Good morning on this crisp autumn day!
I hope you had an amazing week. 🙂 I tried to post from the road via my iphone but I just couldn’t make it work. I am new to the blogging world so I KNOW it will take me a bit to figure it all out!!!
So let’s talk backpacking! I had the most AMAZING weekend! I left Friday morning and drove to a meetup spot to carpool with a few people and let me tell you…hahaha…it was nice being a passenger! I usually drive every trip but this time at the last minute I hopped on the El Cap train to West Virginia. El Cap (his trail name) is the founder of our group. Being able to sit back and enjoy the scenery and take a mini cat nap or two was GREAT! So thanks El Cap for doing ALL the driving!
For those of you who don’t know what a trail name is, it is a name that you earn from other backpackers after being on the trail for a bit. Sometimes you earn a name right away and sometimes it takes a good while. I do not have one yet…when I do one I hope it fits me perfectly. Like…Awesome Sauce?! J/K
Moving on…I met a ton of new people this weekend! I loved seeing all the new faces out there in the wilderness experiencing Momma Nature in a way they never have before.
Everyone did extremely well considering the almost 35 degree temperature change we experienced Friday- Sunday!
It started out about 65 degrees on Friday when we arrived at the Spruce Knob trail head and by the time we climbed back up the side of the mountain on Sunday to where our cars were, it was 29 degrees and WINDY! My fingers were frozen while I was trying to unzip my pack to get dry clean clothes out. Brrrrr….
The drive on the way down was so beautiful with all the autumn colors on display. What I didn’t realize is that as we were traveling south, the trees became far less colorful. When we were hiking, a lot of the trees were already bare. None the less it was a site to be seen with all the elevation changes.
Friday we hiked about 6 miles until we arrived at our campsite and hunkered down for the night. On our way to camp we passed Seneca Falls. I didn’t get an actual picture of the main falls be here are some little ones.
My pack is waaaay old! I like to purchase 2 big pieces of gear each season and a new pack will be one of those pieces! But this pack has been all over the country with me and it has held up like a charm. It is a Mountainsmith and I bought it at a discount about 10-12 years ago and at sporting goods store called Dunhams. The other large ticket item will be a new sleeping bag. I have an old Moonstone that a friend gave me about a 1,000 years ago. They don’t make Moonstone anymore…LOL. Funny story… we were trekking part of the AT (Appalachian Trail) back in July and I decided to by a warmer weather sleeping bag once I got down there. I was SO excited to find one for $45.00! It was a junior size(hence the low price), meaning it SHOULD be long enough for a person 5’3″ and under. Well… I am 5’1.5″ and it is about 1.5 inches too short!!! So now I own and oldie but warm heavy sleeping bag and one that is just a tad to short. Oy!
I went to bed SUPER early on Friday and didn’t stay up to chat. I was uuuber tired. On Saturday we had breakfast and packed up camp so we could soak up more scenery. 🙂 Saturday’s weather was not as nice as Friday’s and the temp dropped about 10-15 degrees. We encountered a little bit of rain. Not enough to soak you, but a constant mist if you will. A friend and I became separated from the main group because we stayed back to help two “newbies” (I say that with love!), who had a hard time making it up the hill. It took us about 2 hours to get up the giant hill! I was joking around and said, “Donner, party of four your table is ready.” LOL…Then we caught up with three more people from the group and it became Donner party of seven! Hahaha.. Just kidding! We had a fearless leader for our little group and we decided to take a little shortcut to camp because a few newbies weren’t holding up too well in the chilly rain. After what seems like a long time, the other half of the group made it to camp and we all settled into another night of good food, good conversation and a great campfire! A friend and I ended up staying up until about 4:30am talking and laughing our butts off! Again, I apologize to people who tented around us for my friends loud laughing and snorting. 🙂 And I am talking about the kind of laughing where you almost pee your pants and (not me :)), start snorting you are laughing so hard. We covered everything from A-Z…literally..hahaha! We played the alphabet game, “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing an apple. I’m going on a trip and I’m bring an apple, a big balloon…etc.” It was seriously one of the best nights of conversation I have had in quite some time. I will admit though it made the hike up the side of the mountain the following morning a bit rough but I hauled my tushy up that sucker so I could get warm and dry!
We always stop at a local joint on our way back to Cleveland and this time we stopped at Harper’s. Harper’s has a fantastic view of Seneca Rocks. They also serve a great local IPA!
Here are some stats courtesy of my friend Rob from the group, “Here are some bragging rights… Spruce Knob is the highest point in the state of West Virginia at 4863 feet in elevation. The elevation at our Saturday evening campsite at Seneca Creek was 3390 feet. The elevation change (excluding the ups and downs) amounts to 1473 feet which exceeds the height of the Empire State Building (including the antenna spire) which is 1454 feet tall.” Thanks Rob for calculating all of that!
Alas we took one last picture and said our goodbyes until the next time we see each other on the trail 😀
Thanks everyone for a great weekend!
“Give what you have, to someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow