Backbone Mountain 10-29-03

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      [Ed: Imported from Americas Roof ‘Summit Trip Reports’ forum]
      [By: Jerry Bresnahan on March 13 2004 at 6:56 PM]

      I got to the ridge of Backbone Mountain, the Highpoint of Maryland at 3,360 feet, on Wednesday afternoon, October 29th, 2003. It was my 16th state highpoint.

      I enjoyed the drive north from Spruce Knob, seeing the beautiful Seneca Rocks again from a different angle. The directions in both the Winger’s and Holmes’ guidebooks are from the north. Since I was coming from the south I thought I would have to drive up to SR 24 and then back track. However I saw the sign for the “Smallest Church in the 48 States” and stopped there for a quick visit. Then I drove back south ½ mile to the orange HP sign which I did not notice on my way north. I parked along side the road, not realizing that there was a good size parking area a couple hundred yards up the logging road. I started my climb at 3:30PM and reached the summit 25 minutes later. The trail was well marked and easy to follow although it was a little slippery due to the light drizzle and wet leaves. The temperature was 45 degrees and it was cloudy. On my way to the summit I took the rocky path shown in the Winger’s guidebook, stopping at the State Line Marker #3 and took the easy path going back down. This highpoint was very well maintained and it was the first one I have found with HP completion certificates and my first HP east of the Mississippi with a sign in book. There was a very nicely built cairn, over 5 feet tall, and the view was great if you don’t mind the smokestacks off in the distance. I sat at the picnic table, signed the logbook and started back down. I wanted to get going before it got much darker. I like getting off the Interstates and driving the country roads whenever possible but I’m not too crazy about driving dark mountain roads at night. Of course I am ever watchful of other traffic, particularly drunks and other lunatics, but mostly I’m concerned about hitting deer and other critters crossing the roadway. I do have deer whistles on my car and they seem to work on deer but I don’t think they are very effective for smaller animals.
      I made it to Washington, PA by 7:30PM and spent the night at the Motel 6, taking advantage of my AARP discount one more time. The following day I drove the Interstates all the way back home to Illinois, arriving at 6:30PM Central Time.

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