Sketch of Vining Tract area
Detail of Devil's Graveyard area
Jim's 2005 topo map
2012 updated map
After having spun out during an attempt to ascend the very icy Goose Pond Road on Thursday afternoon,
Jonathan retreated to the Pottery store at the bottom of the hill where we parked the Jeep
We also managed to catch Steve as he arrived before he could suffer the same fate.
Here, we all make the mile-long ascent up the road to Conley Cabin on foot.
Soon after our arival, we quickly discovered that the key provided by the PATC
did not fit the lock. Luckily, Steve was able to gain access through an unsecured window.
The girls look on as we break into the cabin
After a chilly Thursday evening, we greet the sunrise on Friday morning
The spectaular morning view from our front yard
The eastern-facing side of Conley Cabin
The sun warms the back porch
Steve starts the woodstove...
...as Jim prepares life-sustaining java
Jon, Spirit and Maggie start the day
View of cabin from the approach trail
The nearby privy stands at the ready
The door shows the staple scars of many past postings
The interior is... good enough
Reading material provided at no extra charge
An access point for local critters
Ready to hike
We explore neighboring Morris Cabin (currently unoccupied)
Morris Cabin's front yard
The Morris Cabin tool shed
Wood pile on porch
The tool shed's questionable foundation
A local trail marker offers a greeting
Our next stop is Mutton Top Cabin
Jon and Maggie explore the grounds
The wonderful view from Mutton Top
We hike the Perimeter Trail to the west of Mutton Top
Cabin ruins near Morris
Maggie enjoys the snow
Jim likewise enjoys the warm sun
Jon, Jim and Steve as Steve prepares to depart
The girls supervise Jonathan's lunch
Matt arrived Friday night after Steve's departure. Depite our phone warnings
not to attempt the drive up icy Goose Pond Road, he managed an ascent anyway.
Later, however, he becomes concerned about getting back down, so Matt tries this
descent back to the Pottery store parking lot where Jonathan and Steve had parked.
Unfortunatley, Matt doesn't quite make it to the bottom of the hill and lands in this ditch
Later, Jonathan and Matt back at the cabin following an aborted attempt
by a Stanardsville towing company to extract Matt's car from the ditch
Winding down for the evening
The crew prepares to depart
Approaching Boxwood Cabin after leaving Conley at 12:15pm on Christmas Eve
Descending Goose Pond Road is tricky, even during the day
Matt surveys the problem as we wait for the tow truck
Help arrives (again), this time equipped with sturdy tire chains front and rear
The extraction process begins
The view from the rear
A quick conference with Matt...
...finally results in a successful extraction. Here the towers remove
the tire chains at the bottom of Goose Pond Road, which is snow-free.
After settling up with the towing folks, Matt enjoys a treat at the Stanardsville Dairy Queen
Dogs (and Jonathan) like ice cream too...