Adventures in West Virginia! (aka meet the neighbors and more)

First off, I’ve moved over to Guilded, and discarded Discord because of their extra-eeeeeemly censorious choices. Thanks PLA owned Tencent. You can find much more frequent updates of what’s going on in my author’s life there. For those who wish to join, click here:

It has been an exciting week here at home. We’ve had some wonderful houseguests, an unexpected visitor and lots of fun times of fellowship.

On Tuesday night, after a severe thunderstorm that contained a very rare “Double Derecho” that knocked out power all around us and our internets for most of the day, we discovered a visitor fell down the bank next to our house, and then wandered across the street to my in laws and tried to get a snack. The paw prints in the mud are the size of my rather meaty hand.

Bear Tracks less than 15 feet from our bedroom
That’s hangry right there.

Always a fun thing to wake up to.

Yesterday was fun and excitement, (cough cough), but today it is beautiful and cool and a great way to spend with a gathering of 6 fellow Seraphim. Okay 2 families but still. For those not in the know, the Seraphim is my gaming guild, and I’ve met several wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ through it. So we had a great day together.

But as I announced yesterday, we got caught in a severe thunderstorm and nearly hit by a possible EF-0 tornado in the Monongahela National Forest. The events were a clear sign of God’s providence as far as we were concerned and His grace on so many. There were no deaths or injuries out by us, and didn’t see any destroyed homes, but lots of evidence of what might have been a “jumper” tornado that would touch down for a few seconds then bounce back up to drop again somewhere down the storm track later.

So why God’s providence? Our plan that day had been to eat lunch at a picnic area up by the Cass Scenic Railroad where we took an excursion rail trip (Pics and videos some other time) and then drive down for an afternoon of swimming at the lake with the kids and our friends. Just as we were heading over to the picnic tables, we noticed that the officials had cordoned it off for an event that evening. Left with no place to eat, we decided to just do so down by the lake and push on. We’d been in a cell blackout thanks to the Green Banks Radio Observatory, so we still had no cell coverage or communication. Had no idea what was going on across the state.

That decision to go is what kept us out of the path of this weather event, only catching the edge of it.

After misjudging the distance, we got there just as the skies were darkening and passing between a couple pop up showers. We had our lunch and even got the kids ready to go swimming. I was able to start heading out to the back buoys of the swim area, when the rolls of thunder were suddenly getting pronounced, and the sky started getting really dark. The wives were packing up the picnic we’d finished.

I turned to look to the south west down the lake, around a point of the mountain that blocks view from the beach and saw near black skies almost on top of us, and “tornado green” underneath! I was about 50 yards from shore. I holler back, pack up we’re going to get hit fast, they’re moving. Tarnekep Portree is getting his kids off to the cars, and I’m suddenly swimming for the shore alone. That’s a freaky feeling. Swimming in a mountain lake with a tornado and lightning storm nearly on top of you.

I tell you, it was like in slow motion with the wind hitting from multiple directions hard enough to cause waves before I got to shore. Those things make you realize how small you really are. Be grateful God cares for you, personally.

We packed up as the rain wall hit and some huge gusts blew through, but really, it wasn’t anything beyond what we are used to from a strong thunderstorm. Figured we’d find a branch or two down. But the forest wasn’t “roaring” like it does when things are going very wrong, but as we traveled down the 2 lane highway, we saw no cars for a long time, but more and more debris from the close in trees got bigger and bigger.

Then one lane was blocked off. Then the other side, but we could still get around. We started having to drive over small trees of less than 4 inches thick and through branches. Then traffic was stopped. A huge 18″ trunk birch had been uprooted and several trunks of it fell across the whole road. Tarnekep who was in the car behind us, threw on his hazards and charged in to deal with the situation if he could. His brother, Fryan Cobblebay put on his poncho and did the same, and I slowly ambled after them, still in my swim trunks and shirt, stopping only long enough to put on my arm brace.

Once the guy behind us, an electrical worker in his work truck who was on vacation at the campground came up with the chainsaw, it was on and we were cutting up the tree and dragging the pieces to the road.

We were maybe 5 minutes away from clearing the hole before the US Forest Service came in and took over telling us to wait because of “liability”.

:face_with_rolling_eyes: reaction icon

Where there’s a petty functionary with a clipboard, there’s a liability.

Unfortunately, they stopped at that point, and when they got that hazard clear, we had to navigate 4 other road blockages on our way out of the forest on our own. Which we did, and got safely back to their hotel pool and enjoyed an excellent evening of swimming, food and fellowship together. But here’s some photographic evidence.

The first blockage while we get ready to help clear they way.
The second blockage. Tarnekep taking charge, and guiding people through and me assessing what’s going on. He has a better OODA loop than me.

So if you want more fast updates of life, come on over to Resonant Point’s Guilded outpost!


  1. Oh my Lord!!! What an adventure! Thank goodness things worked in your favor and no one was injured. Good to travel in a pack. Glad the hotel was still standing 😊🤗🎈

    Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

  2. Hey there,

    I am sending this email to you from work. At home we are struggling very badly with electrical load shedding (aka brownouts, I believe it is called) I was typing an email to you earlier but got rudely cut off mid mail by a power failure. Tomorrow we will only have 14h of power if no breakdowns occur, which normally happens after the power returns, adding hours to the darkness.

    I am trying my best to get the Q&A for your book to you asap.

    So far we are still doing good and should be all ready to go. I believe that God put it on my heart to give the one evac vehicle, my Mercedes, away as a gift. Please pray that God will be ready in time to evac and that He will provide a truck to help us when we evac. As a truck will work much better for our needs. I am sure He has got something better in mind for us than the old Merc.

    We are all very stressed but in good spirits. The clouds are getting dark around but I believe God will carry us through.


Leave a Reply