It was going to be a beautiful weekend, nice and cool. So we decided to head off to Dolly Sods in West Virginia. We really didn’t know much about camping there or hiking trails, but we knew both would be found there. And they were.
By the time we arrived we only had a few hours of day light, so we set up camp (popped the top on the Vanagon, made the bed, opened a bottle of wine, started a fire – we had collected wood on the drive up in the Wilderness Area). We had met a young couple earlier at a trail head, they were going to hike down the trial and camp in the wilderness (as most people do at Dolly Sods), well about an hour after we were settled they pulled up in the site next to us. It had gotten to dark for them to find their way safely and opted for the campground. We invited them over for a glass of wine (or two). It was a nice evening.
The next morning we woke up early and made breakfast, a big breakfast. Then we drove to the closest trail head to look at the map. We met a another couple who suggested we hike a different trail since it was our first visit. This alternative trail was suggested because of its beautiful views. Around 9am we started down the trail, the eleven mile trail. That is a LONG trail for us, we have never hiked that far. We did hike eight miles a few months ago, but… well, saying ‘a few months ago’ speaks for itself. Long story short, it was a wonderful hike. Here is a partial list of sights along the trail: blueberry bushes (as far as the eye can see in some places- really!), mountains (we went our over three and back over one- highest elevation around 3800, but we did start around 2400), open fields full of flowers, streams in the meadow, streams in the forest, rocks (the top of Dolly Sods was burned and what remains in some areas are rocks, and lots of them- huge boulders make the path), evergreens (I call them christmas trees- oh, and the fragrance!), springs (if you go, be prepared to walk through muddy water in some areas- there’s no way around it), people (not a lot of people, but we did pass several groups- always friendly), a lake, farm houses in the distance…. I will stop there. What was amazing was the diversity of the landscape, it kept surprising us.
Here are a few pictures from the day: