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  1. #1
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Dolly Sods WV Aug 28,29,30

    I got to join RockRat, JD and Skydog for a great weekend at Dolly Sods, WV. I hitched a ride with RockRat Friday after work and as we were getting close to Red Creek Campground to meet up with JD we got a good long look at a bobcat crossing FR 75. It was the coolest thing I’ve seen.

    The forecast was for rain and thunderstorms and the sky was quite overcast when we got there. JD had gotten us the last campsite at Red Creek. We hung our hammocks for the night, told a few stories around the campfire and then went to bed early with only a few sprinkles through the night.

    Next morning (Saturday) RockRat and I headed for Bear Rocks Trail to start our 9 mile hike. We hiked to Raven Ridge Trail and then followed Rocky Ridge which connected to Harman Trail and then finally to Blackbird Trail which we followed to the Left Fork to our campsite right next to the creek.

    JD had a broken wrist which was in a cast and his hand was in a compression glove to keep the swelling down. So he started later in the day and was hiking in from the campground on the Blackbird Knob Trail, a shorter route which was just a few miles. JD, you are one tough bird to hike in with one arm in a cast with only Skydog by your side!

    Saturday was a great day for hiking -- cool, overcast, a cool breeze most of the day. Great views, wildflowers, blackberries every where and bear scat along the trail. There were college kids from Maryland out with their orienteering leaders in various groups and quite a few other hikers out hiking and camping. We were the only hammockers. Quite a few tarp tents out there.

    JD had a Speer hammock with webbing and JRB Tri-Glides. His large winter Speer tarp was set up porch style. He used the Speer Top Blanket and the Speer SPE and supplemented his legs with my OWARE pad.

    RockRat had the Speer Winter Tarp in a nice A-frame over his ENO hammock with the JRB No Sniv as the UQ and his JRB Old Rag Mt. for a top quilt. With that setup he said he was roasting both nights.

    I had my Blackbird hammock with my NEW DUTCH CLIPS on the webbing (which I love thank you very much!) with the No Sniv as underquilt and my Western Mountaineering Summerlite unzipped as topquilt. Used JRB large tarp with minibiner on cord at tree end and mini cordlocks attached to ridgeline loops for super easy adjustment. This was first time out with DutchClips on webbing and cordlocks and biners on tarp. My fastest setup ever. I love it! Blackbird had plenty of webbing to go around the large sticky pine trees where we camped. I was comfy and warm. Temps were very mild at night for the Sods. Low 60’s I think.

    Easy hike out on Sunday, went out the way JD and Sky came in. A few pictures attached.
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)
    Talk does not cook rice. -- Chinese Proverb

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Sounds like you had a nice hike and a good time. Thanks for sharing.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  3. #3
    Senior Member JerryW's Avatar
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    Thanks for the trip report. Looks like a real nice area. Of course, anything beats the endless corn and soybean fields of western Illinois.

    Question about the tarp ridge lines. As I understand you, there is a biner on the end that goes around the tree. The other end goes through the tarp tie-out and then a cordlock? If so, the cordlock is strong enough not to let the line slip through when tensioned? Sounds too easy.

    Thanks,
    JW
    The "Search" function is your friend!

  4. #4
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryW View Post
    Question about the tarp ridge lines. As I understand you, there is a biner on the end that goes around the tree. The other end goes through the tarp tie-out and then a cordlock? If so, the cordlock is strong enough not to let the line slip through when tensioned? Sounds too easy.
    JW,

    Go to http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=9583 and scroll down to SpeyGuy's post for pictures of cordlock and 'biner. It is toooooooo easy. I got my cordlocks at Quest Outfitters that's mentioned in the thread.
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)
    Talk does not cook rice. -- Chinese Proverb

  5. #5
    Senior Member JerryW's Avatar
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    Ahhh, I see. Not the kind of cordlock I was thinking of. I was thinking of the ones at the beginning of that thread. Thanks for the link.

    Jerry
    The "Search" function is your friend!

  6. #6
    Senior Member rock_rat's Avatar
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    What a great weekend. You can't ask for much more than two day's in the sods with good company and HappyCamper and SkyDog where some of the best. Other than the bobcat we also got to see a hawk snatch a guarder snake. You know how they say you can't know a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. I think this weekend I got to know SkyDog a bit better. Thanks for the bail out man.
    Murphy was an optimist! - O'toole's commentary on Murphy's law
    The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum. - O'Toole's Corollary
    I think this O'Toole guys onto something. - Rock_Rat's commentary on O'Toole

  7. #7
    Senior Member VegaMike's Avatar
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    Dolly Sods itinerary, Boy Scout Troop 440, Silver Spring, MD

    Argh, I missed you, HappyCamper! Four Scouts ages 11-14, myself, and another leader were at the Sods, too! After some horrendous traffic from DC, we hit the trail Fri @ 8pm w/headlamps ablaze. We ran into the Garrett College group on Sat; nice crew w/a ginormous laminated map that almost caused me to soil myself.

    Did we pass on the trail? Itinerary:

    Fri 8/28/2009:
    Park at Bear Rocks parking lot.
    TR522 Bear Rocks West.
    Camp at Red Creek Right Fork, just past Dobbin Grade.

    Sat 8/29/2009:
    TR522 Bear Rocks West
    TR521 Raven Ridge West
    TR524 Rocky Ridge South
    TR525 Harman East
    TR511 Blackbird Knob West
    TR514 Red Creek South.
    Camp at Red Creek Forks.

    Sun 8/30/2009:
    TR514 Red Creek North.
    TR511 Blackbird Knob East.
    TR509 Upper Red Creek North.
    TR526 Dobbin Grade East short distance.
    TR521 Raven Ridge North.
    Unofficial Raven Ridge shortcut - Dobbin Grade bypass East.
    TR522 Bear Rocks East.

    My 12 y.o. son (Patrol Leader) found the "Unofficial Raven Ridge shortcut - Dobbin Grade bypass", using only a map, compass, and the vague paragraph on midatlantichikes.com, without an adult's assistance. He found the "trailhead" by approximating mileage by time (young Scouts hike around 1mph w/breaks), correlating map contour lines with terrain, and recognizing two stumps from photos (um, turns out one encounters lots of stumps in a forest ). He lost the trail in a featureless meadow, meandered a bit, took another compass bearing, headed toward a landmark in a NE direction, and found the trail again. The euphoria (and relief) that I felt cannot be described.

    None of us had ever bypassed Dobbin Grade (notorious for mud and muck, anti-fun on the hike out). He found it without guidance and lead his patrol out.

    Now that made ME one HAPPY CAMPER!
    Last edited by VegaMike; 09-01-2009 at 09:49. Reason: Add URL for Dobbin Grade bypass.
    ..Mike the Weed Warrior bio // Think globally, act locally: Remove an invasive plant

  8. #8
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Mike, did you have a sick young scout with you?
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)
    Talk does not cook rice. -- Chinese Proverb

  9. #9
    Senior Member VegaMike's Avatar
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    That was us. 11 y.o. experienced backpacker yet never hiked more than, I think, 3 miles in one day; Sat was 8 mi. Peer pressure keeps the slow ones moving and it worked well this trip until the virus got the better of him. He didn't like Clif Bars, our trail staple, and forgot to bring the ones he liked. When he ate, he was fine. When his blood sugar dropped, his spirit plummeted and he dragged. I've read about this but never experienced it first hand.

    But this is how boys learn in Scouting: boys choose their own food, pack their own pack, make their own decisions, and adult leaders let them make mistakes (safely).

    After the trip, I learned he received three vaccines on the day before the trip (Thu). He could have had a reaction or picked up a virus at the doctor's office (we fix you up AND give you MRSA or H1N1, now that's what I call one-stop shopping ) His parents weren't to blame, they're usually more careful about things like this.

    Apologies if I didn't spend more time talking, I knew I had to keep the sick Scout moving and occupied (normally a mature Scout has this role). I had my hands full with dual roles of Scoutmaster and Senior Patrol Leader (since my older Scouts are backpacking-shy ). The ideal patrol is 6-8 Scouts.

    On what trail did we run into each other, Raven Ridge?
    Last edited by VegaMike; 09-01-2009 at 10:23.
    ..Mike the Weed Warrior bio // Think globally, act locally: Remove an invasive plant

  10. #10
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    OMG!!! That was you! That was us! Yes, Raven Ridge. Then we saw your scouts right when we were starting Rocky Ridge, but that was last time..

    What a small world! RockRat was checking the map with you all and I went ahead a litte to talk with your scouts! What a great group. We camped right on the left fork. We could have shown you all 3 great hammock setups!

    Kicking myself! I should have posted the trip before hand and we could have spent more time chatting.

    Oh well there's always the Nov. MAHHA! Any scouts coming to that?

    We had great weather didn't we. Your scouts probably don't know how lucky they are to have leaders who take them to the Sods! Congrats on your boy's achievement! He's got quite a talent! Mine just got his Eagle. I love scouting!
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)
    Talk does not cook rice. -- Chinese Proverb

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