This is the Islands in the Sky trial at Babcock State Park in West Virginia. Babcock is mostly known for having a rather pretty grist mill, but it also has some pretty rocks and trails. They said, in the brochure, that if you started on Islands in the Sky from the grist mill, it would be a fairly hard path, but if you parked up the road a bit and started from there, you would have a fairly easy walk.
So, mum and I, my constant boon companion, parked in the other lot, and started walking. And it was very much like the above, pretty mulched red path, lots of rhododendrons.
Until you reached a part of the path where you could keep going straight, or go left. Left had the white diamond blazon, so after thinking back and forth, we took the left path.
That’s not so bad. Must be the right way.
What’s this? Is this someone leaving some junk? No. There’s no other way than this ladder, which doesn’t look like a legit ladder and which is not, point of fact, attached to the wall it leans against, but…it’s not far, so what the heck, right?
You can’t see it here, but there’s a blazon ahoy, on that little tree, so we climb down, and walk through this little tunnel. OK. That was cool. This is fun, and totally a legit path to take one’s mother down. That’s probably the worst of it, since the map said this path was easy.
And then we ran into this. It doesn’t look that scary, but it is a non-treated, leaf covered, mossy wood ladder attached to the side of a rock, so I slowly, carefully, half slide half crab walk down it, grumbling, “West Virginia’s definition of EASY is not exactly what one would find in a dictionary, is it? IS IT?”
And we kept on going. I have a feeling that if one had gone straight (they need to put a blazon there if that is the case, with a sign saying “easy path” and “somewhat frightening path” then one would be able to make a better choice) one would have found themselves on the easy path. But despite my drama queening as an attempt at humour, I really liked the path. It’s steep, and very rocky in some places…you need to be pretty careful in a couple of spots…you get to see the rock faces up close and much more clearly than you do from up above.
I do confess, mum and I walked back along the road. I liked the path a lot, and am so glad I took it, but enough was enough.