First part of the trip was the Otter Creek Wilderness. Originally a group of 6 it quickly dwindled to 3 of us. We drove to a car camping site on Sunday September 30th for the night. On October 1st we hit the trail for the next 3 days in Otter Creek. Weather started out perfect then later that evening on our first day rain set it. It wasn't a down pour, but the wind kept us on our toes on which way it was going to blow the rain and mist. Rain continued throughout the night on into most of the next day. This area is known for Otter Creek to rise, and rise quickly, as the leader of this trip and knowing the area I setup a few evacuation routes just in case. We kinda put one in action on that Tuesday morning as Happy Camper scared the bejesus out of me at 5:00 am that morning shaking my hammock. She was what I thought a little nervous about all the rain, I knew it probably wasn't enough to cause any flooding but set her mind at ease with a different route for the day. I don't think she thought the creek was flooding, but had concerns that if we continued our planned route, it might flood later in the day. So we had a plan. On this day 2 the rain slacked off just enough that morning we got to pack up relatively dry that morning and headed out. Backtracking down Yellow Creek we came back onto Otter Creek and headed up toward its upper trail head. From there we hit Hendrick Camp trail and soon discovered a beaver made a nice dam downstream from one of the small foot bridges over the water. Not sure this was smart of me, but I sent my boss, and kind of a newb to test out the partially under water bridge first. With his successful crossing myself and HC continued and we all soon came to Shavers Mountain Trail. We hiked Shavers Mountain and what a beautiful hike it was, moss covered rocks and ground through the piney woods to wide open hardwoods. We stopped at a nice overlook for lunch and enjoyed the sun finally peeking through. Parts of the woods with tall birch where so yellow that it brightened to the point we thought sun was shining earlier. We ended up making it back to the intersection of Mylius and Shavers Mountain trail to setup camp for our final night in Otter Creek. On the third no one was really in any hurry, so we took our time with breakfast, had a nice fire, enjoyed some conversation, then packed it up. The hike out was way to short but very enjoyable with colors of leaves floating down everywhere. Making it back to the trail head and vehicles, my boss departed heading back home. Me and HC jumped in the Jeep and headed for Dolly Sods to meet up with Oh-No and SweetbabyD.
September 3rd, remainder of the day. After getting out of the Otter Creek Wilderness that morning, we headed to Dolly Sods Wilderness. On the way we just happened to be driving by Big Johns Family Restaurant in Canaan Valley. At this point, I need something more than trail food. So we stopped and ate a nice filling hot meal, cheating, yes I know. After that we hit the gas station for some treats and other odds and ends then headed for the sods. We arrived and found Oh-No and Sweetbabyd waiting for us. After a quick discussion we decided to head down Blackbird Knob trail to find a suitable camp for the evening. Not having much time until sunset, we set a pretty good pace and landed ourselves at the first planned camp early, why not continue on. So we did finally making it to our secrete spot with enough time to spare. Good choice. On the 4th we did a day hike up Harman Trail to Rocky Ridge overlooking Canaan Valley. We had to meet up with Country Roads & Ferret the next morning so after the day hike, we packed up and headed back toward Red Creek Camp ground. Finding a spot fairly close to our vehicles but far enough away from the camp ground we setup for the night. Once again with just enough time before darkness. On October the 5th we packed up and headed to our planed meeting spot, first to show was Ferret. Then as we are setting around getting something to eat, I asked for Country Roads directions for us, she was our trip leader after all for the Roaring Plains part of our trip. Noticing she mentioned meeting not where we were at, I jumped in the motor coach and heading down the hill to meet CR. We left her vehicle there and headed back to everyone else to start the trip. A short drive out one of the access roads put us at the trail head. We where supposed to meet Maztrain and his dad the next day. As we start hiking all we could do was oh ah from the constant barrage of scenic views. It was one after another of beauty. We discussed hiking on to our second nights camp with everyone agreeing. Onward we go, changing our plans once again. Keep in mind, me and HC changed our plans in Otter Creek, that worked out very well. In the Roaring Plains, this also worked out very well as we arrived at our second night spot finding Maztrain and his dad came in a day early and had us a spot already picked. What a perfect spot it was. Later that evening a group of about 6 came in and if I remember correctly said like 12 or umpteen more was expected in throughout the night. Glad we changed our plans and found us a spot before the tenters all came in. We also found another HF member that was camped across the trail from us. I believe he went by the Fridge, Refrigerator, something like that. He was from down Mt. Rogers way. I'm not going to describe the scenery we saw, I'll let you see that for yourself, especially the Dolly Sods/Roaring Plains trip. Would like to thank Country Roads once again for leading us on this trip.
And yes, they are music type videos, that it what I like to create. My love for music and the great outdoors. With that in mind, the videos may not show up correctly in some countries, sorry. But to those who can see, hear, and watch, enjoy.
Otter Creek Wilderness, September 30th - October 3rd.
Dolly Sods & Roaring Plains October 3rd - October 7th.