June 30-July 2: Summer Solo In The Sods

8:41 p.m. on August 4, 2014 (EDT)
GUIDE/OUTFITTER REVIEW CORPS
954 reviewer rep
149 forum posts

Dolly Sods Wilderness: Monongahela National Forest WV


IMG_1347.jpg

One of the most popular areas within Monongahela National Forest is the Dolly Sods Wilderness. This is one of the most diverse areas you can find in the east, all between 2500-4800 feet above sea level. Expect to find yourself in wonder as you blink between grassy meadows, sphagnum bogs, heath barrens, and more. Stands of conifer forests stain the creek red, which winds its way through lush mountain laurel, rhododendron forests, beech trees and countless acres of blueberries. Along with all of these spectacles, come the crush of hikers. Spring and autumn, expect to find yourself along with hundreds of others each day. I hoped to find less people in summer, which came at a price… Despite the frequent rainstorms and high relative elevation for the area, summer will still be summer. Temperatures topped 90°F along with 100% humidity under canopy, every rock sweating, playing its part. Stepping out into the meadows provided no comfort, either to be pummeled by the sun’s rays, or the insistent threat of lightning striking.


IMG_3418.jpg

Mountain Laurel coming into bloom!

 

TRAIL INFO

Red Creek Trail Head - Laneville

TR 514- Red Creek Trail

TR 511- Blackbird Knob Trail

Unmarked trail along tributary

TR 553 – Breathed Mountain Trail

TR 513- Big Stonecoal Trail

TR 554- Rocky Point Trail


This three night/two day trip ended up being a quick 25-30 mile BP, I hope you enjoy a few photos!


IMG_1316.jpg

See ya Baltimore!


IMG_1320.jpg

Red Creek TrailHead- Laneville, WV


IMG_1323.jpg

Rhododendron welcomes all as the trail begins


IMG_3408.jpg

My biggest mistake on the trip was not bringing enough acid reducer; the pH of the water killed me!


IMG_1331.jpg

The lower Red Creek Trail has a pretty dense canopy


IMG_1330.jpg

Most Rhododendron was still to pop

Dahle->Dolly

Johann Dahle (1749-1847) was a German immigrant who raised sheep and cattle on this land. Eventually the land came into use by the US Army during WWII as a practice artillery and mortar range.


IMG_1325.jpg

Wish I had more knowledge of flora and fauna...


IMG_1333.jpg

The decision making process can be so much easier by yourself!


IMG_3410.jpg

Lower Red Creek


IMG_3416.jpg

Short break, time for a refill!


IMG_3417.jpg

Mountain Laurel was plentiful since it is toxic to all but the bees.


IMG_3420.jpg

Surely makes it nice looking at your feet!

David Hunter Strother wrote an early and somewhat breathless travelogue of the area, published in Harper's Monthly magazine in 1852:

"In Randolph County, Virginia, is a tract of country containing from seven to nine hundred square miles, entirely uninhabited, and so savage and inaccessible that it has rarely been penetrated even by the most adventurous. The settlers on its borders speak of it with a sort of dread, and regard it as an ill-omened region, filled with bears, panthers, impassable laurel-brakes, and dangerous precipices. Stories are told of hunters having ventured too far, becoming entangled, and perishing in its intricate labyrinths. The desire of daring the unknown dangers of this mysterious region, stimulated a party of gentlemen . . . to undertake it in June, 1851. They did actually penetrate the country as far as the Falls of the Blackwater, and returned with marvelous accounts of its savage grandeur, and the quantities of game and fish to be found there."

Cited from www.wikipedia.org


IMG_3423.jpg


IMG_3430.jpg

Berries were just starting


IMG_3440.jpg


IMG_3436.jpg

Some kind of moss, I think? It was growing among the blueberries near clearings. Anyone?


IMG_3424.jpg

Sorry I almost squashed you, lil fella!


IMG_3441.jpg

Upper Red Creek Trail


IMG_3434.jpg


IMG_3451.jpg


IMG_3454.jpg


IMG_3455.jpg


IMG_3456.jpg


IMG_3460.jpg


IMG_3464.jpg


IMG_3406.jpg

Weird the way this showed up; who needs a hammock when you can levitate?


IMG_3470.jpg

Not sure about this one...


IMG_3477.jpg


IMG_3492.jpg


IMG_3494.jpg


IMG_3500.jpg

Ok, what do you think? 20+ lb. cat?


IMG_3506.jpg


IMG_3511.jpg


IMG_3512.jpg


IMG_3513.jpg


IMG_3516.jpg

Winding my way along Big Stonecoal Trail


IMG_3521.jpg

I didn't find any ordinances, but I did spot this artifact...


IMG_1343.jpg

Back up on top


IMG_1344.jpg


IMG_1345.jpg


IMG_1348.jpg


IMG_1351.jpg


IMG_1352.jpg

I couldn't safely stay up here long...


IMG_1354.jpg

Blooming however, up top


IMG_3533.jpg

Back in the forest...


IMG_3536.jpg

Rocky Point Trail


IMG_3537.jpg


IMG_3538.jpg

Goodnight, Moon!

-Sláinte

 

10:09 p.m. on August 4, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
186 forum posts

nice....

dolly sods has been on my (long) list of places to visit....

 

and what part of baltimore ya from?

 

i grew up right down the road in columbia.......

(oh, and can ya ship me some crabs?    the edible kind?)

10:26 p.m. on August 4, 2014 (EDT)
GUIDE/OUTFITTER REVIEW CORPS
954 reviewer rep
149 forum posts

Depending where you live, I could bring a bushel or two out to you! I live downtown in Baltimore, but grew up in the hills. That makes me a bonified hill person! 

11:05 p.m. on August 4, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
186 forum posts

i live in knoxville.....

that's why i need them to be shipped........cant get em local down here...

and i'll share em with patman and tipi (if he eats these types of animals)....

 

 

7:24 a.m. on August 5, 2014 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,438 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

Pretty pics but that weather is not for me.  I get steamy enough climbing in cold weather so that 90°/90% stuff would either melt me or make me explode.

Looks like you had a good time, thanks for sharing this!

9:59 a.m. on August 5, 2014 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
770 reviewer rep
1,277 forum posts

awesome report Sean!

thanks much....

That cat print looks like a bobcat to me and i think you're right....at least 20lbs...heck I had big house cat that weighed in at 16 lbs so yeah

Kevin, I don't know if tipi would eat crab but you and i can take care of that no prob!

inland seadfood just ain't the same no matter how fresh they claim...is it?

10:35 a.m. on August 5, 2014 (EDT)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,761 reviewer rep
352 forum posts

Thanks for sharing, Sean! DSW is on my "to do" list. You snagged some really nice shots!

2:40 p.m. on August 5, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
81 forum posts

That is really gorgeous.  Good job braving the heat and humidity; I've kinda taken a summer break myself. 

1:10 p.m. on August 7, 2014 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
588 reviewer rep
3,082 forum posts

Really nice pictures, Season. Thanks for sharing them.

I like that you include a range of shots: the trail, views, the flora.

12:13 a.m. on August 8, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
372 forum posts

I've seen a few trip reports of the Sods, and they always make me want to go there.  Looks like a beautiful area.

October 2, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Indiana: Panther Creek 8/1 to 8/3 Newer: Standing on the Precipice
All forums: Older: Outdoor Retailer Demo Day: Novel Bars, Paddling Solo Newer: First $100 Backcountry.com Winner, Four to Go