I am hoping Erik will make another post soon with maps, gps coordinates, and finer details. Below will be the fun story time post to read by your fireplace...
On this last visit, Erik and I had the off trail bug...our hopes were to sate our constant empty bottle love for adventure as well as hone our navigation skills. The unique landscape of Dolly Sods (the sods from here on out) makes it a great east coast location to go off trail: tons of meadows, mossy bogs, and long distance visibility...at least on clear days, that is. The sods is a refreshing piece of open country compared to the otherwise dense forests of the eastern US. It's truly a gem.
As is common for fall in the northeast, our two days were spent wandering in a thick fog with on and off rain and very high humidity.
See above the visibility was pretty low compared to this picture below of the sods on a much more clear day:
We started our two day adventure by taking a compass bearing of a creek near the trail head. Our plan was to follow the creek as long as we could and then make our way up one of the many 3,500' to 4,000' mountains. We soon found our creek and quickly came to an open meadow making for what we thought would be great travel...
It didn't take long for us to realize that off trail excursions are marked by quickly changing highs and lows. One moment we'd be struggling through thick woods trying desperately to keep tree branches from poking our precious eyes; another moment we'd be high fiving and celebrating our discovery of some fast and smooth travel through an open field or game trail.
The mossy bogs proved to be extremely wet and energy sucking so we decided to swiftly make for higher ground. Although it wasn't part of our originally planned route, this was a great idea as it successfully started our big push of the first day. Once we crossed a swollen creek we excitedly started up a mountain I had pointed to with my usual exclamation of, "that one, let's go up that one, Erik!"