When Chris and I started looking for a place to spend my mandated two week vacation we first thought of Scotland. It was a great idea. A foreign country where the people actually do speak my language and to which there is some common link. But with economies as they are today the costs became prohibitive. So to stay in the United States it was.

Every other year or so I go out to see some truly great friends and wonderful people in Albuquerque about this time of year. The Balloon Fiesta would be going on and Chris could see that Southwestern city in it's very best light. But he stipulated that wherever we went we would have to drive and I knew that even discussion of a 4000 mile road trip would be moot, you could have bet on that.

So where to go?

During the mid to late 70's I lived in southern West Virginia, and knew this to be a beautiful place. Accessible by highway, less than a day's drive away. Besides, they spoke English, were within the borders of the United States and readily accepted American Dollars.

The northeastern part of the Mountain State is covered by the Monongahela National Forest, almost 900,000 acres that encompass several wilderness areas, a backcountry area, and a National Recreation Area that is extremely well done.

Chris and I like to camp and so everything was set. The Monongahela it would be. So on Saturday morning the 25th of September 1993 we set off an a trip that would combine several mini-adventures, a good scare or two, and some of the most beautiful things this weary world can produce.

Equipment Used; 1993 Ford Ranger (the 'Suburban Ranger') 4x4 3.0 liter Kelty Nautilus Tent Coleman 2 burner Propane Stove Caribou Warm Front Sleeping Bags Igloo 94 gallon Cooler ...and various other implements that we'll mention later on, but these listed behaved more than admirably and so deserve special mention.

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