Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Camp Todd

My son, dog, and I took a little time out for hiking, camping, cooking over an open fire along the Little River near Camp Todd in the George Washington National Forest. With rain in the forecast for today, we got our exploring done yesterday and headed home just as the showers started this morning.
Camp Todd is the site of an early 1800s cabin, perhaps a small settlement. I can imagine a difficult life, but there was fresh water, fish, deer, bear, berries to keep folks going. Plenty of firewood, but one can imagine bitter cold winters. A long way to town by foot or horse, too! The rocky soil and small shaded valley would have made crops virtually impossible. Later the Forest Service had a building at same spot, but it has also been removed.
Summer-like conditions have things greening up at this elevation, but it is about a week behind the Valley. Yes, we packed out our trash and left the campsite cleaner than we found it.
A few pics from our little get-away.
Buds and leaves are just beginning to pop.
The forest canopy will fill in over the next few weeks. With late April temps in the low 80s deep in the GWNF, the trees may be getting an early start. We enjoyed wall-to-wall blue skies until later in the evening when a few clouds rolled in. But, most of the night was star-studded - no tent necessary! We lucked out - rain held off until about 8:00 AM, after breakfast.
After a hike, kicked-back in the sun, enjoying a cold one and the company of a good dog. We started the fire to build up coals for grilled chicken, baked potatoes, a grilled veggie packet and homemade bread. Good eatin'. How come it always tastes better around a campfire?
A few early wildflowers can be spotted. Others peeking out, just on the verge. After this rain, with predicted temps fairly mild, more will be popping up over the next weeks. The North River Gorge Trail is especially noted for wildflowers.
Little River has a good flow that predicted showers over the next week should sustain and perhaps build. The water is cold! There were a few fishermen seeking elusive trout, but the area was mostly devoid of mankind - which made it a very nice place to be!

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