WV 7/31/04

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      [Ed: Imported from Americas Roof ‘Summit Trip Reports’ forum]
      [By: Steven Tursi on August 1 2004 at 1:55 PM]

      Third of 3 highpoints for the day – started out with PA then MD. To get an idea of how long it takes, we stood on Mt. Davis at about noon, and was on Spruce Knob by 6pm. We stopped for lunch for an hour or so in Accident MD on the way, and of course, picked up MD in between.

      If you read the other two reports you’ll see that it was raining hard on PA and MD. We were pretty psyched, then, for WV because the rain was ending and, while overcast, the visibility was improving and we were able to take in some of the views of the drive. Seneca Rocks in particular are amazing. This didn’t last, however, when on the access road to Spruce Knob we got some more heavy rain. I was actually worried because I thought I heard thunder – and knowing that the western highpoints are notorius for their dangerous lighting, I wasn’t about to go to one of the most exposed spots the Appalacians in a thunderstorm. So I was worried about getting up there and being turned around. Fortunately, I didn’t see any subsequent signs of lighting until I was well off the Knob and in the valley.

      I didn’t anticipate the cold, however. I mean, I know that Spruce Knob is at almost 5000 feet – but on the other hand, it was West Virginia and it was July 31st. Imagine my surprise when I opened the car door and felt the rush of 40º air and sleet pelt me, and it didn’t help that my shorts were still wet from the hike up Maryland. The skier in me really appreciated a miniature reprieve from the rain in the middle of summer, but I wasn’t dressed for it. I pictured this being a hot and humid day and brought nothing but a cooler full of water, cotton shorts and a duofold t-shirt. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was God’s subtle way of teaching me to be prepared before going out on these trips.

      So back to the story, we went up to the observation deck (which, by the way, would be a really nice spot for a BBQ in nice weather) and took a few pictures before getting out of dodge and back beneath the cover of trees. I’d estimate the wind on the deck to be about 50mph. It was actually exhilirating – three highpoints in a day and we were successful despite bad weather and bad preperation. We took US-33 back to I-81 (which took a long long time), had dinner (Waffle House) and were on our way back to Rockland COunty, NY – where we arrived after 2 in the morning. We left the previous morning at 6am.

      Photographs will be posted here in the next couple of days: http://turzman.com/projects/highpoints/wv.html

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