May 6th & 7th, 2006
HATFIELD McCOY TRAIL SYSTEM
BROWNING FORK..part 1
And we thought we were going on a primitive (tent) camping trip!!!
Some minor adjustments to our plan. Things are not quite what we expected them to be.
But that's O.K. we can adapt. Things like that are sure to happen numerous times on our
year long trip in 2007.
We found a nice spot in town where we can enjoy our camper. It's called the Rockhouse Lodge.
Our hosts Christina and Terry Fekete are very warm and welcoming people and also very
easy going. We have access to a free shower, the free laundry washer and dryer as well as
a pressure washer for our quads. Our "camping" spot includes water, electric(30
amps), sewer, and even cable hookups...All for just $25/night!!! Of course, we're camping
on Main street in Man WV, but, hey, you can't have everything!!
After a hard day behind the wheel...of the camper... the man can finally rest. (After
all this is a vacation, right?)
The next day, we head out to explore some of those new (to us) trails. We leave the
little trailer at the lodge for now.
Yeah! Man...We can ride our quads anywhere in town (helmets are recommended but not
mandatory) as long as it's between sunrise and sunset, (good idea, less chances of
residents complaints) there's no problems.
You can go to the restaurant, get some fuel, groceries, whatever...They are aware of
the economical growth that quadding can bring.
On our way to the town of Gilbert. Lunch break.
Here, unlike in Québec, trails are open to most anyone. In fact, only vehicules over
50 inches wide are prohibited from using them. It's not rare to see a whole family
enjoying a day long trail ride, some on two wheelers, others on quads. The different trail
users respect each other and that nice to see.
Trails present challenges for all users. Note that this spot is not part of an actual
trail. It's just a playground for the more reckless. (No, Marc did'nt go. After his
experience of a couple days ago, he decided to just enjoy looking at other nutcases...)
We made our way to Gilbert, where we enjoyed a little tour of the town (riding our
quads, was kinda special!). We discovered the nicest little campgroung of the area, of
course, it's also the only campground in the area...The Twin Hollow Campground. We'll talk
about that later...
We figured we should go back to Man and, tomorrow, hook the trailer and ride back down
to Gilbert to camp at the Twin Hollow Campground. But, every body including John Fekete
(son of Terry) who's deputy director of the Hatfield-McCoy trail system told us they would'nt
recommend doing that.That they surely would'nt do it themselves...Wich, of course
convinced us to try it...
Today Sunday May 7th, it pours! Weatherman says it'll rain all day (thanks to the
cable). So what! We decide to head for the Twin Hollow anyway...Big mistake...
It rained non-stop, all day. The rain liquified the surface of the trail turning it
into a giant mud park. It felt like someone had spread 6 inches of grease on the trail...
Of course, we still have to deal with the countless uphills and downhills wich are now
nice and greasy...
Marc was a little nervous before riding that segment in the rain. Especially after
everybody said not to do it...on a dry day!!
But we found that by taking our time and not taking any unnecessary risks, the ride was
actually a lot easier that we thought it would be. Challenging yes, but that's part of the
adventure! In fact the worst part of the day was that water sneaks in every where!
Particularily in your clothes and your boots...
As far as the different compartments go, it's not that bad. The problem arises when you
open it to get somthing in it...
The point behind riding in the rain was to know if everything would be water tight and
if not, how much of a problem would that be. Answer: Major! Seriously, we were back from
vacations and the inside of my boots was still wet!! From now on, when it rains, we take
the time to update our web site and wait 'till it's sunny out! Period!
Wayne and Donna, owner and operators of the Twin Hollow campground, were amazed to see that
we made it to their place in the rain, with the trailer and all our stuff.
As you can see, the campground as direct acess to the trails. Cool!
It's nice to see it from the top instead of the bottom!
Ouf!...That was a challenge - people advised us against hauling the
trailer through it but,
CHALLENGE, NOT RISK, IS THE VERY ESSENCE OF ADVENTURE!
Donna, Wayne and their two sons take care of the family business. Thrust me they're
busy!! They buid themselves the 8 cabins that are now almost countinuously booked (the
campground is open all year). Most of their clients are repeat customers, so that tells
you something about the place.
Being located atop a mountain, Wayne must carry the water from the bottom of the hill,
where the well is, to the top using his especially customized truck. Water is then
distributed through out the campground by pumps. One who would'nt see the truck would
If you're looking for a beautiful place to camp from wich you can access the
Hatfield-McCoy trail directly, we strongly recommend the Twin Hollow campground.
It's a more or less free standing tent built on circular ultra-flexible plastic poles.
It's main advantage over a regular tent is it's incredibly quick set up time: maybe one
When folded, it's also very compact, a 24 inch circle in a pouch.
When it rains, it becomes an essential dry place to eat or change or update the web
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