Wednesday, February 29, 2012


This is a picture of our WVa house taken from across the valley, looking due north. The house is on a promontory, and sits in the middle of a one acre clearing. The mountain in this picture is Weiss Knob (4460'), pronounced "Weese" rather than the correct German "Wice" or "Vice". The house, just to left of center, is about 2900'. Across Weiss Knob is the White Grass Ski area, only 2-3 miles as the crow flies, but about 8 miles to drive. Most of the mountainside is private, with a small chunk of the middle NFS land.

This is an image taken from the same spot at a higher zoom. The house is about 250' above the road, up a gravel driveway by way of four switch-backs. When we chose the building site, we had no idea of what the overall topography of either property or the proposed homesite looked like, as there are no landmarks to delineate the borders of our property. It is quite an exposed site, and the valley below us is unique in the Allegheny Mountains in that it is situated directly east-west. Thus, as the winds come either from the NE or SW, they are funneled into the valley. The highest wind gust we have recorded was 70 mph, and that was recorded just as the chimney chase was blown off our house, thereby smashing the wind gauge. It is typical for 50+ mph gusts to be recorded, and sustained winds of 35 mph to blow on winter nights. The entire house shakes and twists on its post-and-beam system.

UPDATE April 16, 2012: I went to have dinner at my friend Rick's home across the valley, I took some wonderful photographs of our property from his deck. The picture at right looking north shows Weiss Knob with Dolly Sods in the back right. The line is the approximate boundary of our property. The top, bottom, and right boundaries are fairly clear, but the left boundary is uncertain. While it looks as if we own most of the south side of the mountain, parallax error in viewing the land from such an oblique angle exaggerates the size of the property. The house is at left of center. Our property is at about 2,600' at the bottom and 3,200' at the top.

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