I lost my love (and my hat) in Dolly Sods

The site was down for a few days, due to some kind of technical issue. Our wonderful webmaster, Adam, got it sorted out. What a good time to give him a shout-out: Moore Interactive – thanks, Adam!

So, America, you’re probably wondering what we have been up to. On Tuesday, we had a beautiful day of walking on our approach to the state forest. The upcoming mountains looked quite terrifying on a topographic map. We traveled down Jordan Run Road for many miles during the Magic Hour, and it was by far one of the most beautiful days of walking thus far.


As it started to get dark we decided to camp behind an old schoolhouse, but were getting worried because of our proximity to the road. Luckily, a friendly fellow named Robert extended an invitation to his house just up the road. It turned out to be Robert’s birthday, and we were welcomed by his family and friends into the festivities.


After a good night’s sleep on Robert’s lawn, we got up on Wednesday and tackled the hardest climb of our trip. We had been warned many times about the 5-mile steep gravel road on FR 75. We knew it would be a hard push, and it was. For 3.5 hours we trudged upward, climbing from 1500′ to over 4000′. Kait carried a backpack, and I pushed our cart – which weighs more than I do – to the top of that mountain.




"Meet me on top of that thing out there"

The climb led us into the Dolly Sods Wilderness, famous for year-round unpredictable snow, constant wind, bogs, bears, and getting hikers hopelessly lost.


Lucky for us, we had to detour around the worst of it because of our pushcart. It is a strange and inhospitable landscape, and was a welcome treat after the climb.


We coasted down along the ridge of Dolly Sods and met my parents, who drove in to visit us for a few days. We have spent the last two days resting in Canaan Valley, catching up on sleep, stretching, laundry, showers, and important businesslike tasks. We even took a drive up to Spruce Knob, the highest peak in West Virginia.


Mom and Dad at the top of West Virginia

Thanks to the healing powers of family, food, and comfy beds , we are hitting the trail refreshed. We have decided to take a small shortcut to bypass some very treacherous road miles. My parents are dropping us about 10 miles north of where we stopped walking, and we will take detour trails to meet back up with the ADT. It is a minor cheat, but after scoping out the road we were worried about, it just isn’t worth the risk to us or the dogs. Better safe than sorry!


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6 Responses to I lost my love (and my hat) in Dolly Sods

  1. Sharon W. says:

    Love, love the Dolly Sods photos!

  2. Steve Kolnacki says:

    Amazing journey, so enjoy following it on line. Safe travels

  3. Sally says:

    You may have lost your hat, but not your LOVE! Stay safe…

  4. Susan B. says:

    So glad you made it to Spruce Knob. And so glad you are discovering the beauty of WV!

  5. Linny says:

    Beautiful posts! I feel like I’m back out on the ride again reading all of these. I know how much time these posts take after you’ve been walking all day and you’re tired. I hope you realize how appreciated they are.

    What a team you all make. It makes my eyes water…

    • John says:

      Linny, you did this. You inspired us to do this. You and Walter are very responsible for the work that we are doing. Dont forget. And thank you for the encouragement – it means a lot coming from someone who really knows what it’s like to try and blog after a 20-mile day. Give Soj’s nose a nuzzle for Kait.

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