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Old 09-17-2008, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Doddridge County
404 posts, read 1,140,373 times
Reputation: 118

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A friend had a conference to attend down by Seneca Rocks. I was contemplating going with her but really wasn't sure I was up for a trip. Then I got my Fall Goldenseal and I read about Yokum's Vacationland...so we reserved a room over their store and stayed for four days. It was a true WV vacation! If you get a chance to go down that way, you'll love it. I have to say though, Yokum's store and Harper's Store, right next door were nice, but Berdines in Harrisville beats them both hands down! Harper's Restaurant had great food....Their lamb sandwich was wonderful!

Oh, and Mr. Yokum is a sweet man. More WV good folks!

Anyone else been there? What did you think?
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Charleston, WV
3,105 posts, read 7,090,321 times
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Hate to show my ignorance but what is Goldenseal magazine? State mag?

"It was a true WV vacation!" - Tell us more. People on this site and others are always looking for places to go.
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Western Pennsylvania
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"Goldenseal, the magazine of West Virginia traditional life, is produced by the Division of Culture and History and takes its stories from the recollections of West Virginians living throughout the state. Oral history fieldwork and documentary photography result in four issues per year with articles on subjects such as labor history, folklore, music, farming, religion, traditional crafts, food, and politics."

Website
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Charleston, WV
3,105 posts, read 7,090,321 times
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Ty
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Doddridge County
404 posts, read 1,140,373 times
Reputation: 118
Default Yokums and Seneca Rocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by vec101 View Post
Hate to show my ignorance but what is Goldenseal magazine? State mag?

"It was a true WV vacation!" - Tell us more. People on this site and others are always looking for places to go.
Well, first, in WV you can't there from here....but when you do figure it out, it's worth the drive! It was so beautiful driving through the mountains of Pendleton County. It's a motorcycle riders heaven! Other than a few big coal trucks that scared me, the traffic wasn't bad at all. It's a slow time of the year for that area. The kids are back in school and the leaves haven't changed yet. So not a lot of people there.


The view from the highway on the way to Seneca Rocks is amazing. I stupidly forgot our camera or we would have stopped along the way to take pictures.

Once we got to Yokums Motel and Store, at the corner of 55 and 33, the first thing you notice is the huge rocks right in front of you. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. Our room was on the side of the motel facing the rocks. There are nice swings on the deck so that you can sit out and look at the rocks. The view was amazing. Especially the second night when the moon was full and the clouds were gone.

The store is downstairs. They carry basic food supplies. Not a lot of local arts and crafts though. There is a deli that has a small menu but the food was good. One thing I did see at the store that I had never seen before was Mullen Candles. They were stalks from the Mullen plant dipped in wax. The stems could be stuck in the ground or a bucket of stand and burnt like torche.

They advertise high speed internet but that was problematic. They have wi-fi but I could only get it to work for a few minutes at a time. The signal wasn't strong enough. So I asked for a Ethernet Cable but they didn't have one. They used to but people "walked off with them". So I did not have access all weekend. Major withdrawl for an internet addict like me! There was no place nearby to purchase one either. So if you are going, bring a cable. You have to pay for the internet with your credit card through their local phone company. It was 9.99 for each 24 hour period. Across the street at the visitors center, they do have internet access and computers so I was able to check the news a couple of times. So I didn't go into total withdrawl!

They have cable TV. Disney, Family Channel, ESPN, Speed, TNT and Showtime. No news or weather. Normally that wouldn't bother me but Ike was coming in and I have family in TX.

No Cell phone service so if you need to make calls, bring a calling card.


The rooms were very clean and they are all non-smoking and no pets so my allergies weren't a problem.

The only real drawback was that the motel is at a major intersection and coal trucks drove by day and night. It was a lot louder than I'm used to.

The visitor's center across the street is a must see. They have a video you can watch about the history of the area. There are the usual state park gift store items. There is a nice interactive topographical map of the area to show you were places are located. They have a very nice discovery area for kids to play in.

You can get to the old Sites farm house by following a very well maintained trail behind the visitor's center. The gardens there are nice and the caretaker gave us some prickly cucumbers to take home with us. I'd never seen them before and they were very good! She will give you a tour of the house and talk about the history of the farm.

The motel has a pool but it's about a mile down the road at the restaurant. I'm not a big pool person and I really didn't like it. I prefer outdoor pools. The kids enjoyed swimming though. We didn't eat at the Yokums Restaurant so I can't tell you how the food was.

There is a trail that goes up to the rocks but we didn't go. The kids were tired and cranky and the last thing I wanted to do was take them for a 1.5 mile hike up on the rocks. They also offer horseback rides. We didn't do that either but the couple in the room beside us did. She said it was well worth the $30 a person to go up on horseback. They go up to an observation deck where you can look out over the rocks. She could see the climbers from one of the local climbing schools scaling the rocks. The biggest problem she had with her horse was that it kept wanting to stop and eat grass. My kind of horse.

Across the street from the Motel is a coffee shop. The coffee was great and the owner was a character. When the kids got bored with the pool, he told us of a secret swimming hole behind the picnic area so we went there. That was fun! The river was low so it was fine for the kids to play in there, though they complained it smelled of fish!

I love meeting new people on vacation. Our neighbors were from Long Island and they were visiting their son who was attending the climbing school across the street. We had a lot of fun converstions on the deck in the evening. I just have to go to the Balitmore zoo and see the polar bears she talked about! It gave me an opportunity to talk about WV and what a wonderful place it is to live and raise a family. She said WV folks are just so friendly! She talked about how in their small community on Long Island, they have 14 Starbucks. I told her we don't have a stop light or a fast food restaurant in our whole county. It's nice sometimes to see how other people live...but I like our no stoplight county better.

The night before we left, about 2 in the morning, the air conditioner started making really weird noises so I got up and turned it off. When I got up in the morning the floor was drenched! Irene, the lady who took care of our rooms was coming up the stairs. I told her we had a problem with the air conditioner and had to turn it off in the middle of the night. She had just come upstairs to see where the water was coming from that had pooled up in the deli overnight. Oops! The mechanic was up to look at it before we finished packing up. They asked if we were staying another night and were prepared to offer us another room if we were. The service we recieved was exceptional.

Mr. Yokum was at the motel each day we were there. He showed up in his old Ford pickup and his cowboy boots a few times a day. Goldenseal says he's in his 90's but he sure doesn't look past 70! He always had a smile on his face and was very pleasant. My youngest daughter who is 9 has very short hair...she likes it that way. The first time he saw her he though she was a boy. Someone must have told him later that she was a girl and he made it a point the next day to appologize to her. She said "that's ok, people make that mistake all the time." He laughed.

Across from the Yokums is Harper's Store and Restaurant. The store has some groceries, lots of camping supplies and some typical tourist stuff. It had more variety than Yokums store. They also had tanned sheep hides from their farm.

The food at their restaurant was excellent! I recommend the lamb sandwich and their wilted lettuce salad dressing. The pizza was very good also.

Before we left, we went to Seneca Caves. I had never been in a cave before and was very nervous about having a panic attack! I was fine though. The guide was a young girl who has only worked there for a short time. The guide did talk alot about the history of the cave but not a lot of geology. At one point she showed us a formation that looked like a shark. My 9 year old said, wonder how that shark got there? We explained to her that it just looked like a shark. She said she didn't think so, maybe it used to be all water and the shark just died there. A while later, the guide explained that the cave used to be an underground river. My daughter came running back to us and said, see, I told you so. She still believes it was a real shark.

For us it was a very laid back, quiet weekend. If you are looking for more adventure it's there also. There are two climbing schools, another cave that children aren't allowed in, the horseback riding, and I"m sure many more things that we didn't do.

My favorite part though, was the people. One afternoon a group of corvette owners came in. There was a silver one I wanted! It had the old wing windows on it. Evenings on the deck talking to the other people was such fun. I would recommend going if you ever get the chance!
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:11 AM
 
11,944 posts, read 14,136,247 times
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shared I can't rep you more quite yet. I haven't been this way yet but it sounds perfect & thanks for sharing.

That long island couple you met-- if they're true natives born and raised for 40+ yrs... once upon a time before starbucks we were a lot like WV back roads and upstate NY. Kids played on dirt roads and cars would wait without fuss if a ball was in play. Everybody knew who everybody's kid was, and nobody drove past someone with a flat tire. It was a great place to grow up.

Mr Grillo, the candy store owner, knew us all by name. Even when he went blind he stayed in business trusting us what bill was in his hand until his health just got too beyond his ability to work. He caught some boys stealing once and let them work it off sweeping & restocking the store rather than call cops or parents. As I recall those boys did learn their lesson and genuinely straightened out from that day forward. Those little tuffies even became unofficial guardians of his store for no other reason than because he was their true friend. Strange how a man who lost his only child in korea or viet nam (can't remember which) would have a career as unofficial dad for an entire town.

Family farms, unrestricted beaches, unmanaged forests, and a highway that ended mid county in the eastern end of long island. The rest was 4 wheeling tracks, montauk or sunrise highway being the only real roads that could take you out to the far eastern end. The hamptons weren't exclusive to rich and famous- the house keepers could afford to live within a reasonable distance to the mansions they were cleaning.

Go to the long island forum now... it's an embarrassment to me. The most vapid, self absorbed, keeping up with the jones'es people you can imagine. We used to have more heart than that nonsense. I came to WV and found parts of the long island I took for granted growing up. Before the McMansion/ HGTV crowd took over. Before everything got a bar code and price tag attached.

Some natives in WV might always be disgruntled with the pace of the economy here, but if they only knew the terrible price to be paid, what the real cost of a high end economy is, they'd realize how many blessings they have to count. WV is backwards? Thank goodness it is! America could stand to back up and see where things went seriously off track.

Your Yokum reminds me of my Mr Grillo- priceless. Long may he ride.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Doddridge County
404 posts, read 1,140,373 times
Reputation: 118
Harbor Lady,

Yes, that's the long island she grew up on. She sure misses the way it used to be. Thanks for posting about Mr Grillo...sounds priceless to me also!

I hear people say all the time that WV is to far behind the times...like it's a bad thing! My Daughter and Son in Law are coming back home this week. He was stationed as a prison guard at Fort Leavenworth. They could go anywhere they wanted to live and I'm thrilled that they are coming back here! After living outside of Kansas City, they have had enough and are looking forward to a quieter life. I just hope he can find work and they can stay.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:44 AM
 
11,944 posts, read 14,136,247 times
Reputation: 2772
I doubt he'll have problems finding work if he's sharp and isn't living too far out in the country. Commuting to work at these gas prices... Best you telecommute or live near a city.

Who ever thought they'd see the day it would take $45 to fill a toyota? Once upon a time $5 worth could get you to market and back with plenty to spare. Now you'd be lucky to get to another gas station.
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