Since I had the full day to explore Morgantown, I decided to take my morning a bit easy and head to the park first. I made my way to Dorsey’s Knob Park to have some breakfast. When I first arrived, I found myself in the midst of a ton of cars parked, so I assumed it was the main parking area. Actually, it turns out it was the parking area for the disc golf course, and there was a disc golf tournament going on. I only noticed that when I saw about ten people pass me carrying all of their gear, posters, trophies, etc. Needless to say I felt a bit out of place, so I quickly hopped back in my car to find the place I was actually looking for. The main parking area was a little ways down the road, and luckily there wasn’t anyone else there. So once I parked up I brewed myself some coffee, headed to a little pavilion, and sat and enjoyed the silence.
While I have been having plenty of moments of homesickness and loneliness, sometimes the peaceful solitude is really nice. The chance to really take in the scenery, sounds, and smells around you and being able to clear your thoughts is like nothing else. It’s so easy to get caught up in the bustle of chores, to-do lists, friends and family, etc., so having the chance to just hang out with yourself sometimes is priceless. After all, you’re the only person that you have to spend 24/7 365 with, so you might as well learn to enjoy your company.
After a peaceful start to the day, I headed into the city. I decided to take a stroll through the Wharf District on the Caperton Rail-Trail. The Caperton Rail-Trail is a six mile long asphalt trail that goes through the city. I didn’t do the full thing as I had plenty of other things I wanted to see that day, but it was definitely a lovely resource to have.
After leaving there, I made my way toward the university to check out some of their buildings. My timing was quite good, it seems, because as I passed one of the buildings I noticed a sign for a craft fair that was going on. I’m a sucker for a good craft fair, and it was the last day that this one was going on, so obviously I went. Another plus was that it was Sunday, so parking was free. That wasn’t advertised too well by the parking authority’s website, but after talking to many locals I found out that it was indeed free. The fair was filled with local artisans, craftsmen, and artists. I spent a solid couple of hours browsing through the different pieces people had created, and I even did a bit of Christmas shopping while I was there. I’d say it was a win.
From one art excursion to the next, I headed to the WVU Museum of Art (which has free admission). When I arrived, the museum was pretty empty, and the girls working the front desk were super nice and helpful. They had one permanent exhibit that was a private collection that had been donated to the museum, and on their second floor they had a traveling exhibit. It was an incredible museum.
The traveling exhibit was the Cut Up & Cut Out exhibit that consisted of pieces that made use of negative space, cutting, and carving techniques. The skill and precision used in the work was absolutely painstaking and amazing. Downstairs, the permanent exhibit was made up of a vast array of pieces from different styles, mediums, and subject matter from classic oil portraits to social realism. It was a fantastic visit, and I would highly recommend it if you’re a lover of art or not.
Once I left the art museum, I decided to just drive around the city for a bit. The downtown area and business district were pretty neat places filled with theaters, restaurants, and unique shops. I didn’t get out and do much shopping as that’s not really my thing most of the time, but it was still really enjoyable getting to see what the city had to offer. Also, after seeing tons of advertisements and postings about pepperoni rolls, I decided to find out what the hoopla was all about. Apparently they’re a pretty huge deal in West Virginia, so of course I had to try one. The Mid-Atlantic Market had been voted best in the city, so I made my way over to try one out. It was about what you’d expect, I suppose. It was a bread roll filled with cheese and pepperoni. Nothing spectacular, in my opinion, but it was still pretty good.
After a full day of exploring, I made my way to the grocery store to do a bit of shopping. I made my first stop to Kroger because it was closer, but I quickly realized they were a bit pricier than I liked, so I headed to the superior Aldi to get my groceries before heading to Planet fitness for a good workout and shower. I had stayed there the night before, but I figured it wouldn’t be an issue to stay a second night before heading out. Around 1:30am, though, I woke from a deep sleep to the sound of someone walking past my car saying “I think someone is sleeping in here.” Of course I was startled. I hadn’t had anyone acknowledge me up until this point. I made a peak over one of my curtains to see who was outside, and it appeared to be a younger guy talking on the phone. He had continued walking, so I think he was more making an observation than anything, because he didn’t seem to care I was there. I watched him for a while to make sure he didn’t come back, but after a little while he left. I was a little shaken, and I considered leaving, but since he didn’t actually bother me and didn’t seem to care, I stayed where I was. I did lay awake for a while to make sure nothing else happened, but I seemed to be in the clear, so I went back to sleep with no other issues.