Dolly Sods Wilderness: Dolly Sods North Loop Day 1 – Part 3

Continued from Day 1 Part 2

After hanging out at the sandstone boulders for a while, taking pictures, we decided to get a move on and find our campsite.

We left the sweeping vistas and turned onto Dobbin Glade Trail. There are not many campsites on this loop that are located next to water, so we were aiming for the spot next to a creek about 6 miles in pictured on the map.

Along the way, Dobbin Glade Trail had some lovely nature to take in.

Tawny Cotton Grass

Tawny Cotton Grass, or Eriophorum virginicum, is a member of the Sedge Family (Cyperaceae). It grows throughout eastern North America and some places in western Canada in bogs and wet meadows. It flowers June to September.

There was a huge field of these in a boggy area.

Along Dobbin Glade Trail I saw lots of green and red combinations of moss and plant life. I loved this unique mix of colors in the middle of the forest.

***

We arrived at our campsite around 3 pm and staked out our tent in the first empty spot by the trail. There were two more campsites available at this location – one just beyond the trees and another a minute or two walk beyond in a pine forest. There aren’t  any good campsites beyond this point on the loop next to water, so this is the best place to stay.

There was time as we settled in for the night, so we decided to make a campfire. There was some wood that a previous camper had left next to the campsite, but it wasn’t enough, so we explored the area, hunting for some more tinder and bigger sticks. That’s how we found the two extra campsites. We found most of the wood in the pine forest just a couple minutes from the campsite. It was easy to find – there was a light path previous campers had made.

The last time we were in Dolly Sods we were unable to start a fire due to high winds and lack of experience. This time it worked!

My husband, who is from Japan, had never tasted roasted marshmallows before. I wanted to introduce him to the crispy outside-gooey inside deliciousness of roasted marshmallows, so we made some on the fire. We enjoyed them, although they were a bit sticky! I’ll introduce him to s’mores another time.

***

With this and that, puttering around, it was time to sleep. Since my husband likes to take pictures of the night sky, we decided to get up in the middle of the night to see the situation. And my, what a situation! It had been a long time since I’d seen stars like that, dusting the entire sky, and a clear band of the Milky Way. It was wondrous.

It was about midnight when we got up and the moon was a sliver hiding just above the horizon, behind the trees, sparing us from the brightness that could impact star pictures.

My husband took this amazing shot of the Milky Way after about an hour of trying various permutations on his camera. He had to wipe his lens before every picture because of the fog condensation that would build. It took him about an hour to get this photo. I must admit, at some point I went back to the tent because I was shivering. After he finished, we went back to sleep in our cozy down sleeping bags.

Continue to Day 2

4 Replies to “Dolly Sods Wilderness: Dolly Sods North Loop Day 1 – Part 3”

  1. This looks like such a great hike!

    1. It is! I highly recommend it. It’s great for backpacking, but also doable as a long day hike (12 miles total).

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