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Topic: Shenandoah National Park (Aug 27, 2012), Old Rag and Cedar Run Falls< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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GaliWalker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 27 2012, 10:54 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My first visit to Shenandoah National Park. A gentle rain, opaque mist, slippery zen-like bouldering, lushous greenery and peace in my soul were the reward for 11hrs of driving to this beautiful area.

Old Rag

Old Rag Mountain is one of Shenandoah's most popular hikes. It has 360° views, with a summit ridge that’s one continuous scramble over, under and amidst a jumble of huge granite boulders. The popularity means that one has to be content with not getting any solitude - making an early start helps considerably though. Since I've always believed that very popular places must have something going for them I decided to make Old Rag my introduction to Shenandoah National Park.

I reached an almost empty trailhead parking lot at 7:15am, after the long 5hr drive from Pittsburgh. It was quite overcast as I started off, so I resigned myself for an introspective hike with possibly no summit views. The current parking area was 0.8mi from the trailhead. Once reaching this I took the Ridge Trail that headed up Old Rag Mountain’s spine. Gorgeous trees, clad in second skins of ivy or moss, looked even nicer in the misty conditions. Our eyes are most sensitive to green, evidently our souls are too.

Old Rag Mountain: Creaper

Old Rag Mountain: Misty forest

A couple of thousand feet of elevation gain later, with everything still shrouded in mist, I reached the summit ridge. Immense 'old rag' granite boulders everywhere. A large flat viewing area provided an interesting, pure white view of nothingness...maybe it clears out later? The next 0.9mi was a prolonged scramble through deep narrow fissures and even the odd cave, up huge boulders, made slick by the light rain that occasionally feather dusted everything, and cliffs. In a couple of spots I had to take off my backpack and the large DSLR camera, in its belt holster, to be able to make the requisite moves. In the middle of this were two stretches of flower-lined trail where I caught my breath and marveled at the contrast. Oh yes, no views at all, except for the interesting one of the inside of a cloud. A lotta zen-like rocks though!

Old Rag Mountain: Cliffs

Old Rag Mountain: Boulders

Old Rag Mountain: Lush flowers

Old Rag Mountain: Garden path

Old Rag Mountain: Stunted tree on granite

Old Rag Mountain: Bonsai

Old Rag Mountain: Perched

Old Rag Mountain: Zen view

After the ridge scramble the rest of hike – saddle trail down to the Weakley Hollow Fire road and back to the trailhead – was quite anitclimactic, though I did get one brief view.

Old Rag Mountain: Only view of the day

Stats: 8.8mi, 2510ft gain, 5.25hrs

Cedar Run Falls

Whiteoak Canyon's lower parking is located only a few short miles from Old Rag Mountain, though this can also be accessed by the famous Skyline Drive, which for most people is Shenandoah National Park. Waterfalls nestle in the canyon: the more famous ones in Whiteoak Canyon proper, and Cedar Run Falls on adjacent Cedar Run. With still a bit of time to play with, I decided to spend this at the two Cedar Run Falls.

Cedar Run: Falls and forest

Cedar Run: Upper Falls

Stats: 3mi, 500ft gain, 2.5hrs

I finished up the day with a drive along the northern part of Skyline Drive – took it slow, rolled the windows down, turned the radio off and listened to the trees breathe.


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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
Photos: http://galiwalker.zenfolio.com
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QCHIKER Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 27 2012, 12:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great TR and nice pics. Love the last one
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hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 27 2012, 1:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Seriously some of the best photos I have ever seen.  Amazing.  Some people would call that weather crap, but it sure looks amazing to me in the photos.

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“I’m just hanging on while this world keeps spinning and it’s good to know it’s out of my control.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go…”
Jimmy Buffett & Martina McGraw
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GaliWalker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 27 2012, 7:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks guys.

hikingFF77, the photographer part of me loves such weather. Every stunning photo of Shenandoah that I can remember seeing has featured mist. Unfortunately, not getting to see the famed views was a tiny bit of a downer for the 'hiker' part of me.


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solonomad Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 27 2012, 9:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

GaliWalker,

Great pics and TR. Glad you had a good time in my "backyard"!!


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"When you travel; if you avoid the people, reject the food, ignore the customs, and fear the religion...you might as well stay home"
                                      James A. Michener
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RebeccaD Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2012, 10:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Beautiful, as always, Gali.  

As for fog and mist. . . A photographer friend of my brother's up Seattle way years ago just went ahead and made misty wet photos his trademark.  I backpacked with him once.  Although the sun was shining on Seattle, sure enough, it drizzled and rained on us.  Sometimes you just go with your Karma!


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