Wednesday, 29 July
|Destination: Dunkenbarger Trail/Stonecoal Run Tributary
|Today’s Miles: 11.2
|Start Location: Red Creek/Bear Rocks Trail
|Trip Miles: 12.5
Got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. As I was getting settled back in I realized how much darker it was but I was too lazy to walk over to the field to check out the stars. It was a cool night, perfect for sleeping.
I was up early and made myself some coffee. We took our time with breakfast and packing, starting hiking around nine. We had a minor casualty overnight. We had done bear hangs with our food. The food bag hangs from a tree branch away from the tree trunk. We had no bears but a mouse got to Jordan’s food bag and ate a little hole and got to some peanut butter.
After 1.1 miles Bear Rocks Trail ended at Raven Ridge Trail which ended at Rocky Ridge Trail after 1.4 miles. We spent the next three miles on Rocky Ridge Trail. The scenery changed from forest to meadow and back. We had spectacular views of the Canaan Valley. Stopped for a snack break at a view or the Canaan Valley and Timberline ski slopes. There were plenty of blueberries along the trail. We occasionally gave into the temptation. Fresh picked berries! Stopped for lunch in a little spot under some spruce trees.
There was a short section of Blackbird Knob Trail before getting on Big Stonecoal Trail for 2.4 miles. We seemed to hit some of the muddier patches of the trail or so we thought.
We took a short half mile detour off the circuit to see a waterfall. I stayed to filter some water and keep an eye on the packs while Jordan and Liv went another half mile to a rock scramble with some views. They seem to have gotten a little lost on the way back.
We decided to hike another 0.8 of a mile on Dunkenbarger Trail to the next campsite. The guide we were following noted that Dunkenbarger Trail was “very muddy”. We agreed that the guide was accurate. Some places had paths around the mud but in many cases you had to rock hop and do your best to keep your feet dry. That gave us about 11.2 miles for the day and shortens tomorrow a little. We had another day of wonderful weather, sun with a little breeze. It was a little warm in the sun but nothing unbearable.
We were tired after getting into camp. Had our dinner and started a fire. A woman hiking with her family came by trying to find the trail. We couldn’t be much help since we hadn’t come from the direction she was heading. A hiker who is camping on the other side of the stream stopped and chatted for a bit.
The trails have been more crowded than I expected for mid week but nothing unbearable. In to bed early tonight but I will be able to see the stars outside my tent door tonight.