IntroThe goal of this weekend was to hit up the highpoints of PA, MD, and WV. The original plan was to leave NYC and hike Mt Davis, PA and Backbone Mtn, MD on Friday, then hike Spruce Knob, WV and drive to Pittsburgh on Saturday, then Sunday to do some site seeing and catch a Pirates game (I’m trying to visit every MLB ballpark) before driving back to NYC. While this exact plan never came to fruition there was still plenty of adventure and memories to be had.
Friday (PA & MD)We woke up around 5:30am and hopped in my car and drove the 6 hours or so to Mt. Davis. I think we took a wrong turn and ending up driving up the wrong side of the mountain on a gravel road for quite some time. However that did lead us to this scenic overlook. Also we saw a trailhead that said 5miles to Mt Davis so that is worth investigating for someone looking for longer hike. To get there from 219 follow signs for Mt Davis summit and turn on that road but then drive past the turn to summit and you’ll
see the overlook, keep going a couple miles I think and it’ll be marked trailhead on your left.
Driving the back roads towards Maryland we passed an abnormal amount of churches per the amount of houses I saw. They all had witty sayings on their boards such as, “Warning get exposure to the Son or you’ll burn”. We stopped for lunch at some biker tavern on a lake where I got a fried cod sandwich and made it to MD trailhead sometime later. Starting hiking the 1.5m trail I could feel the cod in my belly, luckily the hike is very easy. We got to an area that I actually thought was the summit, there is this nice triangle monument you see. But that is not it. We luckily spotted a sign and continued on. The summit is nice there is a picnic table, birdhouse, and a monument thing. They are also nice enough to put a post for you to put your camera on to take timed photo of yourselves. Hence this shot. Perfect weather and Highpoint #2 of the day.
gems in places I would never normally go. We then drove south and stayed at Caanan Valley Resort in Davis WV which I think is closest place you can stay to Spruce Knob coming from this direction.
Saturday (The Waste)The next day since we wanted to hike and then drive to Pittsburgh we had to wake bright and early. We were in car by 5:30am and heading towards Spruce Knob, when all of a sudden every light on my dash lit up, smoke from the hood, power steering gone, and the car was in danger of overheating. Zero cell phone reception obviously. We pulled into first gas station we could which was like 10 miles away and we had to keep pulling over so car would overheat and explode. We asked for a mechanic and they told us a man named Butcher has a place 5 miles down road and they think he’s open Saturdays. They said that time of morning he’s hangs out at Travelmart which is another gas station so they call there and sure enough Butcher is there and says he’ll be at his shop at 8am. We drive to his shop (the description we got was, “head on down the road a ways and look for beige building with no sign and lots of junk cars out front” we get there and sit in car for 2hours until at 8:01am when Butcher and his unnamed assistant show up. They are very nice with thick West Virginian accents that I didn’t always understand and they told us several times “you’re a long way from home”. I was super nervous because if this was serious car trouble I didn’t want to be stranded and I drive a BMW and that’s not really a prevalent type of vehicle here so depending on the part I could very well be stuck. It turned out just to be a belt so
Butcher sent his wife 45 miles away to pick up the spare. It took pretty much all day to get fixed. I slept in the shade of an old tractor tire for a few hours, smoked a cigar, walked to travelmart for cup of worse
coffee ever. We had to cancel the Pittsburgh part of trip which makes me sad as that is supposedly one of the nicest ball parks in country. Here is some instagrams of this wasted day.
Eventually car was fixed and we decided to drive to Franklin, WV because that seemed closer to the mountain to stay the night (about 55 minutes versus 1hr 15 from Caanan Valley). We found the Star Hotel which doesn’t look great from outside but was pretty nice, rooms clean and staff friendly, and the food in restaurant was decent.