submitted by Barbara Martin
A sizeable group of 20 hikers gathered at Panorama parking just south of Thornton Gap on a fine winter morning, chilly but clear with no wind. Hike leader Barbara Martin was blessed with many fine hike leaders joining her for the hike: Jayne Mayne, Mark Trail, Michael Seth, Claire Cline, Pete Fink, Kelly O’Rourke, Bill Holman and Iva Gillet. We were also joined by Taylor Putney, Kim Butcher, Bev Fink, David Crowe, C J Woodburn, Brian Muszynski, Charles Staples, Lorna Werntz, Susanna Williams and Brenda Browning.
Mark Trail organized the car shuttle, splitting us into 2 groups with four drivers shuttling cars back to our end point at Panorama parking lot. Mark, his son Mark Jr., visiting from Alabama, Bill Holman and David Crowe kindly volunteered to drive the cars and hike to meet us, then hike back. The rest of us started hiking north from Stony Man parking area. We had incredible views at numerous points and stopped to have lunch at Pinnacles picnic area. Two people not in our group had started a fire in the picnic shelter fireplace where we could warm our hands. Barbara’s home-made oatmeal, cranberry, chocolate chip cookies were a big hit.
We left the picnic area and headed for the Pinnacle and onto Mary’s Rock, splitting into two groups. Both areas were beautiful and Mary’s Rock was especially enjoyable with the crystal clear skies and no wind.
The 1.7 mile descent to Panorama parking was a challenge with ice covering parts of the trail. One of our party slipped and fell, hurting her leg. The hero of the day was Brian Muszynski, who carried her over a half mile on his back on the icy trail to the parking lot, where Shenandoah National Park rangers met us and assessed her condition. Susanna Williams and Brian then drove her to the hospital in Luray. Thanks everyone for their help and great team work in handling this emergency. Thanks also to Claire Cline for the wonderful photos and Taylor Putney for supplying us with the statistics for our hike.
9.42 miles, including the short out and back to the top of Mary’s Rock
4:05 duration (actual time hiking)
26.03 minutes per mile
|Hero of the day, Brian Muszynski (Brian, sorry I don't have a better picture)|