Thursday, May 31, 2012

Almost Heaven, West Virginia!

Sorry, I’m having a John Denver Moment –- West Virginia is FAR OUT!!
 We spent the morning unwinding and doing necessary house work.  Then, after a very thorough and delightful orientation from ranger Dot,  we watched the climbers on Seneca Rocks through binoculars while resting in the Visitor Center’s easy chairs -- Shades of watching climbers on the Swiss Matterhorn from a cozy café.  No pastry being on offer here, we retired to our silver sanctuary and prepared Decadent BLTs  followed by fresh brownies a la mode. Perhaps a nap…?
Later, we arose ready for adventure…

After a long winding climb to the top of the “Allegheny Front” on Spruce Mountain, we discovered this beautiful mountain TROUT lake nearby a nice primitive campground.  It is NOT likely that we will be pulling Lottie up here (She says) but we can dream…
Just a little further and we are on the top of West IMG_3900Virginia. This, I am confident, is the highest parking space in the state.

The trail around Spruce Knob (4863’) offers panoramas of Red Spruce stands, high open pasture land, the distant parallel mountains, broken and rounded with streaks of exposed sandstone “fins” pointing raggedly upward. 



The trail winds though stunted evergreens and wind sculpted “Flag Spruce.”  Red Spruce grow densely on IMG_3890high elevations, so closely that lumbermen could cut them and they would not fall.  Standing alone in winter winds, all the windward branches break off leaving a “flag” trailing eastwardly.

The whole mountaintop experience was so reminiscent of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia NP, Maine –- the great vistas, rocky paths thru miniature forests, trees, moss, lichens, all identical to that mountain a thousand miles North.  One thing was different; despite the large parking area, we shared the whole mountain with only two other families.
click here to see a slideshow

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