Rip Rap "Loppin and Hiking" - April 8, 2017

     "Many hands make light work" was in evidence on this combination hike and work trip.  Fifteen hikers (and one dog) showed up for this event and made quick work of clearing brush on the Appalachian Trail near Rip Rap.  Iva is checking, but 15 people may be a new record for a work trip.  After clearing brush from the trail we headed out toward Chimney Rock for lunch, then descended the long trail into to the hollow, ending at Meadow Spring.  After a short break we made a u-turn and headed back up, up, and up the trail to Rip Rap parking area.  A total hike of about 8 miles including the work portion.  
     A special thanks to John Shannon and Dave Borszich for the tread work on a couple of water bars.  The pick axe must have weighed 20 pounds by itself.  Lopping shear operators included Jeanne Siler, Marley McGrath, Bev and Pete Fink, Marian Styles, Anne Colgate, Dave Abdullah, Jodi Frederiksen, Andy Willgruber, Iva Gillet with Remi the happy hiking dog, and Amy and Evan Reed. 

Reported by Lindsay Brown


Robertson Mountain - April 1, 2017

submitted by Dan Ralston

     A beautiful day to be the only people on Robertson Mountain while swarms of folks hiked the mountain right beside us.  Actually we did see one other person during our hike.  The views from Robertson Mountain located right beside Old Rag are amazing before leaves cover the trees in spring.  The hike started at the Berry Hollow parking area which is shared by the return trail for Old Rag.  The beginning and end of the hike was on fire roads which evened out the steep, rocky and strenuous middle section of the hike that climbs up Robertson Mtn.
     Our four hikers, Michael Seth, Taylor Putney, Jeanne Densmore-Ralston and I enjoyed unobstructed views of Old Rag thanks to the leaves not quite yet being out.  A wonderful spring hike appreciated by all.


Hanging Rock - March 19, 2017

submitted by Barbara Martin

     A group of 12 including hike leaders Barbara Martin and Howard Davis had a fantastic hike to Hanging Rock.  This hike was a joint hike with Old Dominion ATC from Richmond. Anita & Jim Hall and Lisa Mercure made the trek from Richmond to join us.  Also on the scene were Andre Meyer, Gerald Boggs, Claire Cline, C J Woodburn, David Crowe, Iva Gillet plus her hiking dogs Remy and Colt, and Bill Holman.  The weather was at times windy and a bit chilly, but we lucked out with beautiful sunlit skies for our lunch on Hanging Rock with spectacular views of Three Ridges and the Priest.

Little North Mountain and Elliott Knob Hike - March 18, 2017

Submitted by Jeff Monroe

     Hiking co-leaders Jeff Monroe and Howard Davis were joined by John Brandt and two new hikers, Johanna Song and Gabriella Novoa, and Johanna's dog Bear for a hike starting at the Boy Scout's Camp Shenandoah at Swoope.  The group climbed Little North Mountain over King's Gap, and descended a beautiful but little known national forest trail to the trailhead for the Falls Hollow Trail. Bear was not happy with the descent from King's Gap, due to activity at the nearby Shenandale Gun Club! But he had calmed down by the time the group hiked past the falls west of Rt 42. Everyone then ascended to the summit of Elliott Knob where they faced the full brunt of the day's wind and cold. Fortunately, the fire tower was unlocked and the group could lunch there!  After a warm and leisurely lunch, the group descended the Elliott Knob access road to a shuttle car, dropped before the hike started.

Big Portal/Brown Mtn Loop - March 10, 2017

submitted by Jeff Monroe

     A UVA vacation day known as "Spring Break Day" was the reason 5 hikers headed out to Shenandoah National Park to hike the Big Portal/Brown Mtn Loop on Friday, March 10th.  Hikers included Iva Gillet, Jeanne Siler, Lisa Lampe, John Brandt, and hike leader Jeff Monroe, along with three dogs.  The hike started out in sleet on the Skyline Drive, but the hikers descended into better conditions only to find a stiff wind on the return climb.  The hikers enjoyed looking at the remaining remnants of last Spring's fire, along with a good workout. Congrats to Jeanne for completing her longest hike ever!