Misty mountains (West Virginia – Oct 20, 2019) North Fork Mountain, Champe Rocks, Seneca Rocks
Due to commitments I couldn't get out of on Saturday, I was left with Sunday as hike day. Saturday was beautifully sunny, a day tailor made to enjoy the magic of fall foliage. Sunday morning, as I reached the northern trailhead for North Fork Mountain I was met with steady rainfall, and mist-shrouded mountaintops.
As I reached Chimney Top about an hour and a half later things had got even worse. The rain was coming down just as steadily, a cold breeze had picked up, and now that I was on one of the mountaintops I was in the middle of an opaque mist. Dispirited, I found a rock near my favorite viewpoint in the mid-Atlantic and sat down to wait for the situation to improve. About a half hour later, just as I was about to head back down, I noticed some fleeting views making an appearance. The breeze that had been chilling me had also been blowing the mist around; occasionally, I'd see stuff.
It started as islands in a sea of white. The next moment the islands had revealed themselves to be bumps in the spine of North Fork Mountain. Mist streamers cascaded down the lip of the ridgeline as frothy waterfalls. Periodically, I'd get to see the hillsides that I'd come to see, shimmering in the mist with the beginnings of fall colors. I never did get to see the fall foliage in its full glory, but I did get to experience a bit of magic.
A half hour later the wind had died down and the mist had become as opaque as before, so I headed back down. I had plenty of time so I decided to check out Seneca Rocks, which was just as misty as North Fork Mountain. Oh well.
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