The Mountains are Calling 

White oak Canyon & Old Rag back packing trip.

Finally back in the mountains since last November.


The trip started at 3 am when we left for the mountains. We made it to the trail head around 7:30 am but we ran into a problem. Our friend that was meeting us there and said he was there before we all lost signal was definitely not there. Luckily there was another trail head with a similar name on route. So we decided to start hiking the 6 miles, hoping he was in fact there and decided to wait around till we got to him.

During the 6 miles we got to pass a waterfall. The rocks were laid out as if they were stairs so it was a steep start. Just before we got to our friend we hiked around the bend and bears! A mamma and her cub. Quickly we backed around the bend and started clapping and making noises to scare them off. After waiting a few minutes we continued on and the trail was clear. That would be the reason I happily hiked in the middle of the group and did not lead. Because constantly looking at the ground making sure I don’t slip on the loose rocks would make it pretty easy to walk right into a bear on the trail!

We grabbed our friend who luckily waited for our arrival. Good call on him to wait it out. Had a quick lunch because it was getting cold just sitting since it was raining and getting pretty foggy. We packed our bags back up and started on the last 7 miles for the day.


This was at a cliff. Nothing but cloud. At this cliff people were rock climbing. Tied off to the rope and was starting their decent. Too scary for me to do in these conditions…or ever lets be real!

We got to camp around 5. Made good timing for the day and plenty of light to set up camp and make dinner. Plus we had a very early star the next day so getting in bed early was what we were going for.


I cannot sleep in the mountains. I’m normally up all night analyzing the different noises making sure nothing is coming for us…a bit ridiculous I know. So this time I brought my iPod and fell asleep soundly only hearing the music and not what could possibly be on the other side of the thin walls making up our tent.  And got the best night sleep I’ve had in the mountains, even squished in our one person tent I shared with my husband. But it’s okay, perfect for cozying up to each other because it got cold!

Two am rolled around and we were up packing up camp; we had to make it the three miles up Old Rag to watch the sunrise! And I’m so glad we did. Made the aching ankles, blistering toes all worth the climb.

Once we got to the start of Old Rag there was a clearing. So we all turned off our headlamps and gazed at the stars. There were so many it was breathtaking.

Made it with just enough time to make our hot cocos and cappuccinos to warm ourselves in the early morning mountain air before the sun rose. And cuddling up to hubby to keep warm.

After the sunrise the boys generously told us we are now going to the top of Old Rag, where this part was just a cliff of enormous boulders. “It’s just up there” they said. So we went crawling, jumping, and climbing over these boulders. I’d say about a mile later of following the blue markings painted on the rocks, to distinguish the trail, we made it!

Well sorta. They made it…I stopped at the rock just below the top one. Because it was a steep rock with nothing on either side. If I fell I would fall straight down in a pit of wedged rocks 10 feet down.

My group was not having me miss out on what we came for. So one friend got down on all fours and had me use him as a step while hubby pulled me up. I didn’t want to but he wasn’t moving until I got up there.


And then I was on top of the world! With another 360 degree view!

Hubby was great; always with an outstretched hand helping me over and up the rocks.

Where is your favorite place to hike? Let me know in the comments

~Rachael

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