Despite foreboding weather reports (high winds! thunderstorms!) we decided to keep our LM trip to the Sods.
The first half of the group arrived at the Bear Rocks TH around 8 on Friday night. With the other half of the group delayed until roughly 9:30, we decided to split the group in half and Peter led off a group of 5 to find a campsite just past where the Bear Rocks trail crosses Red Creek. After the back half of the group arrived, we made our way to camp, arriving around 11pm and getting our shelters set up just before the bottom dropped out. It was a wet and windy night, but everyone stayed dry and warm!
On Saturday morning we slept in a bit to give the rain a chance to clear and then we headed off along Ravens Ridge, the down to the Blackbird Knob TH, stopping for a bit when the sun peaked out for a quick lunch and (at least for me) tarp-drying session. Grab that sun when you can. We continued along the Big Stonecoal Trail, enjoying a number of nice stream crossings and our fair share of mud, then taking Rocky Point Trail towards Breathed Mountain and the Lion's Head. The Left Fork of Red Creek was quite swollen and the waterfall on Rocky Point Trail was really coursing!
Our campsite at night #2 was a definite upgrade from night #1 - a small pine grove with a soft needle floor and a large number of fire rings. We fixed dinner, took a nap and then most of the group headed down to Lion's Head for an especially gorgeous sunset. After coming back, we started a nice fire, braved a brief shower, and then broke for bed (and for a few, some great-sounding Milky Way photography).
The final morning we were up early for an almost-DCUL-esque 7am start and made brisk time heading up Red Creek Trail to Blackbird Knob, then eventually to Dobbin Grade and back to the cars. Despite all the rain, the Red Creek crossing was very uneventful and Dobbin Grade, though muddy, wasn't out of control. In fact Sunday was an absolutely fabulous day and we couldn't have asked for better weather.
All-in-all it was a great trip. While we went prepared for the worst, our preparation was rewarded with some truly amazing weather and a sunset worth all the mud!