As many on the blog know, one of my favorite hikes is the Old Rag trail the Shenandoah National Park.  Depending on your trail, it is roughly 11 miles to the parking area and is one of the most challenging hikes in the area.  Due to my travel schedule, I had hoped to see the fall foliage on Friday but the trees are not ready to their annual show.  Nevertheless, it was spectacular.  I followed my usual practice of starting at dawn as the sun was rising. (That means leaving Northern Virginia at 5 am to make it near the trailhead in Sperryville, Virginia).

There was a couple of emergency cases on the trail, which sees one of the highest rates of rescues. However, hikers are generally a special group — helpful and friendly. We share a common passion and most are eager to help.  I heard about middle aged man in distress on the trail when I finished but heard six hikers were assisting him, including one who appeared to run a quarter of the trail to get a ranger. I ran into a young lady who developed a knee problem but her husband and I helped her to the end of the trail.

The weather was perfect. Sunny and cool.  I saw what I believe was a large Eastern Glossy Swamp snake.  Black bears are active this season but I did not see one this hike. However, here are a few of the views on the hike up Old Rag:

13 thoughts on “THE WONDERS OF THE OLD RAG”

  1. Off topic, except that the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa don’t have It.

    Notes on Global Convergence
    (Wonkish and Off-Point)
    Paul Krugman
    2018 Oct 20

  2. To continue…. Those of us who were blessed by living in these areas and who learned to read the nature of natures were far ahead of others even when tha nature of a new terrain featured city blocks of man made canyons but then who who wan to live in their shadow?

    That happens despite ourselves from time to time but the lessons are never lost. Invariably over the years I found myself on point or leading the scouting or the recon team or assigned to the operations and intelligence efforts. I attribute that to those early days in the forests and lakes of Northern Minnesota and the the western mountain ranges and plains or high deserts.

    Two kinds of thrills emerged. One never losing the ability to feed myself or others and passing on those skills as an integral part of appreciating what ever and where ever we had been sent and later sent ourselves.

    And the rifle changed to a bow and the bow to a camera but the ability to stalk and capture what nature offered was never lost. Coming to realize the real dangerous places were not in those you see depicted by JT’s camera but in the areas where he plys his trade.

    Thus ends comment two.

    1. Michael, My Dad grew up in Northern Minnesota, around Gilbert and Biwabik, so he spent his youth in those forests also. I was there once, in the summer. Beautiful area.

  3. “…He restoreth my soul…”

    The 23rd Psalm

    The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
    He leadeth me beside the still waters.
    He restoreth my soul:
    He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
    Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
    Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

  4. Nice challenge Professor Turley. It is great getaway to explore nature at its finest! Ever done Mt. Whitney, in CA?

  5. I should have thought that, in Washington, you would have seen a lot of “Eastern Glossy Swamp Snakes.”

  6. Good to see you off the small screen, Jonathan! You have come a long way since you were clerking upstairs on Jefferson Street. Although I sometimes disagree with your points of view, I am happy to see your progress!

  7. Thank you, Professor Turley, for sharing the grand photos. You are indeed lucky to be able to pursue this wonderful passion. I can no longer walk well, much less hike. I miss it dearly! But as long as you keep posting pictures of your hiking trips from time to time, I and I’m sure others here, will be satisfied to re-live those great experiences vicariously!
    And you are so right. Hikers are a really kind and unique group of people.

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