Thursday, October 7, 2010

Off to Spruce Knob

Off to Spruce Knob, West run the West Virginia Trilogy, a triptych of three runs..

50K on Friday...50 Miles on Saturday..and 13.1 miles on Sunday.

I've never been to Spruce Knob before, so I have been happily exploring the Internet about the highest point in West Virginia.
It's actually higher than I thought, the summit is 4863 feet (I was thinking it was about 4000 feet). The pine trees at this elevation only grow on their leeward (east) side as the west wind is so strong.

I've been trying to decide/decipher what the weather conditions will be way up high. The Mountain Institute advises checking the weather for Circleville (which is only at 2500 feet) and subtract 10 degrees from that. Plus, it may/should be windy. I have my race clothes assembled, but I keep throwing additional shirts and windshirts and hats and gloves into the gear bag!

Once I get to the mountain, I won't be leaving. As per the web site:

Tent camping at The Mountain Institute is highly suggested due to the remote location. There is no additional fee to camp. There are showers and bathrooms, and supplemental portojohns.

You should try to bring whatever supplies you may need, as the nearest store and gas is a 40 min drive.

(Dinners and Sunday breakfast is provided via the race. Maybe more breakfasts, I'm not too concerned about. I'm bringing my oatmeal, little propane single burner, and french press.

Interesting fact..

I also found out about the National Radio Quiet Zone: The National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) was established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Docket No. 11745 (November 19, 1958) and by the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) in Document 3867/2 (March 26, 1958) to minimize possible harmful interference to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, WV and the radio receiving facilities for the United States Navy in Sugar Grove, WV. The NRQZ is bounded by NAD-83 meridians of longitude at 78d 29m 59.0s W and 80d 29m 59.2s W and latitudes of 37d 30m 0.4s N and 39d 15m 0.4s N, and encloses a land area of approximately 13,000 square miles near the state border between Virginia and West Virginia.
the National Radio Quiet Zone, cell phones, pagers, and other wireless devices do not work. The use of wireless networking cards, cordless speakers, and so forth are also strongly discouraged in the Quiet Zone, and any radio stations must coordinate their transmissions with the staff at the telescope to ensure that their transmissions do not conflict with the telescope. Near the telescope, only diesel vehicles are allowed, as gasoline vehicles need spark plugs, which can cause interference.

To summarize, there is a big Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank. And they need quiet around them to hear sounds from outer space. Now, I think that is very cool, especially as I kept reading about this, about how difficult it is becoming to keep this space clear. What about if you want to move into the area? Does the realtor warn you that your cell phone won't work here? I'm a bit confused about this.

Anyway, I will be off the grid after leaving Elkins on Thursday. There will be lots to report on next week!


  1. Best of luck with the Trilogy. I wish I lived in a quiet zone, I can't even get my kids to be quiet.


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