Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Backbone Mountain, MD - Highpoint #4

Name: Backbone Mountain, MD
Height: 3,360'
Date: 5/22/09

Continuing my Memorial Day trip, I left PA's Mt. Davis behind and headed south, through a variety of little backwater WV towns.

Somehow they knew I was coming

Near the highpoint, we saw a sign for "the smallest church in the lower 48 states", which was right next to the smallest mailing office.

The smallest church from the outside...

...and from the inside.

This is actually as exciting as you think it is.

And some people think the Post Office doesn't have a sense of humor...
(I almost captioned this one "Your tax dollars at work.")

Eventually I stopped screwing around at the worlds smallest tourist trap and actually went to the highpoint.

The more adventurous way to access Backbone Mountain is to hike up to it from West Virgina. There is a tiny parking area right off Route 219 near a sign indicating the trail up. The cheating way is how the locals do it - drive through a residential area on the Maryland side.

I did it the fun way, walking up a path very well marked with arrows on trees and small rock cairns (which I added rocks to on my way up). It was a very pleasant but steeper-than-it-looks wooded walk.
Once near the summit the path became very rocky, and someone had planted an obelisk up there which I initially mistook for the highpoint marker, and thus took some pictures at.

Gathering my bearings, my hiking partner spotted the next marker to the actual highpoint, and within moments we were at the actual highpoint for Backbone Mountain!

The mailbox you can see in the picture held a guestbook, which I signed and added a note that this was #4 for me, and it also had certificates for getting there! Since it was a very solid bit of exercise for my out-of-shape self to get there, getting a prize at the top was just awesome.

(If you're wondering where the slinky picture is, he was quite satisfied with his picture at the obelisk.)

At the highpoint we ran into three bikers - locals - who showed up with beers in hand. They had ridden up the cheaters path, and apparently only had about a 5 minute walk to get to the summit. But they seemed respectful of the place, so I guess it's OK since they're locals.

Due to the trees there wasn't much of a view.

So...which way to the High Point?

The hike back down was easier, of course, and we passed a grandmother-grandson highpointing pair on their way up. At the bottom we found another pair of hikers just getting started. A busy day for Backbone Mountain.

Back in the car it was off to our campsite near West Virginia's highpoint, Spruce Knob. Or so I thought...

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