|Hiking Little Sluice Mountain|
We half-dozed until the canine circus got into full swing and I finally got up at 6:45 to take them out. Before I left the bedroom and based on the chill in the room, I threw on three layers anticipating the cold outside. Outside, walking on the heavy frost, I pulled my hood up over my ears. In January, I'm sure that 27 degrees will feel pretty warm, but right now, it's the coldest morning so far of the fall. I struggled with pants or shorts as I always do this time of year. Pants won out, but by 11am, I was wishing for shorts. It's a no win situation this time of year.
On autopilot, half asleep and half exhausted from working 90 hours last week, I made some weak-ass coffee. I don't know how but I measured the beans wrong. After coffee, we got saddled up and on the road by 8am. There's no point in going out screaming early this time of year: it's good to wait for a little sunlight. Those mountain coves stay pretty cold in the morning.
You can approach this area from either Virginia or West Virginia, given that it straddles the border. Today's hike took us out Waite's Run Road out of Wardensville on the WV side to where Cove Run empties into Waite's Run. Our hike took us up Cove Run to the ridgeline of Little Sluice, back north along the ridgeline, and back down to the car.
This was a tough trailhead to find. Well, actually not. We found it just fine. It's just that there wasn't any signage or evidence on the ground that we were at the right place and here up at the tail end of the dirt Waites Run Road is pretty much the boonies with nobody to ask. Unsure of exactly where we were but thinking we were in the correct place (no sign saying "You are here!"), we kept going and finally saw the well-marked Old Mailpath trail as it crossed the road. We turned around and parked, the only car there probably all day. We met no other hikers all day and saw no other vehicles. Win for us!
|Right on the Border; We Walked the Border|
|Unusual: We Started in a White Pine Forest|
|Very Chilly Start to Our Day|
|High Tech Footbridge on Cove Run|
|Walking Through a Wildlife Field; Mill Mountain Ahead|
|So Green it Looked Like Spring|
|On The Ridge: Stunted Oak Forest|
|Cairn Marking Overlook Trail|
|Stunning Panorama from Opa Overlook|
|Sheffer Gap; Tea Mountain to Left|
|Annie Takes in Little North Mountain and Beyond|
|Channeling Kate Winslet|
|Short Sleeves and Rolled-up Pants|
|Post Hike Reward|
|Chicharrones: Dangerous, Dangerous Bar Snacks|
|Nachos: Not Super Awesome|
|Really Great Wings|
|Burgers and Onion Rings are Very Good Here|