Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 23, 1972 · Page 94
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July 23, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 94

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Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 23, 1972
Page:
Page 94
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Page 94 article text (OCR)

Dinosaur track.' The trees look like winter has chopped limbs off one side. Getting to know Dolly (cont'd) Continued from page 3m Shelters for wild ducks were posted in every direction about 20 ft. high on the giant pines. Rescue food is placed in them throughout the hard winter months we were told. It's easy to gain a deeper appreciation for those concerned with the preservation of wild-life, when you have a mental picture of the month of January at ItollySods, Many of the pine trees there and in the surrounding territories look as if winter had stripped half their limbs on the windblown side. I was glad it was the month of June with the rhododendron in bloom and the wild berries nearly ready to pick! We had noticed no poison ivy during the morning and had been told there were no poisonous snakes likely to be around. Otherwise, I'd raver have been-so brave as to go hiking in sandals. But sneakers would have been much better for climbing to the top of the great cliffs called Bear Rocks. Words, never really do justice to such a magnificent display of nature's sculpture. Neither can a photograph. As we climbed and leaped from boulder to boulder from an elevation of 3,954 ft. to where we could count at least seven mountain ranges in the distance, I began to feel slightly like an intruder who had dared to steal a glimpse of some secret place reserved for raw nature alone. Looking down from the top of the cliffs, we were curious about why so many of the trees below had been split and broken over. After joking about bow parts of the boulders might give way--with us standing on them-we finally concluded that huge quantities of snow must have slid over the edge to have caused such destruction below. But we were alittle more cautious about getting too dose to the edge or sliding off some of the rocks as we made our descent It was fun to imagine that some of the rock formations had the shape of animals. One reminded us of a turtle and another gave the appearance of a huge camel. Impressions like the shape of a dinosaur's foot-print lay in the very top of some. Off in the far distance a cleared space on one of the mountains reminded us of a dog with the "scratches." 4m , The cool, breezy air, and the exertion we'd used hiking and climbing began to make us think how good a hot cup of coffee or tea would taste. Someone said they wished we'd brought a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread so we could have picnicked on top of the cliffs. I've since thought what an inspiring place, it would be to iiave an evening vesper service. Words to hymns like "Rock of Ages" kept going through my mind as well as the children's song "Climb, climb, up sunshine mountain, Heavenly breezes blow. . ." On our way back to camp, we decided to take time to drive to Bell Knob Fire Tower. The elevation there is 186 ft. higher than at Bear Rocks, which was a little surprising. It really hadn't felt as if we were climbing that much higher. The road to the tower is quite bumpy and would make for much better hiking than driving if you have the time. Rain showers played hide-and-seek with us for the remainder of our trip as we visited neighboring points of interest which are many and varied. One morning we were awakened by the sound of tremendous claps of thunder and lightning while torrents of rain attacked the canvas covering of the camper. It took some doing to get breakfast over and things straightened up. But by then the sun was shining over the freshly washed countryside and we almost abandoned our plans to move on to Biackwater Falls until the/next day. We left the sunshine and ran into more rain showers traveling through the flatlands of Canaan Valley. We marveled at such a level expanse of West Virginia country at such a high altitude, and at the long straight highway, reminiscent, almost, of those hi the South. Suddenly I wished we could turn around and go back. There was still so much to see and explore. The satisfaction of the long walk one evening just before dark at Red Creek was still lingering. It would be nice to get to know "Dolly" better some time. Perhaps in September when th« trees will be parading their different colors and when, I've read, the migrating hawks are quite a spectacle to see from the vantage point of Bear Rocks. A secret place belonging only to raw nature. CHARLESTON, W.VA. Sunday Gazette-Mail

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