Last weekend we drove to Shenandoah National Park with our friends Kari and Bill to do some camping and hiking. We drug ourselves out of bed at 2:15am so we could hike to the top of Old Rag mountain in time to see the sun rise. It was fun hiking in the dark, and there was a full moon so we were able to hike the first mile or so without any lights. We started getting into some denser trees and turned our headlamps on. Immediately after Cheri tripped on a root and fell on her face! A lot of good the extra light did — no harm done though.
Toward the top of the climb the trail travels over, around, and thorough a large granite boulder field. There’s lots of climbing, squeezing, and shimmying, but it makes for entertaining travel.
We made it to the top just in time to see the sun poke over the horizon and though the clouds. Kari made us coffee and hot chocolate while we laid on the rocks. Then we hiked back down to the car.
After lunch and some napping at camp, we set out to hike to some waterfalls that are popular for swimming. I was expecting a leisurely walk after sleep depriving ourselves and climbing a mountain, but nooooooo — Trip planners Cheri and Kari had other ideas. This hike started on the blue ridge parkway and went down, down, down even more steeply than the grade down Old Rag. Apparently city life has disappeared my alaskan hiking callouses, because by this point I was dealing with some pretty wicked blisters. I forgot all about them though when I got to jump off the rocks into the waterfall pool. That was fun, and the water cold!
Just a quad-busting climb back up to the car and we were ready to spend the next several days walking gingerly and commenting on how sore we were.