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  1. #1
    Senior Member BearChaser's Avatar
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    Attempted Trip - Plantation Trail, Canaan Valley WV

    Was planning on getting going early Friday morning, but I helped my dad gather a load of firewood so he wouldn't attempt it alone. Anyway, I arrived at the head of Fire Trail 3 and started my hike. I knew I had no time to make it as far as I wanted, so the whole way I was looking for potential good hang spots. I did pass up a few on the way but kept marching on. After intersecting the Plantation Trail I realized I forgot how rocky & rooty the trails up here are. I kept looking at some of the obstacles and remembered how I would just blow right over and through this stuff on my Mt. Bike.

    It was starting to get windy, I knew we had a big storm on the way, but figured, I don't mind walking in the rain. I make it to the intersection of the Plantation & Allegheny Trail. I know a shelter is off this intersection so I headed to it to see if anyone was around. Empty. Perfect spot for a short break, snack, and water. After enjoying, I did a quick check of the weather. Tornado Warnings, High Wind and Severe weather warnings. Maybe I should stay in the shelter for the night, get a good night sleep, get started first thing in the morning. That's a plan, plus I know if I have to make an emergency exit from the trail system, I can hit the Allegheny Trail & head either back to the jeep, or down the hill to the Canaan Lodge.

    So I start setting up the hammock inside the shelter. Hmmmm...Where are my tree straps? Thinking....thinking...HOME hanging on the tree I last used. Lucky I had some para cord, also found some, but I ended up finding a couple nails. Wrapped my fixed loop of the whoopie around a 2x4 then to the nail. Perfect. Fixed supper, had some coffee, hung the food bag, and relax. By this time the wind is really picking up, and I mean picking up good. So now we go into the internal argument system in my head between Caution and Adventure. Little something like this.

    Between 6 & 7PM, cautious side said, I think we should get outta here, we have 2 hours of light left, plenty of time. Adventure side said what? You wuss, we are in a shelter for cryin out loud, plus if we leave now with the wind blowing the way it is, a tree or limb could be blown down on us. Cautious side, OK, head hung low. Argument continued throughout the night off & on waking me up, something like, I told you so, ah shut up, we are safe. 3AM, Cautious wakes up adventure, see, you heard that tree crack & fall also. Yeah. Argue some more. Wake up this morning bright & early, mainly because they are still arguing. Cautious side, see the wind is still blowing really hard, Adventure side, yeah so, we can make it all the way out and back to the shelter again before night fall. Cautious, yeah, but what if a tree, or limb falls down on your dumb self. Adventure side, yeah, that would hurt, possibly no adventure in future. Cautious side, so, you ready to beat feet. Adventure side, yeah, head hung low.

    So here I sit in the comfort of home already. I took my emergency route I planned back, up the Allegheny Trail (also known as the Davis Trail) to the main fire road back to the vehicle. That wind was wicked up there last night & this morning. Iím glad Cautious side won this time. Sometimes adventure side doesnít use his head entirely. Thanking myself for passing up some fine spots on the way to the shelter also.

    Fire Trail 3 Head, and my finger.


    Fire Trail 3 - Plantation Trail Intersection


    Fire Line


    Yours Truly. Looking back toward the Blackwater Canyon. You can also see that heavy BG knife I carry. My brother got that for my birthday for me. So I carry it just for him.


    One of many small creek crossings along the way. These usually run all summer, so water is hardly ever a problem.


    Intersecting of the Plantation & Allegheny Trail.


    Access to the shelter.


    Back side of shelter. They built it with the normal wind direction in mind. Thank goodness.


    Shelter. Fire Ring out front. Too windy this weekend for that.


    Trail Register box.


    Looking more like home.


    The long road back to the Jeep this morning.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
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    Nice report . . . Thanks

    Good to get out, Eh . . . even for an overnighter.
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    .PS like the knife and how/where it hangs . . . more info please
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  3. #3
    Senior Member BearChaser's Avatar
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    Thanks Bradley. That knife is the Bear Grills knife made by Gerber. It's a very heavy duty knife with thick back and nice handle. It actually feels really balanced and good in the hand. The sheath it comes with is kinda a two part. The plastic part and material part. You can actually take the two apart. It has a bunch of nice little features. The way I have it attached is using the water bottle holders on the ULA pack. Just ran the little bungies through. The sheath has both vertical and horizontal loops on it. Some early models people where complaining the the batten or butt end was too weak to use as a hammer. I have not had a problem with it pounding in tent steaks. If you get a chance to pick one up and feel it, it might surprise ya how nice it actually feels.

  4. #4
    Country Roads's Avatar
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    Nice report I love that area. Friends and I did an overnighter mid-april last year from the far end of Plantation trail to the Railroad Grade trail shelter, then, next day we continued on down the RR grade trail and then walked back up the road to the truck. A couple of weeks later, we day hiked up to the top of Mozark Mtn; then B-packed in to the shelter on Pointy knob (which leaks by the way). Nice area but it do get windy!

  5. #5
    Jsaults's Avatar
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    I recognized some of those rocks!

    Back in my MTN biking days I spent a lot of time in that area, and the Plantation Trail was my initiation to technical riding. Been to long since I was up that way..... Need to get back,

    Jim

  6. #6
    OutandBack's Avatar
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    Enjoyed your report and picts. Sorry you had to cut the trip short. This time of year one never knows what mother nature will throw at you.

  7. #7
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    Sounded like something out of Monty Python's Department of Aurguements.

    Other than that, it sounded like a good trip. Good shot of the hammock in the shelter. The shelters at my local hiking trail are too small to hang a hammock.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM Department of Aurguements
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  8. #8
    Senior Member BearChaser's Avatar
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    @Country Roads. Thanks, I love the area also. I have been visiting this area since I was a child. That was kind of my plan for this trip also. Hike out the Plantation Tail, Spend the night around Table Rock, then head down FR13, jump on the Mountainside Trail, spend the night wherever, then head back up FR13 Sunday (today). Another day will come.

    @Jsaults. Your right about technical, the Plantation, along with many trails in this area will put your skills to the test. My favorites was either heading down Fire Trail 3, out the Plantation, then down the Allegheny (Davis) Trail, or Allegheny Trail all the way down. I did the full Plantation Trail one year and that was pretty tough. I liked the speed more than anything, that feeling of just being out of control, and these trail provided that.

    @OutandBack. Thanks, and yeah I was a little bummed on my way out Saturday morning, but no use in risking getting hurt when I'll have plenty more time this summer. The wind is still kicking around outside.

    @gunner76. Thanks, the shelter was in really good shape with plenty of room to set up the hammock. I set up toward the back a little just in case it started raining to keep the wind from blowing it in. Well, it did rain a little, and I still felt some mist come in once in awhile, but was all good. Monty rules, I love that. It was kinda like that all night. Wind would wake me up, argument would start. Even in the middle of the night, caution kept rubbing it in.

    I'll be planning this trip at a later date this year. I'll make sure I post it up with an advanced notice, maybe some of you that miss the area can reunite a little. For those who have not visited this area of WV before, you would love it. Very cool area, lots of scenery, and different.

    Wiki on Canaan Valley

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