For the second long weekend in a row I was on the move this past weekend. Jared, Logan (our big black dog), my brother Drew and I trekked down to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia for a 2 night back packing trip. We ended up taking the Red Creek Trail, which follows the creek down a lush valley between rolling hills.
As soon as we stepped out of the car and started putting on our packs (after a 5 hour car ride) it started to rain. Not just rain, but pour. Needless to say, I was a tad cranky. It was late, so we walked for an hour or so before I said the next good site we found we would be camping for the night.
It was a good plan. This was the view from our site in the morning. A beautiful overlook of the rapids and hills. We had easy access to water and were set at a nice high elevation in case the river rose (flash flooding is always a danger when you camp on a river).
This was Logan’s first vacation. He did remarkably well! We did have the tether him at camp since he has a natural instinct to explore and we were in black bear country. He loved laying by the fire and stealing our firewood. I love this photo of him relaxing. He did pretty well sleeping in a tent with us. He was a bit of a bed hog the second night but he knew when we went in the tent it was time to lay down and sleep.
On our morning day hike we found ourselves in what felt like a rain forest. Huge boulders covered in moss and giant trees, rhododendrons and ferns. My little brother spends most of his free time at home at the bouldering gym so naturally he had to give the natural formations a try.
I found a tiny mushroom forest! There was such an amazing variety of vegetation. And everything was so green. Moss on everywhere.
To get back to camp we followed the river. The water was pretty cold, but it felt nice on tired feet and blisters. I ended up finding a mostly submerged boulder in the rapids, propped myself on it and let the water run over my legs for while. Between the cool, moving water and the noon sun beating down on my shoulders and face I was pretty content.
As soon as we got back to camp the thunder started rolling again and we settled down for an afternoon nap while the storm blew over.
This is the only picture of me from the trip. I guess I was a camera hog.
Monday we packed up early and hiked back to the car. We cut through Pittsburgh so I could pick up a couple of the usuals at Ikea. We made it home by 7 PM and I hoped right in the shower. I had so much fun, but I’m happy to be home.