At the end of October, my friend and I ventured out on a weekend long backpack to Seneca Creek in the Monongahela Mountains of West Virginia. Our adventure into the backcountry started out perfectly. Despite cooler then expected autumn weather, our first day delivered an amazing rainbow, dramatic light, sun, clouds, rain, snow and spectacular fall foliage. Our plan was to camp overnight and then continue on with our hike to Seneca Falls the next day, before returning to the trail head via a slightly different route. Since we hit the trail rather late, we hiked only about half of the planned distance in and setup a camp on the banks of a picturesque Seneca Creek. The night was cold as the temps dropped significantly overnight. But despite a few chills and little sleep, we were ready to embark on the second leg of our hike with more spectacular sights, pictures and discoveries of our beautiful surroundings.
As we were starting our morning at the camp, my friend suffered an unfortunate fall getting our bear bag off the tree and badly injured her leg. It appeared serious. Our plans changed immediately. The best course of action was to pack up and get back to the car as quickly as possible, some 4 miles away. It was a long slow walk back. Given the circumstances, weather conditions and terrain, we were quite lucky to walk out safely and get my friend into an emergency room for proper medical assessment and care.
My friend is currently recovering. She will be ok. The injury was indeed quite serious and it may take a while to heal. I felt terrible this happened on my watch. My hope is that she will recover fully and that this unfortunate accident won't discourage or prevent her from joining me on another backpacking or hiking adventure at some point in the future.
This event was a good reminder how quickly things can change in the outdoors from having lots of fun and great time to going into a full emergency mode in just a blink of an eye.
Below are a few of my images from our hike taken with my small Sony A6000 and my iPhone.
I hope to squeeze in one more backpacking trip before the end of the year, so stay tuned for new pictures soon :)