|The Blackwater River from camp.|
|Bike ride from camp to Blackwater Falls.|
The drive to the Sods is spectacular. Route 32 down through Canaan Valley and then a very windy paved county road that is only slightly wider than one car. Then the fun really begins with a transition to the forest service road up to the plateau. Felt like we had the place to ourselves, only seeing a few others there to hike or get some views from the plateau toward the east. We spent most of the morning along the 8 miles stretch of unpaved road through the wilderness area, snapping photos and hiking a little. I will let the pictures tell the story.
From here, we headed down the back side of the mountain. Turned out the county was doing some heavy maintenance on the road and there were places I was in 4WD going down hill, passing a grader and then a few trucks before hitting the bottom and pavement again that we had not seen in about 16 miles. Hungry, we drove south toward Seneca Rocks and had sandwiches while watching climbers on the rock face across the road.
After lunch, we hiked up the trail to the observation platform. Shelly stopped there while I hiked a short ways further to get some pictures of some of the climbers on the short, back wall. The elevation and steepness of the surroundings are certainly a strange feeling and I was glad to be looking through a camera lens and holding on to a tree.
And with that it was time to start the drive home. A few thoughts:
- We drove down taking US 50 out of Clarksburg and back, 33 to Elkins/Buchannon and then I79 back to Clarksburg. I am finding that I prefer roads like US 50 with the small towns and winding pavement to the high speeds and traffic of the interstate.
- A four door, long bed, 3/4 ton, 4WD truck isn't the most enjoyable vehicle to be tooling around switchbacks, 9% grades, narrow and the other regular winding/rolling roads. But, it did remarkably well and was appreciated for the space and the rugged drive through Dolly Sods. (I am glad to be riding my motorcycle today though after 500 miles in the truck in 2 days).
- I much preferred Dolly Sods to either the Blackwater Falls and Seneca Rocks. Both of them were pretty, but, they were geared toward the tourist. While I realize Shelly and I were also tourists, we also weren't wearing a fanny pack.
- The trip was marked by Shelly's comment, as we sat having coffee before packing up camp. She said it was a great trip even if we would have had to pack up and leave for home right then. Love this woman.
- Want to see more photos? Only took about 260+.
Short Trip to WVa