Dolly Sods Wilderness West (by God) Virginia

A brief getaway from crowds and barbeques on Memorial Day weekend.
We're really camping in this? Dolly Sods Wilderness, Memorial Day Weekend, 2003. By the time we reached trail head visability was less than 30 feet. Dunno how many potholes we hit with poor Alison's off road thingy (she refuses to call it an SUV!). We navigated (again) to our camp in whiteout under GPS. We were beginnig to wonder if we would ever hike where we could see more than a few feet and didn't need waterproof socks.
Next morning--things look much better...maybe we will stay after all... Oh, did we forget to mention the attack of the slugs. They were everywhere: on our shoes, tent walls in our sleeping bags. Took a while to "clean-up" the tent.
And, we're off, into the sogs, er sods (very, very soggy)
Lunch at the Dobbins Slashings...day picking up, we decide to wade through the Slashings, because, well, it's there and like the proverbial chicken we had to get to the other side. Really! The whole "grassy" area in this photo is not as solid as it looks. In most places you'll sink up to your calves in squishy sphagnum peat bog.
First, waterproof everything...then commence wading
Once on the other side of the Slashings, the path did not get much better
Alan walking on one of the many rocky stretches on our way up to Cabin Mountain.
Finally on top of Cabin Mountain: the weather held and we enjoyed some wonderful views (behind us, out of site, is the brand new Mountaineer Wind Energy Center, formally The Backbone Mountain Project and run by former Alison employer Florida Power & Light). It really doesn't get more exciting than that.
We found some great rock and commence climbing
and continue to climb...
Finally, we hit flat lands, meadows, more soggy area, but finally drying from the sun
More flat lands, gorgeous views
Gorgeous campers sunning themselves after lunch
(matching in case anyone didn't notice that we're wearing the same clothes in every picture).
When we called it a night, we were treated to a wonderful sunset.
Next morning, we're off again, through the trees, using the GPS system....
Alison has a crack at navigating cross-country through the trees. She hit our destination a few miles off almost dead on. Not bad for a one ounce $8.00 compass. Wonder why we were carrying the GPS. Still hasn't been convinced to operate the electronic thingy!
We manage to navigate to this waterfall at the confluence of two steams.
and take the best picture of the day
The requisite boring wildflower shot. You're off the hook now.
I like this one a lot. Alison is so, so about it at best. She relented so it's in (after losing an arm wrestling contest). I think she looks absolutely fetching with the azeleas.