Hey Super Troopers!!!
So the other day, I'm looking out my 6th floor office in Herndon...looking west, past Dulles and at the sun setting over the mountains. Just beautiful! I couldn't help but think...it's time run back to the mountains...
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains....I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain... -An ex-gf dragged me to an Indigo Girls concert a while back, I wonder where she's at now...
With its challenging ascent and gorgeous, sweeping 360-degree views at its summit (3,291 feet), Old Rag is the best hike in Shenandoah National Park!! Um, this isn’t exactly a leisurely, romantic walk in the clouds…it’s more of a strenuous, uphill, physical, and challenging hike with an elevation gain of 2200 ft. It should take us about 4-5 hours (8.8 miles of smiles) to complete. To make this hike more enjoyable, we’ll take our time going up and down the mountain.
Our hike will start with a 2-mile ascent along the Ridge Trail. The first mile is pretty simple - a winding trail that pushes us upwards. At about mile 1.2, the real fun begins, when we run into a .9-mile stretch of rock scramble with a consistent incline. The rock scrambling isn’t easy, but isn’t incredibly tough either. But it’s definitely a total-body workout!!
At the top, we'll stay a while to relax, to have lunch, to gaze across the horizon, and to enjoy the beautiful green of spring. The summit is a cool place with its huge granite boulders that will lend an air of adventure to our lunch break. After lunch, our relatively easy decent will take us down the backside of the mountain via the Saddle Trail (2 miles) and the Fire Road (2.5 miles).
And now for my favorite disclaimer: As you know--we care about you! We don’t want you to get hurt or get yourself into any trouble, but it’s ultimately up to you to keep yourself safe up there. You can do this by knowing your limits, so make sure you are physically able to do this hike. If you have doubts about your physical ability, you might want to try one of our less strenuous walks/hikes. Believe me, I don't like excluding people (I hate it really), but it's a health issue for you and an extremely unfair burden on your fellow hikers. Plus, the fun-loving mercenary in me wants to have a good time as well, can't do that if the others and I are worried about you...
Driving: We’ll meet up at 9:00am at the Vienna Metro Station-NORTH parking garage (first level), which is along the Orange Line and Interstate-66 for carpooling purposes. From here, we'll head west towards the mountains (75 miles, 90 minutes). If you're running late, please call me...we'll wait for you! No worries. I'm always late myself. We’ll be back around 6:00pm.
What to bring: yourself, plenty of water (2 liters), a good lunch, some fruit, a granola bar or two, comfy hiking shoes, and cool sunglasses. As always, if you have questions, need a ride, going to be late, or just want to say hello, my number is (301)[masked].
Hope you'll come to the dance!