Saying Farewell to the Mountains….For Now

A friend, Hubby, and myself hiked up our favorite mountain in Shenandoah, Old Rag. The 9 mile hike we have probably done about 4 times now. The view at the top, the rock scrambling, the anticipation of the long climb makes this hike worth it. We really took in our surroundings and appreciated this climb as we are moving south by the end of the year. So we will not have the mountains only a few hour drive away!

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Our day started at 1 am. (I wish I was kidding.) But the early bird gets the worm and that is the truth! We rolled out of bed, bags already packed the night before, teeth brushed and we were on the road. We picked up our friend and by 2 am we were traveling West. Hubby being the best, drove for us while we knocked out as soon as we got rolling. Around 5 am we pulled into the empty parking lot of Old Rag. The sun is just starting to rise, giving us enough light that we didn’t need to take out our headlamps. Which always makes me happy, because headlamps mean bugs flying into your face. And this hiker girl is not about that.

This is a tough hike, as most hikes are. Something about CLIMBING up a mountain is not the most relaxing thing one can do on their day off, but good for the mind, body, and soul none the less. I don’t know if it was my intense workouts the days prior but I was HURTING. I work out hard and this was a challenge, even the 4th time through. My shirt already drenched through an hour in. So happy we made ourselves get up super early to start at the crack of dawn to beat the heat of the day and sun pouring onto us.

About an hour and half in we got to my favorite look out. Not even two minutes later as we are finding a nice spot to sit another hiker zooms past us! Like whoa! We’ve been hiking for 90 minutes now and didn’t realize someone was right on our tail. Making this observation, our friend who was taking up the rear even said he kept hearing footsteps behind us but would look back and see nothing. He kept going so we had the lookout to ourselves. The view just breathtaking! It was a little breezy being exposed by the lookout, but it was nice to cool off a bit. After taking in the landscape and catching our breath we continued on to the summit.

This part of the trail is pretty fun because instead of dirt underneath your feet it is just huge boulders. Hope you like a little bit of rock climbing if you plan on doing this hike! But don’t worry if I, the clumsiest, skeptical of anything that isn’t solid ground, can do this part of the hike than so can you. 

We made it to the top and we were the only ones up there. Just us and mother nature’s pure beauty. We could not ask for a better day!

As we started to descend and head back to reality, we started passing more and more people, the trail eventually filling up. We didn’t really stop for long to take lunch (at 9 am) more so just wanting to get back to the car. Hubs and friend had some ramen and turkey sausage. Surprisingly I didn’t have much of an appetite, which is weird for me since I am always hungry. So I snacked on some gummy bears and a complete cookie to help keep my energy up. The boys had a grand ole time talking, telling stories, and sharing plans for the future. I am a listener more so than a talker so I was taking in their conversation, normally dying of laughter, and enjoying being surrounded by nature.

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Speaking of nature we did see some deer, a turtle, frogs, and a snake on the trail. Luckily no bears, but we did run into some bear scat that hopefully wasn’t too fresh!

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 Farewell for now, we’ll be back to visit!

Any hiking trails you plan on hitting soon? 

 

4 thoughts on “Saying Farewell to the Mountains….For Now

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  1. I grew up right down the road from Old Rag (in Culpeper), so I’ve done that hike a handful of times. It really is one of the best. If you like that one so much, you’d love Dragon’s Tooth. It’s in southwest Virginia, so a bit longer of a drive for you, but it’s a great climb. It’s similar to Old Rag in that it has some spots that you have to climb vertically and the views are outstanding.

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    1. How cool to have the mountains in your backyard! My husband has done that hike, I guess I’ll have to join him next time around. Thanks for sharing and glad you share a love for the mountains as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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