Day 3: December 25, 2013
Christmas Day

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Christmas is a quiet day for me, this journal, and West Virginia state parks. For this particular state park, there's a flurry of activity between 11:00 and 2:00. For me and the journal, the tranquility is pretty much unbroken. The park's flurry is entirely due to the restaurant's Christmas Day Buffet. That's why I'm here rather than at some other park and that's why the empty lobby started filling up about 10:30. The first seating is at 11:00. Mine is at 1:00 and there is one in between at 12:00. I snapped this picture of the lobby a little before the first seating on my way out for a little drive.

The lodge seems to be the only thing in the park actually operating and many, if not all, of the secondary roads are blocked off. The main entrance and a nameless dam are the only things that attracted the camera. The right side of the road just before it disappears over the hill is where I took the picture of the deer yesterday.

Seating times for the buffet were not overly precise and I didn't expect them to be. The dining room was constantly filled. It is not huge. I'm guessing that 50 to 60 people fill it up but it was filled at least three times and I can't even guess where all those people came from. This is sure not a densely populated area. The food was not outstanding but it was quite good and the whole experience was a lot of fun.

I hope the picture in this last panel is a preview of a coming attraction. North Bend Park lies between Cairo and Harrisville. Driving instructions on the park's website say to get to one of those town and follow the signs. I didn't do that which is how I got on that gravel road. On today's little drive, I decided to see what I had missed. There isn't much to Cairo (2012 pop. 276) but it looked kind of interesting and I think I might have parked and walked around some had it been a warmer day. Harrisville is home to 1831 people and what is advertised as "America's Oldest Five and Dime". It wasn't open today, of course, and I don't know for sure that it will be tomorrow. I'm hoping, though, and plan to head home through Harrisville.

For two of the last three years I've provided Christmas Day links to music especially selected to make the day complete. This year, even though I still think Theremins really rock, I'm going with more traditional instrumentation in this reminder that Cincinnati's original name was Losantiville. And here is a less metropolitan alternative that's still in the neighborhood.

Today's background is a tree and chairs in the lobby of Wilson Lodge at Oglebay Park.

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