Reeds Gap to Hanging Rock

Reeds Gap to Hanging Rock - October 5, 2013
The lovely view from Hanging Rock

The closing of the national parks did not deter us from taking a group hike, although the original location on the Turk Branch Loop in the Shenandoah National Park had to be changed to an out and back on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We went south on the Appalachian Trail from Reeds Gap up 1050 feet elevation to Hanging Rock.  Fourteen hikers made the 7.4 mile trek including Susanna Williams, Bev & Pete Fink, John Brandt, Kelly O'Rourke, Emerald Young, Dan Ralston, CJ Woodburn, Susanna Keller, Eric Bredo, Mark Perschel, Michael Seth, Barbara Martin, and hike leader, Marit Gay.
We headed out on a beautiful, but unseasonably warm day from Reeds Gap, stopping at the Mau Har Trail intersection for snacks, including Mark's caramel popcorn.  Privy breaks at the Maupin Field Shelter were also taken. Then we continued to climb to Hanging Rock to enjoy views of the Three Ridges and The Priest.  Hazy, but scenic views made for an enjoyable lunch respite. We back tracked to the parking area and 11 members of the group ventured down to Devils Backbone Brewery for much needed refreshments.  We were happy to be able to enjoy the mountains when so many were not able to because of the government shutdown.  If things open back up the original plan to hike the Turk Branch Loop and Turk Mountain will happen on November 2 instead.

Barbara, Dan, Michael, Eric, and John rest on the rocks

Bev & Pete with Emerald & Mark in background

Kelly, CJ, Susanna K. and Susanna W. at lunch
Emerald is joyous on the mountain