Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Road Trip:West Virginia

After the hustle of a Browns draft weekend (still will do a recap),the great Joshua-Klitschko fight and beginning a week of graphing,I wanted to squeeze our first road trip of the year into the TRS week.

A quick two days/one night trip to Charleston,West Virginia kicked off the road trip season with two games for the West Virginia Power with one against the Lakewood Blue Claws and the other against the Charleston River Dogs.
The trip down with Doug Hopkins with Fred and Mike Landucci featured a stop at Tudor's Biscuit World,which is a very West Virginia thing.
It is very biscuit oriented (hence the name) and for breakfast,if you don't like biscuits-you are out of luck.
Mine was the "Thundering Herd" as recommended by the cashier,which had a hash brown,egg and sausage pattie on the biscuit.
I got about halfway thru it and pitched the biscuit and ate the rest sans breading.

Arriving in Charleston,the previous day's game had been rained out,so it was a doubleheader spent with rain off and on all day.
The Power's employees are very well versed and kind and make you feel welcome at their home ballpark,which isn't always the case in my own home park.
Customer service goes so far in the minor league baseball business and I remember last season's trip when employees of the team showed us where the best place to autograph was and gave us terrific seats as well.
I was able to mainly work on the Power as most of the BlueClaws had been finished either last year in Williamsport or this year in Hagerstown.
I was able to add another signed card of number one overall pick Mickey Moniak of Lakewood among some Power players.
Other than Stephen Alemais (3rd rounder from Tulane),the Power weren't loaded with high picks,so most of their players had just their West Virginia Black Bears cards,which kept the totals down.
We made through game one and a little of game two,but with everyone tired from an early start and the rain dampening (see,what I did there) the mood and the coats,we decided to go back to the hotel.
On our way to the parking lot,I saw a white flash go by me and I realized that it was a home run ball (hit by the Power's Carlos Munoz) and flagged it down untouched by the Family Dollar.
Doug and I shared a room and I watched the end of the Cavaliers-Pacers game,which was quickly followed by a nap.
I also saw a favorite from Cleveland TV,Amanda Barren has found a home in Charleston local television.
I always like to "scout" talent on local television when I go on trips and I remember seeing Barren on WKYC in Cleveland thinking she had a big future in that business!
Good to see her on television again.
The phone rang not too long after for dinner.
Black Sheep Burritos and Brews was a short walk from our hotel,although not as short as the desk person at the hotel told Fred!!
I'm not a huge fan of Mexican food and likely wouldn't have chosen this place on my own,but in the attempt to try new things,I jumped in.
It was more of a trendier spot more than a Mexican place,but most of the offerings was Mexican based mixed with interesting items.
I had three tacos,one with smoked trout,one with tempura battered fish and the final with asparagus.
All were good,but pricey (13.00 for the three),I think I liked the tempura fish battered the best.
I'm not sure I ever have to go back,but if so,I'd be OK with it.
We went back to the hotel and made a quick evening by hitting the bed!

Up early for breakfast (with dinner being at six the evening before,everyone was starved),Shoney's was close and a personal favorite for breakfast.
When Shoney's was in Hagerstown,Shoney's was my breakfast stop (keep in mind,I might eat breakfast five times a year).
Doug and Michael took some pictures of neighboring Captain D's for their good friend David Sloan before we ate.
We returned and checked out of the hotel and had a big day planned.
With check out being early and time to kill until the opening of the gates for the evening game between the Power and Charleston (how odd to be in Charleston and have the visiting team with the Charleston name),we traveled a bit.

First stop was Huntington WV,home of the Marshall Thundering Herd and the site of the tragic airplane crash of their 1970 football team and the basis for the film "We are Marshall".-West Virginia should play Marshall every year in football and basketball,by the way!
Doug wanted to see the memorial to the team and it was easier to find than I expected.
Many times when you go to a college campus,memorials can be hard to find,but this was very centrally located.
After some pictures and a stop at the bookstore,where Fred bought a Marshall hat and I bought the girls two shirts,we were off to our next stop.

This was the one that was the most kitschy,but in many ways,the stop that I was looking forward to the most-The Mothman.
Since being tipped off from Ryan,a few years back about the Mothman,I had been interested in a offhanded way in seeing a huge statue to a mythical creature near the middle of a small town and how seriously they took it.
Point Pleasant was another hour away from Huntington and through some pretty country as well.
Upon arrival,we found the statue and the Mothman Museum easily,but the museum wasn't open yet.
Doug,Fred and I were taking pictures beside the statue and a lady pulled off the street to ask if we wanted her to take all of our pictures together.
That was very nice and unexpected and goes to show how different the pace and people are away from the more populated areas.
We were starting to get hungry after walking around a neighboring antique store and with Fred wanting Mothman souvenirs,we wanted to eat lunch while the time rolled off the clock.
We asked what was a good place to select and were told that there were more places to choose from across the Ohio River in Gallipolis,Ohio than in Point Pleasant.
The recommended restaurant was Tuscany Cucchini,an Italian setting and the daily special was spaghetti with meat sauce.
That was good,but the best part was Doug and I serenading Michael with "O H I O" all the way across the bridge!

It was time to drive back to Charleston for Michael to meet up with Yankees prospect Blake Rutherford,who signed four balls for Michael,two for Fred and 2 cards for me (1 for Derreck Chupak),but badly smeared mine of course!
It's all good and the ride home was pretty quiet with a bunch of tired people.
Thanks to everyone for a great time and I think Charleston will have a pretty steady date on our yearly calendar.
Good graphing,some things to do in the area and nice people as well makes it an easy (if not short) and fun trip!

I still have the Browns draft recap,a cleaning of the inbox and another piece coming this week,so plenty to come!!

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