In the 900,000-acre Monongahela National Forest, amid the bald eagles, deer, herons, and small-mouth bass, lies Blackwater Outdoor Adventures, a family-owned business dedicated to equipping treks into the outdoors that surround it. From their river outpost and general store, staffers dispatch water vessels to traverse the clear waters of the Cheat River, a scenic passageway carved into the rolling hills with plenty of areas for swimming and fishing. Blackwater also operates a 7-acre campsite on the banks of the river, where groups can lessen the edge of the outdoors with hot showers and space to store boats, gear, and inflatable six-bedroom homes.
Morgantown hugs the Pennsylvania border along the picturesque Monongahela River. Farther southeast, toward the Allegheny Mountains, Cheat River draws outdoor enthusiasts with its springtime whitewater rafting. Those interested in a more peaceful communion with nature can hike along Caperton Trail, which passes a vintage train depot and heads into historical downtown Morgantown.Home of West Virginia University, downtown Morgantown blends the dynamism of a university town with rustic, small-town charm. Along Main Street, antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques now occupy late 19th-century Victorian buildings. Decadent chocolates take center stage on April 14 for Chocolate Lovers' Day, when the downtown area teems with dessert samples and the Monongahela is drained and filled with liquefied chocolate.
Hazelbaker's equips river riders of all skill sets with the necessary gear to leisurely float down the scenic Youghiogheny River. Bring a friend, a loved one, or a newborn clone, and embark on a three- to four-hour expedition from the bowels of a canoe or two-person kayak. Each trek begins in Dawson and ventures along 8 miles of riverbank, snaking past lush forestry, vibrant wildlife, and baby Class I flat-water currents. The easy-to-navigate flow of the river and lack of overzealous bow captains allow neophyte rowers to keep up with more experienced paddlers and more experienced paddlers to keep up with paddlefish. Each excursion ends in Layton, where new-fangled river farers can ditch their vessels and head to town to swap stories of river life with the local historian.
Though they begin their adventure at Skydive Deep Creek’s home base, visitors won’t really remember the facility. That’s because most of their time will be spent hovering above the airport at 13,500 feet. Beginners take to the sky safely attached to an experienced diver during tandem jumps, and serious enthusiasts can fly through the air while training for skydiving certification.
Instructor Neil Porter orchestrates all the site’s jumps, using know-how earned during his time at Airborne school in the army and while obtaining his skydiving instructor certification. At Skydive Deep Creek, Neil guides beginners through the process of learning to skydive, from tandem diving to individual jumps.
For clients who just want a taste of the adrenaline-pounding sport, Neil performs tandem jumps, during which a guest is attached to him with a secure harness. While they jump together, Neil controls the parachute, which allows guests to relax and enjoy the thrill ride. The company’s optional videography and photography services capture every whoop, flip, and freefall. Visitors who want to learn to pull the strings themselves can take classes in the four levels of skydiving certification, in which they learn all the skills necessary to jump on their own or finally be in charge on parachute day in gym class.
Jump to: Reviews | There's No Business Like Hockey
Click above to buy this Groupon for Sunday, January 31, at 3:05 p.m. vs. South Carolina Stingrays. Click on the links below for other games.
The original incarnation of hockey, known as hokey, consisted of one person playing against his or her self to see how many blue lines he or she could draw in concentric circles around a puck while figure skating. For inconceivable reasons, this version quickly fell by the wayside as the motion blurring, body slamming, and puck chucking of modern hockey gained ascendance. For $10, today's Groupon gets you one ticket to see the Wheeling Nailers at the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV ($18.50 value, including arena fee). Choose the date and opponent from the links above, or sate your fascination for watching Zambonis smooth the ice by buying them all.
There is no limit on buying blocks of tickets for a single game, making this a great opportunity to repay the family of wolves that raised you by giving them a physical, fast-paced show on ice. Your tickets will be in the platinum/gold section, giving you a panoramic view of the clash of the ice titans. Present your Groupon at the box office on game day to receive your tickets.
The Nailers are the AA affiliate of the Penguins. Come see the young players strut their stuff as they skate toward the big leagues. It’s like watching an episode of Before They Were Stars without knowing it. Hockey is like the magnificent mutt of the sporting world. You get the speed of basketball, the elegance of ice-skating, and the utter brutality of golf all combined in one action-packed event. Take your adrenaline-deprived librarian friend or entire cul-de-sac out for a raucous afternoon or evening of hard hits and flashing lights.
The Intelligencer has covered numerous Nailers games. Here's what they say about a thrilling match against the first-place Toledo Walleye:
- But Wheeling jumped right back as newcomer Zack Sill won a battle for the puck and centered it to Capraro who went top shelf for his fourth to tie it 2-2 after two. It remained that way until Sill headed the puck to Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who carried it into the Toledo zone and down the left side until he nearly passed up the goal. But just as he was about to, he fed it to Capraro on the other side, and he put it into the open net.…There were some tense moments at the end including a spectacular save with 5:55 left on Ewing, who lunged and hit the puck toward and [sic] open cage. But Teslak somehow recovered in time to make the save. – Shawn Rine
On the rolling hillsides of Wheeling, West Virginia, the white pillars of the Mansion Museum stand majestically over the manicured lawns and landscaped gardens of the Oglebay Institute. Originally built in 1846 as an eight-bedroom farmhouse, the mansion entered the Oglebay family in 1900, and was willed to the city 30 years later to serve as a facility for education and recreation. Today it features a rotation of exhibits and programs, which share fine art, glassware, and environmental education with more than 100,000 people annually.
Tucked next to the Mansion, the glass museum has collected some 3,000 pieces of Wheeling glass, cut lead crystal, and Victorian art glass. The Sweeney Punch Bowl, a 5-foot, 225-pound piece of cut lead crystal, is the jewel of the collection, epitomizing the aesthetic splendor and unwieldy nature of most Victorian-era flasks. The Schrader Environmental Education Center imparts visitors with an appreciation for the natural world with interactive trail tours, campfires, and astronomy events; and the Stifle Fine Arts Center's ever-changing visual-arts exhibits display work from local and national artists.