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:
Yes, I said it… the snow is still here. We do have patches of earth poking through, but I think it will be a while before it melts away completely.
I took this picture when my husband and I were xc skiing. There was something about looking up into the trees that seemed so peaceful.
The days have been cold, the nights colder. -2 F was the lowest, at night. 7 F the highest, during the day. And yes, those temperatures keep us indoors, for the most part.
These pictures were taken on days when it wasn’t so cold. The top one is from Linn Run State Park in PA. I am guessing the high was 21 that day… it was also snowing. And it was also FUN! We kept warm with layers of smart wool, hats, gloves, lambs wool lined boots… we were prepared.
The lower image is from New Germany State Park after XC skiing. It’s a beautiful park, 40 minutes from our home. Lucky lucky us.
To me, there is something magical about fog. It seems to soften the day. Not only visually, but everything seems quieter. When we lived in Texas, we had very little fog. Here, in Western Maryland, let’s just say it seems to be almost a daily occurrence. Sometimes the fog lasts only a few hours in the early morning and sometimes it lasts just about all day. Although I use the term ‘fog’, what occurs is more like very low-lying clouds.
After being gone for two weeks, I am finally posting something. I went for a drive the other day to take pictures, this is one I took out the front windshield while driving. Hopefully I will post some of the other pictures I took with my camera soon, as this one was taken with my iPhone.
Just yesterday I took a picture of a dandelion that was full, completely opened. I thought that was so pretty, then today I noticed this one. It had been misting all morning and the tiny droplets of water caught my eye.
New place, new plants. This tree, which is in our yard, was full of little white blossoms for about two weeks, now it’s all green… still very pretty. Correct me if I’m wrong… but I believe this is a Cherry Blossom tree.
The beautiful night sky compelled me to set up my tripod a few nights ago. These are two of many (many, many…) shots I took that night. In the second shot, you can see the wind turbines’ red lights lining the hillside.
As we sit on our back deck, these Bees hover nearby. They aren’t aggressive, just annoying. I wasn’t sure what type of Bees they were, so I looked it up (ahhhh, the internet :), they are Carpenter Bees. I found these buzzing around the neighbors Dogwood tree.
Nature is incredible… each day I see a new bud, flower, leaf, plant… it really is amazing how much there is to see. These buds appeared the other day, I have no idea what they are or what they will become, but it sure is fun watching them progress.