OLD “WINDY” RAG

Hike of the Week, Life Balance, Outdoor Adventure

Shenandoah National Park

Virginia, USA / Sperrysville, VA

7:35 PM / 25ºF

Cloudy / Windy (approx. 25 MPH)

Moon: Waxing Crescent

 

Cait and I did not plan to hike Old Rag Mountain today, but we did anyway. Old Rag is no joke – it offers intense rock scrambles, some of the most difficult climbing we have ever done. The next level would be to actually strap on climbing gear. A weather system rolled in as we scrambled closer to the summit; at least 50 mph winds made the climb even more dramatic. You had to hold your ground to make sure you wouldn’t be knocked over.

The rocks at the top of Old Rag are over a billion years old. (basement rocks) These rocks make up the Grenville Mountains (the ancestral mountain chain before the Appalachian Mountains formed). After battling the wind and surviving the summit, we made our way down the trail to the Old Rag Shelter where we ate our PB&J. Someone left a few logs still smoldering and we were able to warm our hands and butts. Many of the trees have started to flower and others were leafing out. (dogwoods, striped maple, elm, eastern red buds) We also found a gorgeous large flowering Trillium (trillium grandiflorum) on the way down.

Coming down from the adrenaline rush of such a challenging hike, we made our way back to the car sure to snap a few pictures and get some video on the drive out as the sunlight perfectly danced along the newly bloomed redbuds and the open green meadows.

 

Landscape Arch

Art, Hike of the Week, Outdoor Adventure

Landscape Arch (above) is one of the more well-known (and longest) natural arches in Arches National Park in Southern Utah. Sometime in the 90’s people were camping underneath the arch, when a giant piece of the arch broke off and came crashing to the ground. Luckily, no one was hurt. There are many natural arches, “windows”, and natural bridges found throughout the park. Water and other natural forces continue to shape the landscape, as old arches break down and new ones are born. This painting is a reminder that everything is constantly changing, and that Landscape Arch will inevitably come to an end, but at least it will remain on this piece of paper.