“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is the same as never leaving.”—Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
“Hey, we have a long weekend comin’ up! Would you want to get away for a short trip?” John, my husband, said in passing one early August morning.
“And, ironically enough, I just recently heard from Cheryl Biddish at CB Ranch in Lewisburg, WV—that cute suite we stayed during the week of Thanksgiving last year,” I replied
“That would be doable trip and close—only a 2-3 hour drive, if I remember correctly,” John replied in earnest. “Why don’t you reach out to her and see if she has any availability for Labor Day weekend; she could already be booked since it’s already August.”
Thus, began our plans for our first weekend getaway since last school year. We had traveled in late May/early June for our 30th wedding anniversary to Naples, Florida, but with partial remodeling going on in our house and other life events, John and I had not traveled together anywhere since then. Normally, during any given summer, we typically travel to two or three closer-to-home destinations in addition to a so-called “big trip summer vacation,” but not this past summer. Therefore, despite the fact it meant for a tight work week prior to the trip as we knocked out chores we typically complete during the weekend, once we arrived at CB Ranch, just six miles off I-64 and four miles away from historic Lewisburg, WV, that Friday evening —it felt well worth it.
Driving down the country lanes to reach CB Ranch, the golden sunlight streaming over the tall cornfields and grazing cattle, I could feel the stress begin to gradually seep away. Traversing the ranch’s long driveway, we took inventory of the changes since we last stayed in November of 2018. We noticed the languid swishing of tails belonging to the numerous horses remained the same, but the green growth of the ranch’s fields and surrounding hillsides was completely different from the tawny and golden hues of late fall. Additionally, a cute, but extremely tiny, red cottage, with a fire pit set up beside it, now lined the lane that previously wasn’t there. (We would later learn that this was the ranch’s latest, “glamping” vacation option for those who wanted a more comfortable camping experience.)
This tiny cabin, located on CB Ranch, complete with horse trailer restroom and shower, is ideal for warmer weather “glamping.”
Reaching the top of the lane, the actual house appeared the same with the addition of colorful flowers now fading, as August seems to be Mother Nature’s color-dimmer switch. Brooke and Cheryl Biddish, owners of CB Ranch, had already contacted us with the entry code to the private bedroom suite where we would be staying. Walking into the spacious living area, I couldn’t help but notice how immaculately clean it appeared. Continuing through to the bed and bath area, it too was spotless as were all of the large windows and sliding glass doors. Sighing with sweet satisfaction, I set down my bag, and stepped back outside to find Brooke and Cheryl already engaged in a conversation with John. It quickly became evident, as I listened, that CB Ranch had become their combined full-time passion; and, they have plans for expansion—including the camping cottage we passed earlier in their long driveway. It would be the only time we interacted with the owners in person throughout our weekend stay, as they were both busy with the business of running the ranch. However, they were only a text away, and Cheryl regularly, and graciously, checked on us via Facebook Messenger throughout our stay.
Guests choosing not to camp at CB Ranch, can stay in the suite with its own private entrance, private deck, private fire pit, and still have full access to roaming/hiking about the ranch.
The weather, over Labor Day weekend, was delightful. The temperatures dropped into the low 50s by night, allowing us to sleep with the windows open. Breathing in abundant fresh air as well as basking in the peaceful quiet that is the countryside of Lewisburg, John and I slept soundly.
In the early morning light, we thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds of the ranch animals’ stirrings; and, we took pleasure in watching Brooke and Cheryl make their rounds feeding animals, especially the horses as they gracefully galloped towards the sound of the side-by-side UTV (utility task vehicle), eager for their morning victuals. At night, John and I would sit on the suite’s private deck, listening to summer’s ending songs as performed by the crickets and katydids gazing up at the immeasurable stars, passing planes, and even a satellite—all winking, dancing, and dazzling us with a glimmering light show.
While staying at CB Ranch, John and I were able to once more visit what was once voted as one of “America’s coolest small towns,” nearby Lewisburg, WV. This welcoming town is known for its walkable streets, quaint shops, friendly residents and business owners, historic landmarks, eclectic restaurants and eateries, as well as its close proximity to a plethora of scenic and natural sites, including the Greenbrier River Trail, Organ Cave, Lost World Caverns, Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, and so much more! In fact, at one point during our stay, I knocked around town for a couple of hours, while John found a local eatery, Del Sol Cantina, that was actually showing the Ohio State football game—well, at least for two hours prior to the start of the WVU game, then no more OSU viewing for John! Nonetheless, it was a beautiful day for a leisurely stroll of the town; and, lucky for me, when the game was over, John and I sauntered over to Amy’s Cakes and Cones for an ice cream splurge—a rare, but special treat!
Some of the historic sites in downtown Lewisburg, WV
More images from historic, downtown Lewisburg, WV.
After all of John’s efforting, cheering on his Buckeyes, he needed a nap; and I was ready for the peace and solitude of the ranch. Back at CB Ranch, it comfortably warm with a refreshing breeze stirring the air and the muzak-like sounds of the soft mewings of ranch animals and summer cicadas. Perfect for napping, hiking the hills surrounding the ranch, and reading on the deck soaking up the waning September summer sun.
While John watched the OSU football game, for two of the hours it was on before the WVU game, in Del Sol Cantina, I walked around the town of Lewisburg, stopping at one point for a coffee break in the little central park, listening to a local clarinetist.
Images from Del Sol Cantina courtesy of John.
I highly recommend a stop by Amy’s Cakes and Cones, where the owner clearly marks the foods that are gluten-free!
The next day, John and I hiked a new section (new to us, not the trail) of the Greenbrier River Trail, beginning at the Anthony trailhead. Again, the weather was picture-perfect—warm, but not uncomfortable hot, with a steady breeze. Along most parts of this trail, the Greenbrier River meandered past us, and we occasionally encountered people fishing, paddling kayaks, or drifting along in water tubes. Meanwhile, on the path, we happened upon a few bikers, hikers, dog lovers, and a few couples/families meandering along the trail in search of an idyllic spot for a picnic or swim. I couldn’t help but remark to John my yearning for the ability to bottle up the natural scents emanating throughout the trail and surrounding wooded areas. (More about this hike, including images, in Part 2!)
Images from my meanderings on and around CB Ranch while John napped.
Throughout the weekend, John and I made it a point to dine at all of our past favorite local Lewisburg eateries, including Del Sol Cantina, The Asylum, Hill and Holler Pizza, Retro Donuts and More, as well as The Wild Bean. All but one of these establishments were as top notch as our last visit, but one left me disappointed. (More about that in Part 2.) With that being said, overlooking that one minor food disappointment, our stay at Lewisburg could not have been more refreshing, rejuvenating, and restful. (I find myself sighing as I write this, so much did I savor every moment we were there.) We were able to return home with restored souls ready to take on the busyness of the autumn season.
Much appreciation to Cheryl and Brooke Biddish and their recuperative ranch, they allowed us our privacy, gave us permission to roam their property (even offering us a trip to the top of their many scenic hilltops with their UTV if we didn’t want to hike it), and also managed to make us feel welcome and at home. Needless to say, John and I highly recommend CB Ranch and Lewisburg next time you’re in the mood for a close, but relaxing getaway; and if you go, be sure to tell them Steph Simply sent you!
From my home to yours, I wish you safe and memorable travels.