I see lots of people post about how they are desperate for a girls' weekend out of town. The thought of going to the beach for a weekend with my girlfriends while we do nothing but refill our beer coozies in between eating copious amounts of nachos makes me go, "Naw, that's for wussies. Let's go to West Virginia so we can go hike 20.7 miles in the mud and while we're at it, let's see how many animals we can kill with my van. Now THAT's a girls' weekend. As long as there are gnats. Don't forget the gnats."
My bud, Candi, and I drove the seven hours up to the "West Virginia" where along the way, we did fun things you do on a girls' weekend, such as carbing up at the Cracker Barrel and enjoying retro gum you can only buy at the Cracker Barrel like Freshen Up, which is weird and wonderful and then immediately disappointing. Unlike Cracker Barrel. That junk's awesome.
YOU MUST FINISH YOUR PLATES BEFORE YOU CAN GET BACK IN THE VAN.
I really, really love talking about food and pictures of food but most of all eating the food.
We arrived at the Canaan Valley Resort which was undergoing renovations, but it was gorgeous. And then we looked to the left and saw where we were staying on the property. Which was a place called the Woodcock Lodge. Woodcock Lodge has not been renovated yet. Woodcock Lodge is not so gorgeous. Woodcock Lodge is probably where they filmed Psycho. This part of the place should be called the Bates
The animals must have been well-fed because they would have come into your room had you left your door open long enough. I prefer my animals terrified of me. Unless they are Disney animals who are coming to clean your house or sew you a dress or something, in which case I'd be like, Can I get you a drink or do you want to get the dusting out of the way first?
And then there's the part where you go to throw your trash away and something takes it from your hand. Then you have to go change your underwear. Always pack extra drawers on a girls' weekend. I almost wrote "panties" but then the internet would get their drawers all up in a bunch because it collectively hates the word panties. Side note: if you have time to write posts about one of your biggest issues being that you really hate the word panties, maybe we could switch brains for a while and you can huff and puff about childhood cancer and I can take a break from real life. I would like to think about what words really make me feel icky!
I think raccoons stealing trash from your hands are icky. You know he's going to die in there. Those openings only swing one way to death. Now I'm feeling sorry for him. Next time I'm going to throw away like half a Cinnabon so at least his last meal is memorable. He'd probably go into a diabetic coma before he has the opportunity to choke on some junk food cellophane, which is definitely not what I was throwing away. Promise. It was health food cellophane.
We got to sleep in compared to our Foothills hikes, almost till 3:45 a.m. It was nice. It wasn't pitch black when we got out there, either, which was kind of jarring. I kind of like almost killing myself because I can't see where I'm going. No, wait. I mean I like sleeping in and not almost dying. Duh.
This is the beautiful Dolly Sods Wilderness. You should do this with me next year. You know you want to. I know you want to. You may not really know you want to yet but you do. Trust me. I'm always right. Panties are in.
Look, dude, we're IN THE CLOUDS!
It was probably raining underneath of us. Since we were walking on the clouds and everything. I was surprised that it wasn't brighter up there with us being that close to the sun.
There was one point at which I couldn't even figure out which way the trail was because we was just on boulders. I just kept following the guy with the GPS around his neck because OH MY GOD WHERE DID THE TRAIL GO. QUESTION MARK.
Maybe the trail is o'er yonder. Who put the boulder o'er yonder over there?
No more rocks here. Just fifteen inches of trail. Width-wise. That'd be a really short hike the other way you read it. THAT WOULD NOT BE ULTIMATE.
Here's me and my mom. You and your mom should do the hike next year. You know, that hike you really want to do but just don't know it yet? Your mom does, too. Also, my husband, Matt, will be doing this next year with me. He doesn't know it yet, either. Well, he probably does now once this hits his inbox. My dad can't do it, though. He just broke his foot. You gotta know your limitations.
There were so many creek crossings. I loved them all. Creek crossings are my faaaavorite. Sometimes I ask myself if Jesus might have just been walking on some water-covered rocks, because that would have made the most sense from a scientific perspective. He was probably just doing it with quite a bit of panache.
Here are Brecka and Kathleen from CureSearch. They spent hours making pickles dipped in nacho cheese and rolled in crushed Doritos. We all ate all of them. If you think this is gross, you have never tasted it. You also have a really poor gastronomic imagination and I feel really bad for you. You are probably the same kind of people who can't imagine Fritos dipped in buttercream. I don't even LIKE buttercream. But put a freaking Frito in it and I'll have buttercream all over my face.
Somehow we ended up in the rainforest. The red squiggly Google line says rainforest should either be hyphenated or two words but I don't care. Rainforest looks better as one word. Rainforest rainforest rainforest. I think I gave the Google an aneurysm. It's okay, because I initially really did spell aneurysm wrong.
So, at this point, we had been hiking for a good while. Let's go ahead and say all day. I was being the sweeper with this other guy, meaning that we were going to be the last ones on the trail so, you know, you don't lose anyone if they decide to go poop in the woods. We were at the point that all our people were like, "How much farther do you think?" And I don't really want to look at my phone and see the mileage because I'm in the "It doesn't really matter because we're not done and we'll be done when we're done" camp. But I eventually do look at my phone and OH MY GOD AT THIS PACE WE STILL HAVE THREE MORE HOURS LEFT. And then I break ahead with some people and tell them we need to move faster if we ever want to get out of these mountains alive.
The looks on their faces when I told them how many more miles we had to go made me feel like I took their childhood puppy and took it to the farm right in front of them. And then I calmly freaked out and kept trying to get in touch with someone on the walkie talkie to make sure they knew how much longer we'd be. Since we broke apart from the last two hikers, we left provisions and wrote out the name JIM in leaves because that's what you should do if you are shipwrecked on an island but instead of JIM you should write SOS and instead of writing SOS in leaves, you should probably do it in rocks or maybe even coconuts if the others on the island haven't already gotten to them first. There are always others on the island.
And then the mileage on my phone didn't look that much different when we finally got in touch with Brecka on the other end of the walkie talkie and I may have led everyone to believe we were either going to be a very long time or we would all be dying in the woods. But I forgot that if you can reach someone on the walkie talkies that we get to use at Ultimate Hike, that means you are like fifty yards away from them because they are definitely not something you could rely on in a crisis situation like what we were apparently not in.
And then as we bounced out of the woods onto the finish, my phone burped really loud and all of a sudden was like, "Just kidding. Here are those 6 extra miles you were looking for."
Crisis averted. And girls' weekend kept on keeping on because Candi had an adult beverage waiting for me at my van. Which hyper-activated my hiker's high and I could see in my head that I wasn't about to shut up anytime soon about how that was the BEST, MOST FUNNEST HIKE I'VE EVER BEEN ON IN MY LIFE. This is the hike I had always envisioned when I signed up for Ultimate Hike. I didn't want to die on this hike. I loved this hike. I didn't even cuss on this hike, except that one time to let the ladies know in front of me that I could literally see their asses melting away.
Also, there was so much mud. I really liked the mud. I LOVED the mud. No mud, no glory. Plus, scrubbing mud off your weary body is a good way to forget about the fact that you are showering at the Bates Motel.
This year we get medals when we do the hike. I will give the first person who can turn this into a Wheaties picture a high five and even some pickles dipped in nacho cheese and rolled in crushed Doritos.
And here are me and Candi, in front of the van that had half of what Dolly Sods had to offer on it's body: dirt, dust, mud, and maybe also the remains of one chipmunk, one fox, and a squirrel. But seriously, if you actually do hit a squirrel, it obviously had a death wish. And we were there to save kids, not rodents.
My girls' weekend burned way more calories than your girls' weekend. Especially if you are a boy.