|Outside Starr Hill|
I'm actually remiss that I didn't take a photo at Blue Mountain Brewery this time with a good portion of the group assembled. Steve's invitees met us there and it was a nice evening with dinner and some good brews. Part of the hustle towards the end of the evening was report from one of the camping arrivals that they believed the gate to the trail was closed. While Steve and his group continued on to Queen City Brewing, I elected to try to find where this group had set up as I knew there was not previously a gate at the entrance that I had planned to access.
It was about 15 miles or so in the dark to get to the intersection of Coal Rd and Mt. Torrey Rd. As soon as we entered the woods, the snow started. We never actually 'met' the group as they had already set up camp somewhere off of the path, but I did confirm that night that the entrance I had proposed was indeed open. Unfortunately, I also lost about an hour and some change driving up and down Coal Rd trying to find these folks in the snow. Then on the interstate when we called off the search, it got to near white-out conditions which prolonged the trip back to the hotel. Duty calls.
Getting back down the trail was a lot faster then the ride up. It was probably between two and 2-1/2 hours up and only about 30-45 minutes winding back down the ridge.
Then there was a bit of crossroads between the group. Although the drive north to Harrisonsburg and 2nd Mountain trail was about 35 miles north (with a bit of a tedious stretch of switchbacks up a mountain once you leave the blacktop), the Richmond folks and guys from points further south indicated they had no desire to go any further north. My understanding when we left was that they were going to try out a couple trails off of Coal Rd. I was concerned about encountering the same uncertainty we had experienced on Kenned with that many trucks to try to turn around at the end of the run, wherever that might be. We split amicably and the 6 trucks shown below all went up to Harrisonburg.
|2nd Mountain Trail- first high tension line clearing headed SE|
I've written about the switchbacks on Long Run road previously. Just know that they are decidedly more treacherous with about 3-4 inches of snow cover. The Duratracs performed admirably in the snow. However, some of the convoy rocking pure M/Ts had trouble their rears breaking loose all the way up the mountain.
Maybe I can pretend like I'm some avant-garde director and just tell portions of the story out of chronological order, but really, the seeming disarray is intentional to result in a juxtaposing of emotions.
I give up on the literary devices.
Here are some of the trucks that rolled with us.
|Bruce entering from Coal Rd. First minor obstacle.|
|Steve B following me up the trail.|
|And also getting a little off-camber action|
|Veronica always has her tail in the air.|
|In a moment, triumph and failure.|
|Probably the most Frontiers I've seen on a trail.|
Once we got off the trail in the vicinity of Harrisonburg, we made our way back to town and stopped in Court Square to go to Capital Ale house. Food and fellowship were had and I passed out decals to the remaining members of the convoy.
|Capital Ale House- full line selfie...by request.|