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BlueDog
09-28-2011, 11:05 AM
Some may know this, others may not... but living a good 11+ hour drive from the White Mountains makes it kinda tough to feed the peak addiction, much less get in on completing "The List" or even "The Grid."

Last fall, one of my coworkers who hikes on occasion was surprised to hear that with all the hiking I've done, that I never hit our local Old Rag Mountain, in Shenandoah National Park. Feeling a little guilty for neglecting a peak in my own backyard, I headed out on a clear October morning to go check it out.

The loop begins with a half mile road walk from the parking lot up to the old lot by the trailhead. From there its a 2 mile trek through the woods and switchback until you get to the fun part of the mountain. The last mile (maybe a little more) has lots of fun and challenging rock scrambles, a slot you need to lower yourself down into with a little ledge walk, and even a cave that you have to pass through. The summit is pile of very large rocks that's fully exposed (something pretty rare for this area of the country).

The hike down to is along a nice rambling trail that passes by an old stone CCC built shelter just below the summit as well as a more traditional wooden shelter near where the trail meets the fire road that completes the walk back to the trailhead. Along the fire road, water can be seen and heard depending on the time of year, with three very nice arched foot bridges signaling the near completion of the hike.

This hike was enjoyable and challenging enough for me that I came up with my own self-challenge of creating the Old Rag Mountain 1x12 grid.

Over the past year, I feel like I've gotten to know this mountain well enough that I started referring to "our" hikes as a dance with her. I've been fortunate enough to see her in all the conditions of the year and each has its merits. Spring and fall bring the crowds looking to challenge themselves. I've enjoyed guiding strangers through the challenges that tend to become traffic jams. I've danced in the hot summer heat as well as in an impending blizzard in December when only one single other hiker was on the mountain.

This past weekend, on a foggy drizzly day, I completed the 1x12 challenge. As with most trips I picked up a couple hikers out for their first hike of the mountain and were happy as ever to have someone show them how to dance with this peak. And as teased elsewhere, I had a brand new hiking kilt that I was saving to debut on this hike.

And now for some pictures! Enjoy!

TheKiltedHiker (aka BlueDog)


http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6165/6189338858_6194719490_b.jpg

BlueDog
09-28-2011, 11:26 AM
Old Rag Mountain over the year thru summit pics...


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CHRIS
09-28-2011, 12:36 PM
Congradulations Blue. The pictures were really cool. Dig the winter shot with the goggles. As far as the new Kilt. It is def. a bright one. LOL....

BlueDog
09-28-2011, 02:08 PM
Thanks Chris! So far I'm liking that one as a great light summer hiking kilt. It doesn't have a belt and uses velcro, so works great as a backpacking kilt too.

I noticed that I've got three different brands of kilts represented in the pics! LOL! Utilikilt, Mountain Hardwear and SportKilt. Will need to add an Amerikilt to the collection, just so I can fit in with the rest of you guys. :)

Snow Miser
09-28-2011, 04:30 PM
Congratulations Blue!!! The photos are a great representation of your hikes completing the grid. Good luck completing the NH 48 someday. That day will come sooner or later. :)

BAXTERCA2
09-28-2011, 04:36 PM
As far as the new Kilt. It is def. a bright one. LOL....

It might be me but, I don't care. That is the best looking kilt in all the land.
Congrats BlueDog on completing your self-challenge..

BlueDog
09-28-2011, 07:50 PM
Thinking I might have to do Dec, Jan and Feb over with the proper attire. Hmmm

BAXTERCA2
09-28-2011, 10:42 PM
Thinking I might have to do Dec, Jan and Feb over with the proper attire. Hmmm

That's so funny Blue, I didn't want to mention that piece earlier but, since you brought it up. I was going to say excuse me 9 out 12 hmm... Did someone say 1X12 grid do-over 100% Kilted Hiker? tick tock tick tock three days until October :p

BlueDog
09-29-2011, 10:40 AM
Rudy's Pizza

On the way to Old Rag Mountain, the last little Virginia rural town you pass thru, and don't blink otherwise you'd miss it, is Sperryville. You know how they say towns are so small they only have one traffic light? Well, this one doesn't even have a 4-way intersection. When you come into town, you have to make a left turn at this T intersection to continue on into the rolling hill to get to the trailhead. However, it you were to continue straight, you'd end up driving through the window of Rudy's Pizza (http://www.yelp.com/biz/rudys-pizza-sperryville). Please don't do that as I really like their pizza and the owners are really cool!


http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6145/6195229036_7a1fbf6171.jpg

The walls inside this tiny little pie shop are lined with wonderful pictures of and around Old Rag. The main guy that's always flinging the dough is photog that snapped the shots.


http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6164/6195235134_96d2477d34.jpg

After the majority of my hikes on Old Rag, it became tradition for me to stop in for some fresh hot pizza and a beer. Depending on how long the hike was, sometimes a slice would do, other times an entire personal pie was called for.

Here's many of the closing shots from the hikes featured above.


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Snow Miser
09-29-2011, 11:03 AM
Rudy's looks like a really nice place, and their pizza looks great! And from one beer connoisseur to another, I love your choice of beers!!! :)

KSearl
09-29-2011, 03:40 PM
Great job on the "Old Rag Grid"! I would agree that you should head back up there with a kilt for the three off season months! Great set of photos!

Karl

Brad
10-25-2011, 12:26 PM
Congratulations on your 1x12. So, are you now the Olde Rag Man?

BlueDog
10-25-2011, 06:00 PM
Congratulations on your 1x12. So, are you now the Olde Rag Man?

Ha! I've been called worse things! :P

Charlie
10-25-2011, 08:07 PM
i like the food pictures better sorry

BlueDog
10-26-2011, 01:20 PM
I think I like them just as much, which is why I take them!

Trailsend
11-01-2011, 07:59 PM
Very nice pictures Blue and congrats on your 1x12.