Gauley Ridge (or at least that was the plan)
George Washington National Forest
With the NOVA Jeepers
February 5, 2005

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The group airing down by the Church on Long Run Rd.  I took this pic mostly because I figured Almighty Bob's plumbers crack shot would be good if I ever felt the need to harrass him in the future. Taking a break where FR72 meets the Miller Springs Trail Overlook at the trail head of the Feedstone Mountain trail.  I thought it was cool how you can see a snow covered trail in the distance, but it didn't show up as well in the picture. More scenery at the Feedstone trail head Budweiser during our lunch break My Jeep at a campsite near Feedstone Mountain Another shot of the campsite A small stream running by the campsite Almighty Bob's Jeep as we parked for lunch.  Greg Ray's NOVATJ is on the left and Shannon's is on the right Ice formations on a stream where Miller Springs meets the Dry River trail as we walked around checking out what may have been a trail in the past The group at the overlook on Little Dry River Budweiser hooked to a D-ring on the back of Tim's Rubicon, with Greg Ray's TJ to the right.  The complaint I heard is that Budweiser would turn around every time someone tried to take a picture and all they ended up with was a lot of shots of dog ass My TJ stopped at a closed gate blocking the Tom's Park trail.  This shot pretty much sums up the day.\ Airing up with Jeremy's OBA at the intersection of Tom's Park and German River Road before heading home for the day. GPS track from the trails the group ran Total GPS data from the area

I had been wanting to do this trip for a while. After my "Not the Popular Trails" run, I wanted more of the same. We had made a big circle around this area and I wanted to know what was there.

I had been looking at maps of this area for months and had also aquired some GPS data for some of these trails. I had been looking for a date in the near future to try it when I recieved a PM from Almighty Bob asking if I was hitting the trails soon. This seemed to be a perfect excuse, so I put it together.

I set up the ride on the NOVA board and managed to put together a pretty good group. After the State Line trip, I was a little nervous about who I was wheeling with, but I had no issues with this group. I had wheeled with every one here before, with the exception of PFunk who didn't worry me as I know his reputation as a good guy. So, a big thank you to Greg Ray, Almighty Bob, PFunk, Shannon, and Tim for showing up. Good people make all the difference.

The plan was to start off by running Second Mountain up to FR72 as a more scenic trip than if we had done it by pavement. Then we would run up Gauley Ridge to explore some of the trails up there. I was hoping to take the group up Bible Run and come back down Vepco trail. Then we would cut back over to Gauley Ridge where we could go up Gate Run and come back down via the other end of Gauley Ridge.

Things did not go as planned, however. There were some rumors that the Second Mountain gate had been locked, and these were confirmed when we got there. So, we had to follow Rt. 612 up to FR 72 (also called Long Run Rd.). Once we got to Gauley Ridge we found that it was also gated.

We ended up returning to FR 72 and follwing it further into the forest. We came across the Feedstone Mountain trail and were able to follow it until it intersected Miller Springs trail, and then the Dry River trail. This would have been awesome had it not been for the locked gate. I can understand the point of locked gates. What I can't understand, however, is why this gate was here. It was on a trail deep in the forest and would seem to make more sense if it was at the beginning of the trail or at the intersection where we turned onto this trail.

After backtracking to where we were, we followed Fr 72 to Hall Springs (aka Shenendoah Mountain Trail) to Rt. 818 (aka Little Dry River road). We checked out the Fulk Mountain trail where we found it was gated after only a short run. Finally, we ended up on the Tom's Park trails which also turned out to be gated.

It was still a nice day to be out. The weather was warm for this time of year and the scenery was beautuful. It was dissapointing to see as many closed gates as we did, but then if they were open they would most likely be as trashed as some of the more popular places. These were also dead easy trails, but then I think the thrill of this run was being somewhere not as well traveled and not as much about the challenge of the trails.

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