Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hidden Treasure

Last weekend, Chris took me kayaking on the Tygart River.  To get there, we drove for a little ways and then the road turned into gravel... and then the road turned into stones... and then the road was barely a road at all.  So, we parked the truck on the side of the road and carried both of our 500lb kayaks to the river.  (Okay they aren't 500lbs, but they might as well have been with my flimsy little arms.)  In the midst of my agony on the walk to the river (I'm not a drama queen at all), we came to a really old railroad underpass.  I couldn't miss this photo opp.

When we picked up the kayaks and started walking again, I noticed that the stones under our feet weren't really stones.  They were bricks.  Really old bricks.  Then I noticed that they had writing on them.  They all were stamped with "Fairmont, WVA".  I don't know how old these bricks are, but after a little private eye work... also known as Googling... I found out that the abbreviation for West Virginia changed from WVA to WV in 1987 (also cool because it's the year both Chris and I were born).  Since these bricks have "WVA" on them, I assume that they were made before 1987, so they're at least 24 years old.  Not quite antique, but still pretty cool.  Back to the bricks in a bit.

We finally made it to the river and put our kayaks in. 

We floated for a while, through some small rapids... nothing dangerous, Mom.  Then got out to take a break at this little, abandoned cabin right beside of the river.

It really makes me angry when you see graffiti all over an old, beautiful landmark like this one... no one cares if "you" were here!  This place would have been a perfect picture if it weren't for all of the writing on it.

Anyways (my rant is over)... while we were there Chris decided to play fish off the shore.

When we reached our take-out point, we had floated about 5 miles and I was tired!!  But it was so much fun.  And, I took home some unexpected inspiration!  The underpass, bricks and old cabin made me want to bring some vintage industrial elements into my house.  I love old things, they all have a story behind them.  We may only be able to guess at what that story is, but that's part of the charm.  I don't want to go shabby chic, that's just not me, but I like the idea of old posters, industrial-ish light fixtures and old crates and barrels.  I won't go overboard, my house won't look like a warehouse, but I would like to incorporate some of these elements in with what we already have.

On the way back to get the truck, I picked up 2 of the bricks I was talking about earlier.  I figured this would be a good start on my vintage industrial mission.  I brought them home, scrubbed them clean, and this is what was left.

I love it.  It makes me go all warm and gushy inside :)

Right now it's on the end table in my family room, but who knows where it'll end up.  As for the other one, it's just a spare for now.

Since that trip, I've been working on some changes for the family room.  I'm not finished yet, but I'm working on making it more of a cozy game room with vintage industrial touches.  We'll see how it goes!

Moral of this story- look around you, inspiration and hidden treasures are everywhere!

Brooke  Y


  1. Hi! I saw you post a link on Bower Power and I came over to check out your blog. Great title and it makes me think of my parents' place. They even go kayaking.. I've only tried but would love to do more. Anyway, great find... I love that stuff too. I am definitely not a shabby chic kind of girl but love old, vintage finds with characters. It's in my blood and it's hard for me to pass up old things at auctions, sales and flea markets. - Megan @

  2. Thanks Megan! So glad you stopped by :) You should try kayaking again, it can be so much fun. My husband like to fish while we're out there, but a lot of times I just take a book or some magazines and let the water take me where it will!


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