The weather called for rain and thunderstorms for this weekend, I felt confident anyway because I finally broke down and spent the $4 for a rain poncho. I decided to craft another backpacking loop out of Halfmoon mountain in the George Washington National Forest.I had a bunch of reading to do so I put all my gear and magazines in the minivan and left late Friday. Somehow I managed to find the trailhead off of Trout Run Road (P2)in pitch dark and spent a very pleasant night in the van. It's very dark and quiet in that spot. The next morning I headed out confidently on the trail with the map in my pack. The map would have helped a little more had I bothered to look at it because I went the wrong way, I ended up hiking up on what I had planned to be my return segment. Flexibility is the key to life.
The Bucktail trail doubles as some sort of forest Road, I don't much care for hiking on roads, I don't like the surface. But my attitude completely changed when I hit a trail called German Wilson, this beauty rises 1200 feet in 1 miles, all on a miserable slippery rocky surface....pure heaven. I became enchanted with all the pretty mushrooms and one lizard which I saw on my way up. I took a bunch of pictures, I'll call this my mushroom study.
Even though I had dilly dallied with the mushroom fascination, I managed to summit on Half Moon in 4 hours. I spent the afternoon catching up on all my reading.
Since I hadn't met any other hikers on the way up, I figured I was safe to camp at the very summit placing my tent at the top, directly on the trail. Fortunately, nobody came by to complain and I had a beautiful view. I made a fire and burnt all my reading material. It rained for some of the afternoon but the poncho kept my dry.
Sunday, it was cool for once when I woke up. I hiked down part of the Halfmoon Trail which was very gentle, I would say it would be ideal for beginning hikers, I then returned to the trailhead via the Bucktail Cutoff Trail, also very nice. This area seems to be very popular for horseback riding, as I saw a bunch of horses and riders at the trailhead. It only took me 2 hours to get down so I had most of Sunday left to do something else. I decided to go tubing. Tubing on the Cacapon near Yellow Springs
View Tubing on the Cacapon in a larger map
I've been a little fascinated with the Cacapon River so I decided to find a place to tube on it. I followed route 259 northwards and decided to tube the stretch between Capon Lake and Yellow Springs, about 2 miles.
The first mile was a great deal of fun but the last stretch was a little slow. I used my bike which I had locked up at Yellow Springs to get back to my car.
Update 9/13/09 Someone asked me about the parking area for the Halfmoon Hike. I created this map with associated coordinates for the parking areas. I used parking area #1 for this hike. Slap those coordinates into your GPS and you are so there.