Dolly Sods Wilderness: Dolly Sods North Loop Day 2 – Part 1

Continued from Day 1 Part 3

My husband and I woke up around 6:30 am and saw mist all around us. Our tent also had a lot of condensation on it, both inside and out. There was so much condensation that, when we were packing later, and wiped the tent down with a towel, the towel became soaked! We even had to wring out the towel. This experience led us to decide to switch from our Kelty Salida 2 tent, which does not have ventilation, and upgrade to the REI Quarterdome 3 tent, which does.

Having breakfast and packing up took about two hours again. It seems that’s how long it takes for us. We were on the trail by around 8:30 am. There was no one but us on the trail for a while and we enjoyed the solitude.

We continued our way along Dobbin Glade Trail and soon found a lovely small meadow filled with Flat-topped White Asters and Canada Goldenrods.

Flat-topped White Aster

Flat-topped White Aster, or Doellingeria umbellata, is a member of the Aster Family (Asteraceae). A native flower, it grows throughout eastern North America and blooms August to September. It favors moist thickets and meadows, as well as swamp edges. They can grow 2 to 7 feet tall. I was able to identify this Aster from others because (1) the color; (2) the flower cluster is relatively flat on top; and (3) the elongated flat leaves with smooth edges.

As you may have seen from previous posts, this wildflower is quite common throughout Dolly Sods in August, and I can also confirm in September (from a later hike).

Canada Goldenrod leaves

Canada Goldenrod

Canada Goldenrod, or Solidago canadensis, is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae) and blooms July to September throughout most of North America. They can grow between one and six feet tall.

There are many species of Goldenrod that grow in Virginia / West Virginia. I identified this one from (1) the distinctive lines of  blooms that grow on top of the stems, and (2) the medium-wide, serrated leaves.

It is lovely to see so many of these flowers bunched together, stretching into the distance.

Continue to Day 2 Part 2

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