Rainy Hikes: White Oak to Cranny Crow Overlook

View from the top of cranny crow overlook

My friend, D and I, hiked to Cranny Crow Overlook from Lost River State Park in good ole WV. The park is super small, we (meaning me because I was driving) drove past the parking lot for the hike and about five seconds later we had left Lost River.

Fortunately, we  eventually found the lost river, or at least the parking lot in Lost River which led us to a nice hike. The first bit was chill, meandering along a nice river path that followed the road. There was a suspension bridge at the beginning we crossed, which I was not feeling.

Then we arrived at a Dreaded Fire/Service Road or whatever they are and lemme tell you something, Linda, I do not like walking on these roads.

At the end of the road, we made a sharp left onto White Oak trail (I had wisely screenshotted directions ahead of time, otherwise we would’ve taken the wrong trail).

There were several switchbacks, but eventually we (meaning D) got tired and just went straight up the mountain since there were also trails that went through the switchbacks/straight up the mountain (do these have a name? regular trail maybe?). Nevertheless, it was yet another stark reminder of how out of shape I have become.

After that we followed Millers Something Trail (it was yellow I think…) until we reached Cranny Crow Overlook. There was a shelter there (and it was (naturally) raining) so we took some pictures, ate lunch, and relaxed.

And here lies the place where I lost my footing and almost plummeted down the mountain trying to get pictures for Instagram. Kidding, at least about trying to get a picture. D (bless her) agreed to go hiking with me even though she had a virtual meeting. By some miraculous move of God (or probably because there was a tower nearby) there was cell service at the top so she went on her call and I walked down to Cheeks Rocks, because it was cold, windy, and lightly raining and I was trying to warm up.

The rocks looked cool, so I tentatively stepped onto them and wham! Foot slipped. Fortunately, I did not fall. But I did turn around and meander back over to D who was still in her virtual meeting.

Right about now, the heavens began dumping buckets of water on us. Did I already mention it was freezing cold and windy? And foggy, and whenever it’s foggy and I’m in the woods, I spend an inordinate amount of time pondering The Mist by Stephen King and envisioning some strange creatures lurking around the woods, waiting to eat me.

Anywho, we weren’t feeling very adventurous (and it was raining) so we decided not to attempt the loop and just went back the way we came.

Would rate at 8/10 – 1 point for fire/service road, -1 point for the weather not bending to my will/where’s the lost river? Would definitely return for the views though.

Hiking Isle A Haute in Maine

Context: It’s 2018. We three adventurers (myself and two friends, M and H) take a one-hour boat ride to Isle Au Haut in Maine. We have a great time hiking, enjoying a chill lunch by the water, and taking pictures for the gram.

A white lighthouse by the ocean

However, we (meaning I) wanted to hike to Duck Harbor Mountain. I’m very task oriented so once I get it in my head to do something, I will do it. My friends are more of the dilly dally type, which is fine but we had to be back by 4:00pm to avoid missing the boat and it was about 2:00 when I realized we weren’t going to make it to the mountain moving at the speed of aging turtles.

M and H are indeed dilly dallying by a cliff’s edge, taking pictures. I take my picture and return to the trail, pausing to make eye-contact with H. I say loudly (I think) that I’m going to keep going. And I do.

So there I go, hiking at the speed of a dying slug through beautiful woods with the sound of ocean waves permeating the air. My friends have yet to catch up, oddly. I take a 15 minute break on a comfy rock, eat an apple, and marvel at the beauty of God’s creation. A Hiker Couple passes me. I greet them. My friends are nowhere to be found. Now my annoyance reaches peak levels, I mean why are they hiking so slowly? I told them I wanted to see the view from the Mountain.

So off I go once more. Eventually, I hit this fork in the road (no picture, sadly). It gives me three options: Duck Harbor Mountain, Goat Something, And Wherever I Came From. I realize (sadly) my friends will never know which way I’ve gone as I only lightly voiced my desire to go to Duck Harbor Mountain earlier. I consider going anyway and just meeting them at the boat, but something tells me to turn around. So I begrudgingly head back.

I nearly careen into my amigas on the trail. They are sweaty and breathless, and elated at the sight of me. I’m irked and wondering, why are they so breathless hiking slow as they were?

Well, this is why.

H saw me briefly, but didn’t hear me say I was hiking onward. So they took a few pictures and discovered I have seemingly vanished into thin air. They gaze down into the watery abyss known as the ocean, wondering if I’ve slipped and drowned (I cannot swim and am clumsy so it’s a reasonable assumption). They do not see my corpse floating anywhere (and I was nowhere near the edge when I vanished anyway) so they rule that out and assume someone has kidnapped me while they weren’t looking (also a reasonable assumption as I’m unobservant and would hardly notice anyone following me).

They split up. H hikes backwards. M hikes forward. Both intent on throwing hands on my behalf. M must’ve stopped just short of where I was taking a break before turning around. H hiked all the way back to the trailhead (which was a significant distance away) and asked the ranger there if she had seen me. She had not.

Did I mention there is no cell service on this island?

M went far enough to run into Hiker Couple, who confirmed I was still among the free. M and H regrouped and hustled forward, eventually running into me. They were about two minutes from calling search and rescue as they legitimately thought somebody had kidnapped me and Hiker Couple had mistaken me for someone else.

Needless to say, I did not get to see the view from Duck Harbor Mountain, because we instead wisely choose to make it back to the boat on time. But I have some pretty awesome (and fit) friends. We’re all able to laugh about this now and I have since refrained from wandering off when hiking with others, less they think a Sasquatch has taken me hostage.

Anyway, 10/10. Definitely recommend visiting Acadia National Park in Maine.

Sunrise Hikes: Bearfence Mountain

Sunrise over mountains

What’s better than waking up at 4:00 am to watch the sunrise at Bearfence in Shenandoah National Park?

Sunrise over mountains

Not much.

This was like the second “serious” hike I ever went on and, lemme tell you, hiking in the dark is something else (especially if you’re like me and can’t see very well even in broad daylight). But the views are worth it, especially just as the sun’s coming up over the mountains, and this hike is rather short – even my out of shape self got to the top in about 20 minutes.

Since this fateful time, which cemented my love of most things outdoor, I’ve hiked Bearfence at least a dozen times, half of which have been sunrise hikes, and the view never gets old.