During our last winter adventure to West Virginia we found a ton of campsites that we thought would have potential when the weather finally got warmer. So we headed out on Memorial Day weekend for our first West Virginia couples camping trip of the season (yes you read that correctly, our wives are awesome and love coming along).
We left DC on Sunday morning with everyone in high spirits. We’d been planning a group camping trip all winter and were finally getting the opportunity to start off the season, so you can imagine how pumped we were. Mark, Ben, and I were the only ones able to make this trip but we were also joined by our lovely wives and our loyal canine companions (unless cheese is involved, then they become rabid… the dogs not our wives).
We decided to kick off the trip with a breakfast stop at Christina’s Cafe in Strasburg (the food is great, but it’s not the place to stop an eat if you’re in a hurry) and then made a beeline for Dolly Sods. We definitely underestimated the Memorial Day crowd in the area, but we were still able to get some great scenic shots from on top of the mountain. The views were worth it, but if you head up here on a weekend be prepared for traffic jams, and Prius drivers bombing down the mountain.
After finishing our short hike, we headed out towards Davis, WV to find a campsite for the evening. We made our way to Forest Road 18 so we could actually hit some real dirt road on our way to some of the potential campsites we’d marked on our previous trip. We even got the chance to do some
poser water crossings! If you get the chance to run the road you should, it’s mild enough that a stock 4×4 could handle it, but there’s enough terrain to keep you interested.
The campsite we decided to go with for the evening had a nice long pull through and easily had space for 5-6 OzTent’s. We’d spotted it during the winter and thought it had tons of potential, it also turns out that a creek is about 50 feet away so you get to listen to water all night (if this is not your thing or running water makes you have to use the bathroom find a different place to camp). Based on our experience the place is pretty lightly traveled and you’ll probably only run into a handful of locals.
Setting up camp was pretty uneventful, and Ben even brought along a bottle of Champagne because you can’t camp without champagne. He went the stainless steel pint glass route, but I know that everything tastes better out of SnowPeak titanium.
The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful and consisted of us sitting around the campfire swapping stories and planning for the next trip out. Some clown decided to go dump a few magazines out of his handgun a few hundred yard from our camp, but at least he was polite enough to go by our camp slowly on his ATV. I’ll be honest, the dog and I slept through the whole thing, but at least my wife woke up.
The next morning we made a quick trip out to the Olsen Observation Tower to take in the views. It was a little safer this time due to it not being covered in ice, but the sign didn’t seem to have survived the
lead rain winter. We got the obligatory group truck shots, loaded up the trucks and headed back towards Virginia, based on how well Coco slept I think we all had a great time.
On the way home
Maria twisted my arm and demanded a stop at one of our favorite wineries we stopped at the the winery to eat some more cheese and meat because wine not? It was a great way to end an amazing weekend trip and none of our wives tried to kill us, so overall I’d say we had a pretty successful weekend. Till next time…
Brad P central Ohio says
Thanks for the winter trip write up: Jenny and I roved the Canaan Valley area in April….Did the loop, overlooks, falls, coke furnaces, fire tower, Great area!
Thanks for being a reader Brad, glad you enjoyed the write up. We’ve been spending time out in the Canaan Valley area for years and we’ve just started exploring all of the back roads.
Sounds like fun. One thing that would make these trip posts more interesting is a GPS track. Can usually reverse engineer it but it would be nice to see to add it to the to do list.
Jim, thanks for the feedback, we don’t like to give up the GPS track for our entire trips, but we like to think we leave enough breadcrumbs for readers to figure out where we went. Half of the adventure is getting out there and exploring random back country roads and the majority of what we’ve found has just been through the use of google maps.