Disappearing into the wilderness
The mules seemed to be excited to head in to the backcountry of the Cranberry Wilderness of southeast West Virginia. Three of my friends and I were absolutely ready for the backcountry fly fishing adventure. The 48,000-acre Cranberry Wilderness is off limits to motor vehicles, but Rick Green of Cranberry Adventures holds a permit from the US Forest Service to use horsepower, er, mule power. We loaded our tent camping gear on Rick’s mule wagon and headed up a narrow, gravel lane flanking the scenic Cranberry River to disappear from civilization for three days.
We were chased by a thunderstorm the first day, which doused our campfire and delayed our eagerness for open-flame cooked steaks and burgers. The second day, with daypacks on and fly rods in hand, we hiked up river and deeper into the backcountry in search of trout. We found those and some additional surprises on the way. Two of my comrades were new to the ways of the fly rod, but soon became addicted to the sport and the beautiful environment that mountain trout call home.
When Rick returned on the third day to retrieve us, he found us pouting like four kids not wanting to leave the playground. The entertaining mule wagon ride back to the trailhead was filled with story swapping, question answering session by Rick, and ideas filling my mind of future adventures waiting in the Cranberry Wilderness.
To see a 30-minute documentary video of the trip, visit my YouTube channel – ‘Adventures Found’. The video will be posted on the channel the week of July 31.
For quick updates of my adventures, please visit the ‘Adventures Found’ Facebook Page – a link to the page is available from the ‘Adventures Found’ website.