Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dolly Sods Backpacking Trip 2007

Back on November 16, five of us piled into a van with our backpacks filled and our spirits high. We started our journey to the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. Our destination for the weekend was Monongahela National Forest and The Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. After watching an intense, wild wreck in Elkins, we continued on our path to Dolly Sods. The closer we got the more snow we saw. Oh Yeah! Upon arriving at approximately 9:00 PM at the entrance of Dolly Sods we estimated about three inches of snow covering the ground.

We hiked about a half mile in and decided to set up camp for the evening. Brrrrrrr, what a cold night it was. There was not a cloud in the sky leaving the stars to shine all above us as we buried ourselves in our sleeping bags seeking warmth and shivering to sleep.

After a short but well needed breakfast we packed our packs, and made sure we left as little of trace as possible and headed on down the trail.

After a couple of miles of good hiking we came to the river crossing. Some of us tried to cross the river by jumping from rock to rock trying to avoid the oh so cold water. The others decided to put their sandals on and walk across. It wasn't so bad after the first 3 steps because your feet were numb!

After the crossing we laced our boots back up and back on the trail we went. After hiking for about an hour and half we came across this really rad formation of boulders with an amazing lookout from the top. We scrambled up to the top and took some sweet pictures of our view of Monongahela National forest. Our spirits went up along with our moral and we all just took in this amazing view we had in front of us. After spending a well needed half hour there we got back on trail and hiked for a little while until deciding to set up camp for the night.

Luckily the temperature had risen enough for us to get a great night of hard, well needed sleep. The morning came and we packed up and cleaned our site leaving as little of trace as possible and got started on our trek out and crossing the river one more time. It wasn't long until we could see the van and piled in and began the drive to the great old O H I O. What a great weekend and amazing trip it turned out to be!!

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