The Endless Wall

Besides the fantastic views, the trail offers access to some of the best rock climbing in the eastern United States.

The Endless Wall
The Endless Wall

Looking into the distance, we can see the “endless” cliff walls following the curve of the 1000-foot deep gorge.

The Endless Wall
The Endless Wall

If you look closely in the picture below, you might catch a glimpse of some hardy souls climbing the sheer cliffs.

rock climbers
rock climbers
The New River
The New River
The Endless wall along the New River Gorge
The Endless wall along the New River Gorge
rocky overlook
rocky overlook
Mike at the Endless Wall
Mike at the Endless Wall
me at the Endless Wall
me at the Endless Wall
the Endless Wall
the Endless Wall
sheer drops
sheer drops
the Wall
the Wall
overlook
overlook

We make our way back through the forest to the road, where we have to walk along the two-lane highway for about a half mile to reach our car.  It’s a little dangerous along this road, with pick-up trucks speeding along at breakneck speed.  It would be nice if the National Park Service built a path along this road.

walking back through the forest
walking back through the forest

Back in Fayetteville, we find an interesting wall mural showing white water rafters, the marquee for the Fayetteville Theatre and a sign for Fayetteville Physical Therapy (cropped out in this photo).

Street art in Fayetteville
Street art in Fayetteville
Fayetteville
Fayetteville

We head back to the Historic Morris Harvey House, where we walk around the impressive gardens and then relax in the sitting room with a glass of wine.

In the evening, we head out to dinner at the almost-empty Gumbo’s Cajun Restaurant.  We’re told we can’t order drinks because the restaurant has lost its liquor license.  I’m of a mind to leave, but we sit through a mediocre dinner, wondering why we didn’t just return to the lively Pies and Pints, where we ate a delicious dinner last night.  As a matter of fact, after our very unsatisfactory meal, we return to Pies and Pints, which is as crowded as it was last night, and order wine and dessert.  It’s a fabulous top-off to a busy day.

Tomorrow, we’ll have to return home to Virginia, but we plan to make a few stops along the way.

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26 thoughts on “west virginia: the endless wall

  1. Yikes! Empty restaurant at dinner time which has lost its liquor license! You should have turned around and ran right then!!!! Next time you will know better! How lucky you are to have Mike to walk with and do all this exploring! It is killing me being immobilized in my hometown with no one to do stuff with. Where is Warwick when I need him? He was a very good walker.

    1. Yes, it was a bad sign. I don’t know why we didn’t walk out right away! It is great to have Mike to explore with, when he’s free, which isn’t often. I wish you lived closer by so we could go exploring. You definitely need Warwick around. I always remember that fun Valentine’s day we had with Beg at Jebel Akhdar. 🙂

      1. You know, the older I get the more I appreciate my friends, even people I have met on facebook through animal sites, and my friends from ESL days in Tokyo 25 years ago, I am so very conscious of making sure I take care of the people who choose to keep me in their lives. I did not value friendships when they were so easy to make in my youth, now, I take them very seriously and hope I can one day cross paths with them again! Thank you for your kind words, oh we would walk the entire earth you and me! I am so excited for you though that you will soon find I think, your two feet planted at the start of the Camino! Make sure you watch The Way to give you motivation! I am so excited already at the blogs you will write about what you observe along the way!!! Unexpected joys, new faces, lovely encounters which may last a day or a lifetime!

        Yes, I would like to have Warwick to walk with, I have to send you his latest email where he writes 2 long convoluted paragraphs about how I can learn the F chord on my guitar rather than just sending me an image of the finger pattern! I died laughing it is so like him to write pages about that but five words about himself. We never know where life will lead us, but in this strange, sad and scary world, I am going to prepare for the BEST.

        Hope you have time for a chat before the holidays, I will be at work between the Xmas and New Year all alone with nothing to do, we will for sure I hope have time for a blab! Hope you are having a good week, oh did you know Beg had a baby in Nizwa I think last year xxx Big hug!

      2. I appreciate what friends I have, but I do have to say I’m much more discerning now about who my friends are these days. I don’t have the energy to be around people who have hugely different outlooks than I do. I tend to value my friends from abroad more than I do the people here in Virginia. Those friends have a more open worldview than many cloistered Americans.

        I do hope I can do the Camino next fall. I’m still applying for jobs up until January 1; if nothing materializes I’m going to start committing to other things. I have watched The Way and that did inspire me. I’ve watched it several times, in fact.

        Do send me Warwick’s email. It would be fun to read. Is that Beg’s second baby? Or first? Anyway, for some reason he deleted me on Facebook a long time ago and I never knew why. Oh well. Happy holidays!!

      3. From Warwick (re: when I mentioned I have have problems with forming the F chord on my guitar):

        “Hi ML,
        Have you tried making an F chord using a second barre on the 8th fret with your 3rd finger?
        Just make an A chord at the 2nd fret using your 3rd finger instead of 3 fingers. Then move it up the neck till you get an F chord. Your first finger needs to be 2 frets lower across the neck (although you can just play the notes covered by the 3rd finger).
        Any barre chord prac is good for eventually nailing a 1st position F easily. That A shape barre is essential for blues/rock. You use it to play C and D in the key of G. It’s also a good alternative for other chords like F in the key of C. Essentially what you’re doing with a standard F chord, is using some of an E shaped barre at the first fret, but there are easier alternatives.”

        So cute!!!!! I miss Warwick. *sign*. Cannot remember I have to check re Beg, he also deleted me so I am not sure where I got that information.

        Have read the new cocktail hour and will respond from work tomorrow!!!!!

        xx

      4. Wow! Did any of that make sense to you? I can just see Warwick patiently describing all of this in great detail. I’m sure you do miss his friendship, but at least you do keep up by email. 🙂

      5. Yes, I understand but it could have been so easily explained in a single tab showing where you place your fingers! But speaking of guitars, I did visit that kind man at the music store yesterday to bring him a card. He was very happy to see me, and I was there for about an hour looking at sheet music and music books because I am tired of photocopying that stuff. He was working but kept coming back, saying it was nice to have me there, etc. and then when I was finally ready to go he came over and said I needed to have him ring in my order as he would give me a discount. I asked him about how to turn my guitar and he showed me this very cool little thing that snaps onto your guitar and electronically guides you to be in tune. When he rung up my order, I did not pay attention but he said give me a hug and I did and he hugged me very tight. When I got home, I realized he did not bill me for the $30 book on Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits sheet music!!! I could not believe it, I figured there was some Christmas discount of 40% off like everywhere, but in fact he did not ring in the expensive book on purpose. He said to come back on Tuesday so he can tune my guitar for me. Sadly, I noticed a big gold wedding ring when I wished him Merry Christmas. !!!! Will post more in an email!

  2. Thanks again for all your great pictures.
    By the way, Spencer just booked his ticket to Kiev Ukraine for Christmas. Too much travel for me.
    Just spent some of today with a excavator at the cottage and we buried a water line out into the lake.
    Had to get town and state permits an d put up a silt fence. Got the excavator down over the bank and out about knee deep into the water then dug back to shore about 3 ft. deep then back into the shore then attached the new water line. All the time with about a foot of snow on the ground and freezing air temp.
    However, the job is done. Final hook up in the spring.

    Ron

    1. Hi Ron, I’m glad you’re enjoying my pictures. Wow, so what is Spencer doing in Kiev? Is he teaching there or just going on holiday? You know how I love travel, so I could go anywhere in a heartbeat. 🙂

      That project with the water line sounds like a big one; too cold to have to do such things! Keep warm and healthy and enjoy your holidays!! 🙂

      1. He’s going to both Kiev and Lviv just for the holidays then back to school. He has the holidays off and got cheap tickets, so off he goes on Dec. 21st.
        Enjoy the Holidays too.

  3. Not a walk for the faint-hearted! But great views! I am always wary when a restaurant is empty – and who can have dinner without a glass of wine? Pie and pint sounds much better 🙂 What you up to over Christmas then Cathy? Family do or just the two of you? We are being invaded by daughter and grandchildren as they are having their house extended and now only have a very small kitchen and no dining room as walls are being knocked down – you know all about THAT!!

    1. There are lots of really long ladders leading from the cliffs so rock climbers can climb down the ladder and then climb up the rocks! Before the hike, Mike kept saying he wanted to climb down one of the ladders, but when we came to one, it was so tall, he wouldn’t do it. I kept challenging him because he was being so insistent that he wanted to climb one and had been giving me grief for being a chicken! As for the restaurant, I suggested to Mike that we should leave, but I don’t know why we didn’t. I guess awkwardness at already being seated. You’re right, Pies and Pints was MUCH better!

      Our Christmas will be small: Mike, me and Alex, along with Mike’s sister. Sarah goes to her dad’s for Christmas and here for Thanksgiving. And Adam is still in Hawaii. It’s exciting about your daughter and grandchildren coming — I guess it depends how long they will stay!! It sounds like it may be a long time, with walls being knocked down. It will certainly be lively at your house. 🙂 Have a happy Christmas, Jude! 🙂

  4. No wonder it was voted #1 for walking. What a beautiful area. I can’t even imagine how those rock climbers got to that position. The thought makes me feel quite off. I would just prefer to enjoy the gorgeous views from the paths.

    1. I think that was quite a small poll regarding the vote mentioned, Carol. I know there are lots of really nice walks everywhere, and I doubt this is one of the best! I don’t know how rock climbers do what they do. It would scare me to death! I’m like you, I’ll stay with my feet firmly planted on the ground.

  5. Those are glorious views, Cathy. Did you ever have a go at rock climbing? I’m a scaredy cat 🙂 🙂 I’ll put a link to this in my Monday walks if you like. It’s glorious. 🙂
    Major decision making to be made for James this Christmas. Out of the blue he’s been asked to go to Southampton, Norwich or London to work. He’s not an adventurer and is horrified. He likes his mates around him. Life!

    1. We really did have some great views here, Jo, but you’re right, it was a little scary. I would be honored if you put a link to the walk on your Monday walk. I need to remember to do it myself from now on!

      Oh dear about James and his quandary! Is the job a good one and something he wants to do? I hope you’ll encourage him to explore the options! It’s funny, Adam is an adventurer but doesn’t want the shackles of a job! Life! – so right! 🙂

    1. I love the National Parks too, Stephanie, and yes, this hike is a very nice one indeed. There were some negatives about it; mainly the walk back along a narrow two lane road in order to complete the loop. I thought that part could be improved by having a path built alongside the road. I thought it was pretty dangerous. But it had beautiful views and luckily we had a gorgeous day! 🙂

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