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2017 Dolly Sod 5-day Backpacking Trip Report

Dolly Sod Wilderness Area, WV
Aug 7 – 12, 2017


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This summer 10 scouts and 3 adults ventured into the North and South of Dolly Sods Wilderness Area; Elijah W, Josh D, Gabe H, Odin M, Joey P, Chaz L, Kendall S, Bobby A, Andrew B and Michael K. ASM Parker lead the trip with help of ASM Macesich and ASM Hindley.

The trip started out with a 3 hour drive from Andrew Chapel to the starting point on Rohrbaugh Trail. The first day was a relatively easy hike of 5 miles to the overnight campsite alongside Red Creek. Since this trip is a prep for Philmont, the scouts were to hone their  already learnt backpacking skills including how to pitch a dining fly, hang bear bags, purify water, and make sure any trash was made as small as possible.

Gabe was crew leader for the first two days, Elijah for the next 2 and then Kendall to finish. The second day started at 7 am for a 9 mile hike to Lions Head. Lions Head is a well known campsite at Dolly Sods which has a rock formation that look like a lion, it also allows for amazing views. The scouts spent the night jumping around and having fun. Lions head was also a “dry campsite”, which means there is no source of water. Two scouts how to walk 1.5 mile round trip to retrieve water for the night’s cooking and cleaning.

The crew set out on the third morning for a  short 5 mile hike to the campsite named “The Forks.” The crew spent the day in the freezing water swimming, washing and throwing stuff into the water. Since this was the middle of the week, the scouts took their clothes, ‘washed’ them in the water and then let them dry in the sun. The following day was the longest, 10 miles of hiking. This is the day where all the scouts were tired and it was raining. When it rains while backpacking, scouts have to keep their packs dry, and themselves. Pack covers covered the packs and raingear covered the scouts. The scouts spend the night at Rendezvous campsite. Rendezvous can only be reached by bushwhacking. Bushwhacking is trailblazing in 3 feet of pointy painful plants.  The scouts spent the night playing euchre or hearts and then they slept. The morning brought the last day of hiking, 6 miles out of the wilderness back to the cars.

The crew drove to Seneca National Park campground to spend the night. We were planned to go out to dinner in the evening and it was only noon so we decided to go to a local swimming hole and spent the afternoon there before taking well earned and needed showers back at the site. The evening was occupied with pizza and soda. In the morning of the last day, the crew went ziplining at a local place. A mile long ziplining course with sky bridges and rappelling at the end. Lunch was spent at a restaurant around the corner before the crew driving back to Vienna and the end of the trip.


Items lost on the trip:
-3 sets of stakes


Items broken on the trip:
-3 sets of hiking poles
-Pair of boots


Special Names of the Trip, courtesy of ASM Hindley

Elijah W – Mr, Shortcut: Whatever he was doing there was always a shortcut to it, even in mud on the trail
Gabe H – Mr. Cheeky: Whenever anyone said anything he always had a comment to say about it
Josh D – Mr. Bojangles: This is the scout whose boots fell apart and whose boots are going up for 1128 archives
Odin M – Mr. Shambles: Whose things were always, well, in a shambles
Bobby A – Mr. Entertainment: Always the entertainment of the crew
Michael K – Mr. Thoughtful: No matter what the task or thing was, he always thought it through
Joey P – Mr. Wait: Whenever he started a sentence, he always said WAIT before he started
Kendall S – Mr. Pyro: It didn’t matter “WHERE”, but he always started a fire
Andrew B – Mr. Loud: He just didn’t have an indoor voice
Chaz L – Mr. Clean: He always had to be ‘clean’, even on the trail
ASM Parker – Mr. Bump: He fell multiple times causing several injuries but fortunately recovering every time
ASM Hindley – Mr. Knick: Kept knicking himself in the slightest ways, had many, but very small injuries
ASM Maesich – Mr. Grump: He was always happy and grumpy at the same time


A great time was had by all, I can highly recommend it.


== Written by Josh D


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