|Old Rag as seen from Skyline Drive.|
Still, hiking buddy Tom asked if I wouldn’t mind doing this one again with him, since he hadn’t done it before, and I thought we could make a go of it as long as we didn’t try it on the weekend. Tom had an August reservation for a campsite at Big Meadows that ran Thursday – Saturday, so we chose that Friday to make a go of the trail. It was a good choice, as we only encountered about a half dozen hiking parties coming our way on the trail.
(Time is running out for Tom, as it has for my other hiking buddy Chris: Tom and his wife are expecting twins in November, so this may have been our last hike together for a while; Chris and his wife had a son in July, so he won’t be able to join us for the time being either.)
My request was that we do the trail in reverse direction from how it is usually done. Both of us are desk jockeys and I wanted to be sure we had a great experience, especially since I had some trouble on the hike the first time. I figured that we could summit Old Rag as an accomplishment and not be disappointed if we had to turn back on the rock scramble.
|Google Earth image of the hike.|
|Old Rag parking, about a mile from the old small lot, which is not used anymore.|
The hard cores among my readers are going to ask, “What’s so interesting about Old Rag if you leave out the rock scramble?” It’s a good question, and one I’ll answer by quoting from Heawole, specifically regarding the Weekly Hollow Road section:
“The former village of Old Rag was near here, and the Old Rag Post Office was at the road junction…Originally, the Park intended to preserve some or all of the mountaineer homes in this area. But maintenance proved too difficult, and the houses were torn down shortly after the end of World War II.”
|Tom on a rock.|
|Me at the summit.|
So in addition to the summit, distance, and elevation, a final attraction of this version of Old Rag is the cultural reference of the area, before the Park was formed. That is definitely an item on the checklist for “75 @ 75” hikes.
|Summit photo, with view and "buzzard baths."|
|Another view near the summit.|
On a final note, Tom and I bookended the hike with a morning stop at Central Coffee Roasters in Sperryville and an evening stop at the little burger joint at the crossroads of US 211 and 522. The folks at the coffee shop were very cordial, and allowed me to park the car in their lot for the day so we could carpool down to the mountain – thanks and a tip of the hat!