Saturday, October 31, 2015

3 highpoints, 1 day

I may be pushing the limits on how many photos to include in one post, but it seems like this whole day should be grouped together.  After all, three highpoints in one day is a record for us that quite likely will not be repeated (at least, by us).

The day actually starts the night before, with an adventure in driving back roads of West Virginia trying to find a campground in the dark.  As we turned off the main road, I actually said "this could be an adventure."  With zero cell reception (possibly related to the radio silence for the large telescope?) and confusingly incorrect written directions (my fault, I suspect) and only a high level map to guess off of, we wandered through the darkness trying to figure it out.

We eventually came across better signage (we had come in a back way, apparently) and located the campground.  Which was closed for the season, as of that day.  I had called to specifically ask this question, but the person on the other end of the line didn't have the right info.  Oh well, we found a boat ramp parking area and pulled in there instead.  Luckily we're pretty flexible when sleeping in the back of the truck.

Next morning, we were finally on our way to Spruce Knob, equipped with a picture of the local road map posted at the boat ramp sign board.  The highpoint itself was the easiest part of the whole deal.  Except for being inside a windy cloud.

Starting along the nice trail from the parking lot to the top of West Virginia:


Fun cairn pile:


I present to you - the West Virginia highpoint tower:


Don't give up, John, we have 2 more highpoints to go today!


Yeah, we're groovin', sorta:


Not easy to see our truck in the fog.  At least the cloud was covering only the very top of the mountain and the driving wasn't difficult.


Highpoint #33 in our quest:
http://www.kipley.com/marcy/highpoints/westvirginia.html

Now that it was light out, we could see that the foliage was spectacular.  I took a bunch of pictures as we started down the hill.



Gorgeous scenery!


Even while moving, it's really pretty:


And then... there's this:


We had come up a different way the night before, so no telling how recently the tree fell across the road.  We maybe got really lucky to be at that highpoint this morning!

John jumped out to try to clear it off, but quickly determined that the tools at his disposal were inadequate:


So... more adventure!  I pulled out the photo of the road map again, and we went back up the mountain and over to find another road down.  Not as direct as we would have liked, but more direct than going all the way back to where we had started the previous evening.  Most importantly, it worked!  We were saved!  :)

Finally back to civilization.  We celebrated with egg sandwiches at a small deli near Seneca Rocks.  Which are a pretty neat rock formation (would be worth coming back with a rope and climbing gear):


Back to the main story of the day.  The rest of it is pretty tame in comparison.  We parked at the edge of West Virginia and hiked up to the ridge of Backbone Mountain.  Another location with great foliage:


John runs so fast it's like taking a picture from a moving car:


Love the colorful leaves!


Good signage to the top of the mountain:


They really don't want you to get lost:


John runs so fast he has time for a nap before I arrive (yep, John could sleep here):


There's a nice camera holder stand there, always have to make use of those when available:


Hang on John, we have one more highpoint to get to today!


A certificate just for me!


A little sunshine, a little yoga:


A more "traditional" selfie:


I assumed this was a view down into Maryland, but later realized we could be looking straight across Maryland back into West Virginia.  It can be rather confusing around here.


Highpoint #34!
http://www.kipley.com/marcy/highpoints/maryland.html

Back down to West Virginia to find the truck.  A short ways later we came across a church billed as the "smallest church in 48 states," which apparently isn't nearly the case, but still adorable:


Continuing north into Maryland, we soon reached an intersection with one arrow pointing left and the other pointing right.  Both pointed to places in West Virginia.  How can that be??  Well, it can.

We did manage to figure out how to get through Maryland to Pennsylvania without backtracking to West Virginia.  Eventually we drove up another mountain and located this lovely tower in the woods on Mount Davis:


Yes Marcy, that tower:


More stunning foliage, our timing this fall was excellent.  Also a lonely single padlock, waiting for others to make this lock-fence "a thing":


A little chilly, let's get some highpoint photos going:


We like the relief map at the top of the tower.  John getting a closer look:


Yay for 3 highpoints today!


Checking out the marker on a rock nearby, one of these must be the official spot:


#35 and still having fun:
http://www.kipley.com/marcy/highpoints/pennsylvania.html

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