Old Rag - November 17, 2017

Quite nice to get a crowd of ten hikers to come out on a weekday for the Old Rag hike on Friday, November 17. The weather could not have been better and we had folks coming from many directions - a car from Crozet and west, one car load from Charlottesville, two folks from north of town, and one from Northern Virginia.  Marit Anderson, hike leader, was assisted by Mark Perschel at sweep.  The participants included Dave Borszich, Andre Meyer, Barbara Martin, Nancy Handly, Brian Muszynski, John Brandt, Iva Gillet, and Rolf Anderson (Marit's brother who came down from NoVA to join the group for the day).
We met up at the lower parking lot of Old Rag at 10 am...choosing a weekday trying to avoid the crowds.  The 9.2 mile circuit touted as "very strenuous" made for a long, but wonderful day - 6.5 hours of hiking and 2,380 ft. elevation gain.  No major scrapes and only a few small tears in hiking pants - with all members successful in all of the slots to go through, rocks to pull up on, crevices to jump over, and all types of maneuvers to hoist and hurl their bodies over.  Fun was to be had by all!
Rolf performs acrobats on the rocks

Nancy enjoys the glorious sun

Marit squeezes through some tight spots

Barbara climbs up and over
The group hiked the ascent on Rt 600 and up the blue blazed Ridge Trail.  We stopped for a snack and admired the easterly view towards the valley of Syria and Madison.  The climb continued across the rock scramble and we had lunch at the summit (3,219 ft). We went past Byrds Nest 1 Shelter and descended on the Saddle Trail to Old Rag Shelter following the Old Rag Fire Road and then making our way back to the parking lot along the Weakley Hollow Fire Road.  It was pointed out that the town of Old Rag had a church, post office, school, and community where the intersection was along the fire roads.  Much of Old Rag is Wilderness, which means that it is designated by Congress to be placed under the highest level of protection possible for public lands.  Old Rag Mountain is one of the most popular hikes in the Shenandoah National Park and was certainly one of the favorites for many in our group. 
Iva and Brian - lunch and a western vista- Corbin Mountain

Andre, Mark, and Barbara

Sister and brother time - Marit and Rolf

The last treat of the day was a time for refreshments at the Old Rag Cabin, the newest of the cabins for rent by the PATC.  Most of the hikers enjoyed snacks, drinks, and a tour of the new facility.  The exterior is from an old log cabin relocated to this spot, but the interior is quite modern and cozy.

Marit and Mark spent the weekend with Jim Tomlin - PATC President, Glen Tsaparas - Supervisor of Facilities, and Jayne Mayne promoting PATC membership and trail maintenance.  They manned a booth in front of the cabin serving free hot chocolate/water/Gatorade, handing out brochures, answering questions, and encouraging hundreds of hikers to join the club as they were coming down from their hike up Old Rag.  It was quite a successful and rewarding experience for all.
Refreshments are served at the Old Rag Cabin

Glen, Jayne, Jim, and Marit promoting the good works of PATC

Old Rag
submitted by Marit Anderson

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