Its late October, 2006 and time for the annual Dolly Sods Camping trip. We figured there wouldn't be many leaves on top but we went anyway. We were right but it was still pretty. We arrived to blue skies and a beautiful day. That wasn't to last, as we found out.
If you don't know where Dolly Sods is, you can check our other page for more information. Basically, its near Petersburg, WV and is a plateau at about 4000'. There's one campground with 12 sites. You can camp anywhere that's more than 300' off the dirt road.
We showed up on Wednesday. That pretty much insures that you'll get a campsite. After we got set up, we walked to where the bird banders would normally be. On the other side of the road from the entrance to Red Creek Campground is a small parking lot. There's a path from there out to the edge of the plateau. We walked out there to enjoy the breeze and the beautiful views to the east. In early October, there are normally people out there trapping and banding birds.
On Thursday, we headed out the Blackbird Knob Trail. This is the one near the campground. It was really muddy as we went down towards Alder Run. We were careful. Rascal, our dog, went through the mud holes. When we got to Red Creek, it had more water than we expected. It seemed like it would be more trouble than it was worth to cross it. We followed the creek on down and found a nice campsite someone set up. It even had stone chairs. We had lunch and some wine along the creek. From there we followed Alder Run back up to the trail and went home.
By now, the weather was threatening. We set up the tarp over the picnic table before hiking so we were ready. By 5:00PM, the rain started. Not a lot, but enough to be a nuisance. By morning, the wind was howling and it was getting colder quickly. We had breakfast and planned the day.
Turned out that the plan was to go somewhere else. We took the tarp down and weighted it on the table. We zipped up the tent and were off to Canaan Valley. Sue said we were looking for a place to spend the day and night. We'd camped on Dolly Sods in the cold rain before and didn't need that experience again. We had Rascal with us and he limited our choices. After calling around, we found that the Bright Morning Inn in Davis, WV took "well-behaved" pets. We lied and said that described our dog. We didn't tell them his name or they might have figured it out on their own.
The Inn is very pleasant as is Susan who is the Innkeeper. All the rooms have bathrooms. There's a nice common area with a table, refrigerator and television set. We watched a West Virginia football game there that night. We had dinner and breakfast at the Inn as well. Both were well done and the restaurant has an interesting decor. Breakfast was included in the price. You won't confuse the view of Main St with a scenic mountain view but it was still nice. All in all, we'd happily stay at the Bright Morning Inn again.
Back to the dog. He spent most of the day in the car. He wasn't thrilled but he dealt with it. We brought him in for the end of the football game after most of the others went to bed. Between that and spending the night in the room with us, he actually was well-behaved. That's always a nice surprise with him.
Saturday was back to the mountain. The day was spectacular. The drive from Davis towards Petersburg and up to Dolly Sods was spectacular. The leaves were as pretty as I've seen in a long time.
We hiked the Wildlife Trail to the Rohrbaugh Trail and went out to a rock out-cropping that makes for a great overlook. We'd been there before but this was the first time with the sun shining. This was lunch with a view.
After hiking, we went back and started organizing to go home. We wanted to get up Sunday and get moving. Since we couldn't hike anyway, we wanted to get back. We still had to entertain our neighbors by setting up the tent to dry it out. They think it always rains some when we camp. I'm not sure they're wrong.