Yesterday, Eric and I hiked up Old Rag Mountain near Sperryville, Virginia. We woke up at 5:30 am and drove 80 miles west and arrived around 7:30 - long drive! It was a bit chilly when we arrived and I immediately regretted not wearing long pants. About 10 minutes later, my heart was pounding, I was out of breath, and I was sweating. Crisis averted.
It took us about 2.5 hours to get to the summit, and it wasn’t easy. This was no “follow the trail” hike. We actually had to scale massive boulders - and doing so in Nike running shoes is not easy. At one point, we weren’t sure if we would be able to continue. There were 2 ways you could go. One was the recommended way (marked) and the other was for the brave ones (read: if you lost your footing you would slide down a rock and die). Eric and I decided we weren’t that brave and opted for the other way - although not any easier. After some serious strategizing we finally made it up to the top of these rocks - which we mistook for the summit. Wrong. We continued on our way for the next half mile or so - and yes, had to climb more rocks! At one point, we stopped to check out the view where we ran into a group of guys we had seen a few times on the mountain. They looked to be around 16 years old and one of them was considering walking a ledge probably 18 inches wide. Below him - nothing. He was planning on standing on the edge of a cliff. These kids were nuts! Luckily, he decided it wasn’t the best idea and turned around.
Throughout the day, Eric said “I think we’re almost there!” about 4 times but this time he was right! We had finally made it! The view was so awesome. We found ourselves our own little rock to have a picnic on at 10:30 am and boy were we hungry. We rested for about 30 minutes and took some awesome pictures then started on the descent down the mountain. Luckily for us there were no more rock scrambles. Just a nice trail with built in stairs. The last 2.5 miles of the “hike” were on a road that seemed neverrrrrr-ending and we were so happy when we spotted the parking lot! It had started to drizzle the second we got in the car - perfect timing!
Today, my body is paying for all of the hard work and I’m extremely sore. Overall though, it was a great day: nice views, great weather, challenging climbs. A perfect way to end the weekend.