North Fork Mountain Trail <> 9/15-18/2006

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...North Fork Mountain Trail Recap...


2006-09-15 Friday...

8 PM-ish arrive at Northern trailhead for rendezvouz w/ Tony after a minimum of wrong turns. Mike and I spent much time making maps and getting groceries... our estimated 6pm arrival was several hours off.. typical ..Shady truck dude w/ caged hounds in the back.. Scoping our stuff. Dined on gross gas station hot dogs, slathered in gross gas station canned chili...at least there was sammy pal involved. Several beers and some night frisbee later, we retired for the evening.

2006-09-16 Saturday...

Our early AM departure quickly turned to early PM. Trailhead breakfast, shared with some local cats. Drove down rd ??? south, took forest road 79 up to the summit of the ridge to cache water as there is none available on the trail. the road wasn't bad.. unless u have a low clearance vehicle w/ 3 dudes and a shitload of gear in it... Southern Trailhead parking is sketchy at best... turned out to be ok though..not much room and close to major bend right on 33. Approximate trailhead pack weights w/ food and water... Mike: 48 lbs, Tony: 40 lbs, Jess: 28 lbs. So we finally hit the trail circa 1:30 pm. cloudy, misty, overcast skies for that first day. Cool beams of sunlight piercing the clouds at some of the overlooks, one of which was a hang gliding launch ramp... I dunno how they got the lumber up there to do that, or how one would get a hang glider up there..?? Covered 12 swift miles in order to get to our cached water.. at just before nightfall.. set up camp and started fire in dark. Campsite was maybe a quarter mile past the northernmost intersection point of the forest road and the trail. Stoked a ginourmous fire (by normal standards... average by Mike's standards) to ready coals for the roasting of lamb. Fire was almost too hot, had a hard time getting close enough to cook, set up spit, adjust spit, etc.. We managed tho.. and it was well worth it. Roasted lamb, couscous and pitas for dinner... (lightening Tony's pack considerably for sunday's hike.) We ended up just using a green limb as the skewer, impaled the thing. Tony had tied it at home, we added some additional binding and set to roasting. Turns out we had packed in enough water for that first night... but it was good to be able to use it liberally.

2006-09-17 Sunday...

Tony's frozen scrambled egg concoction turned out to work pretty well... who knew u could freeze eggs in a water bottle? Breakfast burritos, and a liesurely camp teardown in perfect clear weather. Put in only about 6 or 7 miles on day 2... many great vistas all along the trail.. spent most of the day either on the ridge, or just on the eastern slope of the ridge. camp was at another great locale. sort of in a saddle before an ascent. plenty of flat ground for tents. dinner was brats and garlic mashed potatoes. Campsite was near a VERY precurious rock with a good overlook. Tony refused to get on the thing.. It offered great views tho. Also proved excellent for star gazing.

2006-09-18 Monday...

Pancakes w/ dried fruit for breakfast. and instant oatmeal maybe too? water begins to become an issue. we have enough, and divy it up, but we will be thirty by the time we get to the car. We had only about 6 more miles for the hike out... mostly downhill. Having already seen chimney rock, i elected to skip this overlook (kinda wish i hadn't though). Mike scoped it out.. and reminded us how spectacular it is. Not exactly sure, but i think we made it out to Tony's car at the northern trailhead by about 1pm? We pretty much just loaded the car and headed south to the other car before Mike and I headed in to Elkins (no, not Cues 'n Brews) and Tony headed back to VA. Perfect trip!