Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Return to Blackrock
I mentioned in some previous posts that our intention on Saturday was to do a relatively aggressive hike on Saturday, taking in Jones Run Falls (42') and the Doyles River Falls (28' and 63') in the Southern District of Shenandoah National Park. With the foreboding forecast - depending on what source you consulted, the temperatures might fall to near freezing, with accompanying precip - Chris and I decided to change our plans rather than taking in a four-hour plus 7 mile hike.
After stopping by to visit Howard at Evergreen Outfitters in Luray we headed down to Rockfish Gap in Waynesboro to make our way to the trailhead. I picked up a new pair of Vasques from Howard, shown in the picture of me here at the Blackrock summit. We did make a stop at the outfitters at Rockfish Gap, too, enjoying a leisurely and thorough browse of their exhaustive store, but making no purchases - this time.
Then it was up into the Park for our short hike to Blackrock Summit - this route is only a mile roundtrip, so I didn't even bring a pack, only a small bottle of water. Chris went in full gear, as can be seen in the photo of him in the rock gap. He was disappointed to find that the scale of this passage was exactly human, somehow he had gotten the impression that this was a giant rock formation from my previous photos.
We spent a lot of time just below the summit scrambling on the quartzite formations, and then we climbed to the top and hung out for a while. We were finally interrupted by the storm warning on his Suunto, as the barometric pressure dropped sharply and clouds started moving in, shown in a couple of these photos.
We quickly got off the mountain, returning to the parking area via the AT. It started raining by the time we reached the car. We stopped by the Loft Mountain Wayside for some chili before making our way home.
As shown in the photos I posted yesterday and in this blog post here: http://oldragpatrolsbyrsl-blook.blogspot.com/2009/10/wilderness-weekend-sun-10182009.html, the rain that started on Saturday night eventually turned to a pretty, light and envigorating snowfall.