Dolly Sods is a place that I have been hearing about since I moved to West Virginia almost a year ago. Locals say its a must see in Tucker County and tourists come from all over to explore the magic of this wilderness area. With only a month left in Thomas and no idea when I’ll be returning I decided to finally see what all of the hype was about. I packed up my bag for my first solo overnight backpacking trip and headed out for the wilderness area. I gave myself a little plan and mapped out the sections of the sods I wanted to see for sure before I left. I initially was going to hike in 5 miles set up camp and then the next morning hike back out, and then I realized how incredibly short five miles is. Its something I run on a regular basis. So instead I kept wandering the trails all day seeing a multitude of different terrain- some super forested areas, some rocky mountain terrain, and spots that were completely open and flowing with some beautiful rivers. After walking around 10 miles and enjoying some of the most gorgeous scenery, I decided to set up camp. Tucked away in a little pocket of trees I found my home for the night. It was right near the top of the Rocky Ridge trail which provides some incredible views that make you feel on top of the world. After setting up camp around 5pm and having a delicious meal of ramen, I curled up in my tent, rested my legs, and read until I fell asleep.
I set my alarm bright and early to tear down camp and hike out to watch the sunrise. Standing on top of the mountain watching the sun slowly peak up over the clouds in the crisp morning I felt incredibly calm. As I looked over the mountain the low hanging clouds were reminiscent of the ocean. After hiking back out and finally returned to my car, my soul was incredibly happy. I was excited to finally explore this place that so many West Virginians hold so near and dear to their hearts. I cannot wait to explore more of Dolly Sods and get even more backpacking experience under my belt.