Dolly Sods

ARGGGGH! I had this really nice post written up about our adventure to Dolly Sods and KABLEWY! It’s gone. Gone, gone, gone. At least from here. Oh sure, it probably exists in the shadowy world of the googletubs seedy underbelly. But not here. And here is where it is important. I’m sure it’s my fault, not the fault of the computer or the internet or the web server or whatever else I could attempt to lay blame upon. So, instead of that. I’ll just grab some bits from the geocaching logs, toss in the photos and voila! New post.

On September 30, MAGPI set out for Dolly Sods. This is our story.

Part 1: Dimple Rocks & Dolly Sods

We had a pretty good gaggle of MAGPI by the time we met up at the designated parking. Those of us coming from Morgantown arrived pretty much ahead of time which is so unheard of that bards will be singing of our accomplishment for years to come. CLCombat was already there, waiting on us. But then again, he tends to be early. We were about to give up on 3_Dogs who had managed to get stuck behind several minivans driving 5 mps on the gravel/dirt road. Just as we were about to set out, what should appear on the horizon but a red jeep and a huge dust trail!

As usual on a hike such as this our group started to splinter.

We had some slow going due to the bog.

Then some slow going due to losing the trail. Then some random wanderings.

By the time the back group saw the bear I was up with the front group pretty close to ground zero. Shortly thereafter I found the cache which was pretty easy since my GPSr was dead on the money! it showed 0 feet as I stood in front of the can.

Our trek back was more of an adventure we we got all sorts of split up, me going with the group following loyal sidekick LWB. That was…interesting.

From there we headed out to Dolly Sods cache, which, should the cache page and previous cachers be believed, involved going over a ledge. I wasn’t sure how keen sidekick was going to be about me getting this cache. While I’m not a fan of heights, he is seriously not a fan. We headed out to the area where one should drop over but ruanwv was ahead of me and by the time I got there, he was already making his way down.

It wasn’t like I was going to shove him out of the way to have my turn, so instead I grabbed the cache as he handed it up.

And not long after sidekick too the above photo he tried to break himself by falling in a hole or a crevice or something similar which resulted in him flopping around like a fish (I’m exaggerating…a bit) and saying all kinds of bad words. Also, he scared me to death.  Fortunately he was more or less fine. After all, what’s a day of caching without at least one injury?

Part Two: Bell Knob Fire Tower & Bushwhackers View (Yes I’m skipping over a few caches)

So after knocking off a few other caches we headed towards Bell Knob Fire Tower. The walk was pretty easy and not too far. The cache itself was super easy to find. A visually impaired person could have found it. After all, an ammo can hidden at the base of a sapling…well, you do the math. After signing the log and concealing the container a few of us went up the tower to check out the view. Fortunately this tower wasn’t near as high as Olson Tower.

Very cool seeing Chimney Rock across the way and knowing we’d been up there a few years ago. WOW.

Even Ping got in on the act. Must be nice to be carried to all these cool places.

And Gentleman-Carpenter was nice enough to stay down bottom while we climbed the tower so we could get a nice perspective shot.

And so, from Bell Knob we headed out towards our date with destiny Bushwhackers View. Although we did first make a quick grab where sidekick found these awesome sunglasses. He’s cooler than you.

This is the first part of the cache description: The cache is at a rock scree area accessible only by bushwhack the last 0.3mi through spruce forest,over & around large rocks. From the gate of Forest Rd 70 it is 5mi. to the cache. Excellent offtrail, backcountry skills required. The view is magnificent. The cache is hidden under a rock (where else?).

Now we did not actually have a 10 mile round trip hike because the gate to Forest Rd. 70 was open. I checked. Trust me. I’m not hiking when we can get there by car/truck/jeep. Still, that’s not to say it was an easy hike.

And we’ll not discuss the bushwhack, except to say that we lost the rock cairn trail as soon as we entered the tree line and managed not to find a trail or more cairns until we were almost at the overlook. So we soldiered on with ruanwv leading the way and us trying to keep up. Eventually we stumbled upon the last cairn and soon found ourselves presented with a spectacular view. Which we all enjoyed… (Also we enjoyed the respite from bushwhacking.)

3_Dogs & ruanwv did a little cache maintenance while we were there.

That done and tidied up, we had no choice but to bushwhack back to the road. We did our best to follow the cairns, but once again managed to lose them. We were getting tired and hungry and losing daylight which made for a less than stellar return bushwhack. The only saving grace was the tracklog on the GPS.

Dolly Sods, been there, done that. Let’s go eat!

 

chris on September 30th 2012 in Geocaching

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