A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Late fall in Dolly Sods

October 31, 2015
Emilie Phillips

My parents hadn’t visited WV since the summer, so they wanted to check the old apple orchard to see if there were any apples left. It didn’t seem likely since all trees had already lost their leaves.

sandstone with shrinkage crack filling

sandstone with shrinkage crack filling

We left the house at a leisurely hour in the morning. The house is right next to the wilderness, so we didn’t have to start early. Isaac kept tripping over the collection of rocks on the hearth. So Mom decided to fill her pack with a collection of less interesting rocks and fossils and haul them up to the top of Cabin Mountain. One of them we knew where it came from, so we put the rest there too.

Then we wandered along Dobin Grade to the apple orchard. Isaac played with the ice in the puddles until it all melted. I had forgotten how wet Dolly Sods is even in the fall and regretted not putting Isaac into waterproof pants.

Isaac got an apple

Isaac got an apple

At the orchard, we found two trees with a few apples. We picked the ones we could reach. The bears had been picking apples too. They left claw marks in the bark and poop on the ground. We split one of the tiny tart apples for lunch and saved the rest for cooking.


I was expecting Isaac to fall asleep after lunch, so I suggested we take Blackbird Knob trail back rather than the shorter Raven Ridge. Isaac decided to prove me wrong and stay awake most of the hike back, even attempting to hike much of it himself. We got back before dark, but us adults were hungry and impatient for dinner.