After camping near the base of Black Mountain, the highest point in Kentucky, we knew there would be some serious elevation change on day 5. I’m not sure we expected that we’d have the winches out before noon.
The trail started out innocent enough with relatively easy trails, and beautiful overlooks.
After turning off of Black Mountain Ridge Road onto a barely used trail we wondered what would be in store for us. The very first obstacle was a large rock trail up a steep incline. Looking back at google maps doesn’t do it justice. The BSO team went up the incline first with little trouble. After 5 days of trails I was finally gaining confidence in my jeep and trailer. I put it in 4-low and climbed the steep rocky hill with no problem. After cresting the hill we immediately entered a deeply wooded very narrow trail. We stopped frequently to move branches, check the trail and consult the GPS. We were following the trail back towards the road we had exited less than 2 miles previously. With less than 100 feet to go before reaching a roadway the trail came to a sudden dead end, or so it looked at first. On closer inspection the trail curved 90 degrees to the left and went up a nearly vertical washed out embankment. The BSO was first up to the challenge. With some careful back and forth 3 point turning Micheal approached the hill. About halfway up he lost traction. Even with the MaxTrax it became apparent we would need the winch. His better half bravely fought through the thorns to secure the winch cable. With the winch controller in hand, they made it up the climb with little difficulty. After clearing the top, we turned towards my jeep and trailer wondering just how we could do this. With slightly more effort we got my jeep lined up with the trail and knowing we’d need the winch, we went ahead and started unspooling it. With the assistance of my two amazing spotters, and my winch we were able to crawl the jeep and trailer up and out. It was by far the hardest wheeling of the trip. Once it was over we all smiled, high-fived and got into our rigs with grins on our faces.
It wasn’t much further up the road that we reached the highest point in Kentucky, Black Mountain. We took a number of pics before deciding the views from the old strip mine where much better. Once peaking over the mountain we entered into Virginia. After stopping for gas and a quick lunch we continued on towards our camping area for the evening,
The roads to Breaks Interstate Park were beautiful and hilly farm country. We didn’t take many pictures, but instead we spent the rest of the drive chatting away on the CB. With the 5th day of overloading together ending soon we all chatted like we had known each other our whole lives. Few things bring you together faster then traveling, camping and trusting each other through an adventure.
Going to bed that evening, we had no idea the adventures that awaited the next day, but as a team we know we could handle it.