North Fork Mountain Trail

Peter and I spent two days backpacking on the North Fork Mountain Trail, near Seneca Rocks WV. We’re grateful for our friends who helped get our car to Smoke Hole, which facilitated a one-way hike. (We’d thought about doing a bike shuttle, but at the end of the hike we were both relieved not to be facing a 35-mile ride through the mountains.)

We had a spectacular two days of hiking on one of the nicest trails I’ve seen in the east. It runs along a north-south ridge line, so you get frequent views to both the east and west. Pendleton County WV in the spring is about a zillion shades of green, which seemed especially vibrant after all the rain. Though we saw a lot of storm clouds off in the distance, we only felt a couple brief showers, and they all happened while we were walking, when it bothered us the least. It got a little cold overnight, and a tarp tent pitched on a ridge line doesn’t offer much shelter from the wind, but the morning sun felt good.

The trail was a mercifully flat cruiser until we got to the north end, where it tossed us a few rolling hills before making the final descent down the switchbacks. The short climb to Chimney Top is ridiculously steep, worth it perhaps, except we’d soaked up a lot of great scenery the whole trip. It was worth looking down at our feet too, as multiple varieties of wildflowers were in bloom. (Check back in a couple weeks for the explosion of mountain laurels, and later in the summer for wild blueberries.) And if we had been any less alert, we might have stepped on the two teeny-tiny fawns that Momma Doe had left smack in the middle of the trail! We’d never seen baby deer that small, or that close.

It was an educational shake-down trip for some longer hikes we hope to do this summer, and a pleasant journey in and of itself.

Too sleepy to do much but breathe and blink

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~ by pasadenagina on May 21, 2011.

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