It’s was on my way home from my backpacking trip that I got the bad news. Daisy was not doing so well and Dy was worried that this was the end. She had been dealing with kidney failure for the last four months. It had been a roller coaster of ups and downs. She was now the worst she had ever been.
Upon arriving home things looked very grim. She had not anything to eat in the last three days and appeared to be in severe pain. As her condition steadily declined throughout the day of Wednesday we knew it was time to make a decision. Dy had scheduled an appointment for Thursday morning which we knew was going to be a last time we would see her.
She had a great little personality and loved to be around us. We will miss her.
After a summer of oppressive heat, I was looking forward to getting out in the woods to do some walking. Finally in the third week of August, the weather cooled down enough to make for comfortable hiking temps. I decided on heading back down into WV to do a two day backpack in the Roaring Plains Wilderness area of the Monongahela National Forest. This section of the mid-Atlantic continues to be my favorite spot. A 3-1/2 hour drive from home isn’t too far and the variety of geography is unparalleled in this part of the world. I decided to go from Sunday the 19th until Tuesday the 21st. I had my first 50 miler scheduled for the following week and had only a slow 3 mile run on Monday planned so I figured a 6 mile or so hike would be at least equal. After completing an 8 mile run on Sunday morning, I grabbed my pack and Jethro’s (my 15 month old Lab) and we left mid morning. I arrived at South Prong Trailhead about 1:00. We got onto the trail and followed South Prong about two miles before taking a left onto the hidden passage to take us out to the rim of Longs Canyon. We arrived at the camping spot that I had in mind at about 5:00. This is definitely one of the best spots.
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With a fantastic view
We then spent the rest of the evening at the campsite. I set up camp, got a fire going and cut a bunch of wood as someone else decided they were done for the evening.
On Monday morning we awoke to cloudy conditions. My plan for the day was to hike over to Haystack Knob and then hike back or even consider a bushwack straight shot back to the campsite if terrain wasn’t too bad. We didn’t get that far. We had hiked the rim up to the boulder section but the terrain was too difficult for Jethro to continue. This area is a talus slope of desk sized boulders that goes on for about a quarter mile. there was no way he was getting through that. We turned around and I decided to try to take the Teepee trail to Roaring plains and continue or hike. This turned out to be very exhausting and after getting to the Roaring plains trail we were out of water. The closest water was near the campsite and given the cloudy conditions, I wasn’t going to be able to see much from Haystack anyhow. We then traced our steps back to the campsite. I decided to just take it easy for the rest of the day, cut more wood and try to grab a few more pics.