Travels: Sep 09 – 11, 2016
This trip is about our annual excursion to Seneca Rocks, West Virginia for climbing, caving, hiking, camping, fishing.. and other fun as we think of it. These trips are spearheaded and guided by local climbing expert (he wouldn’t admit this) and all-around swell guy Mark “Indy” Kotchte.
Mark is quite a unique and talented individual and I always look forward to spending some time together climbing and catching up on life. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and fun had by all.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Departing for Seneca, WV
It’s been the usual busy week leading up to the Seneca weekend with little time to pack. So I gave myself three hours this morning while getting Samantha ready for school. Thank goodness I waited to take my shower as the humidity is stifling. I plan to leave work early to get a good jump on the 4+ hour ride to the campsite.
Arrived at Seneca around dinner time then made fast work in setting up camp. After a great freeze-dried meal of chicken and mashed potatoes I was right as rain. Speaking of which I was treated to a three minute downpour while enroute to Seneca.. quite refreshing. After some socializing I’m off for some early rest to see what tomorrow offers up.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
I woke this morning remembering loud chirping and some other strange sounds as I was lulled to a deep sleep last night. As I stretched myself awake I hurriedly boiled water for my freeze-dried eggs n bacon and French press coffee. It’s hard to explain but I’ll say that being far out in nature breakfast just tastes that much better, so I took my time and savored it.
After breaky I headed over to see what Mark and guests were up to. Lots of discussions about caving, climbing and the swimming hole. It all sounded good to me but by not bringing the bike trailer I had to forego the caving gear. When all was said and done I decided to hit the town to do some blog posts then head out to Blackwater Falls State Park to explore. I’ll hit the swimming hole later to cool off.
It was a “cool” ride for the appx. 40 miles through the mountains and the high elevation to reach Blackwater Falls. After touring through the park I decided to stop at Sirianni’s Restaurant for lunch. Nice place with a history.. The food’s good too ;)).
After heading back to camp I stopped at the store to do some posting and find out where the swimming hole is. Fortunately it’s very close by so onward I went. Great place with VERY COLD water. I was so hot from the past two days though I just jumped right in clothes and all. It took about 10 minutes for me to catch my breath from the cold water but then had a great time swimming and splashing about. After a while I got out to air-dry then headed to the store. While there I met up with some climbers from camp who mentioned they were heading to the swimming hole. I did a quick ride to camp to alert the others in case they wanted to swim. I then headed back for another dip.
More swimming and much-needed exercise with several others from camp then once thoroughly chilled we decided to join some at the Upper Deck for dinner. I partially dried, hopped on the bike and headed over for a tasty BBQ sandwich and comradery. Once finished I rode back to camp then settled into my tent to read and sip some 12 year-old Angostora 1824 rum. A nice ending to a great day.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Day 2 & Departing for home
After a cooler night of sound sleep I woke up very early to the pitter-patter of some raindrops on the tent. After zipping the tent rainfly closed I was back off to sleep. After waking (to a clear sky) feeling refreshed I ate breakfast and drank my last cup of morning brew as I thought about the day. I decided not to do a morning climb (with a small group that was heading over to the cliffs) as this would put me home way later than I wanted. When I’m tenting it by motorcycle there’s always a lot of post-trip maintenance to do to keep all the gear working right.
After meeting in the pavilion I learned that most were already packing to get a jump on the return trip home. After some talk of the trip, future trips and some goodbyes I went back the break down my camp. After packing my world into two bags I strapped everything onto Dory and said some final thanks and goodbyes. It’d been a fun trip that I enjoyed. I’m thinking of mentioning it to Samantha and the girls next year who may want to come out and give caving a try. Packed and ready off I went to the store to do some blogging. Darn, their wifi is down, so onward I go..
The ride home was cool, crisp and clear and thoroughly enjoyable. The mountain views, valleys, veggie and flower gardens all looked just a bit better in the coolness of the high pressure system that made it’s way in. As me and Dory glided down the backroads then roared onto the highway I felt the twang of not wanting to leave such a beautiful area. As I progressed I thought many things, as usual, while my senses were bathed in the wonders of nature. I must have had a smile on my face the entire way back ;-).
I stopped once for gas and to grab a sandwich at a big Wawa west of Frederick, MD. After a long 30-40 minute break, and some conversations from patrons passing by Dory, I threw a leg over the saddle and made a bee-line for home. After arriving I washed and dried my gear, clothes and dishes then finished some weekend chores. As I drifted towards sleep I recounted the short but fun weekend with friends out in nature… just the way it should be.