Old Rag Hike


On April 20, 2013, the Courageous Men’s Group from Salem Fields Community Church hiked to the summit of Old Rag Mountain, in Madison Co., Virginia.IMG_7685Ben, Jeremy’s son, looking back as we navigate from the parking area to the trail head.

IMG_7686The group just prior to the ascent, at the trail head.  Front row, left to right — Me, John, Jeremy, Oscar (back row, left to right) Ben, and Brandon (Oscar’s son).

IMG_7688View as we ascended into the rocky portion of the trail.

IMG_7692Jeremy, beginning to think twice about wearing shorts (lol)

IMG_7690John and Oscar, wondering which one of them will have to push my bony old carcass up the hill.

IMG_7691Ben and Brandon, always well ahead and willing to bound across rocks while us old fossils huff and puff behind them.

IMG_7695Further up on the mountain, vistas become clearer, as do the shadows from the few clouds in the otherwise clear sky.

IMG_7693Me, leaning against a rock and catching my breath.

IMG_7698Further up, looking out to the horizon, approximately to the north-east.  Not sure the actual distance, but I’d say 10 to 15 miles (best guess).

IMG_7701Another break, and chance to both catch my breath, and the group in a candid moment.

IMG_7700SQUIRREL!

IMG_7704Supermen!  An example of God’s sense of humor in that we not only had to go over and through the mountain, but in some cases, under chunks of it, sometimes on all fours and minus packs.

IMG_7703Proof I actually was there, and modelling my latest bear whacking stick (which I promptly tossed once I had to crawl through rocks).

IMG_7706John, discovering his inner mountain goat.

IMG_7710Weaving between the boulders near one of the outcroppings.

IMG_7709Looking west, over a spine of hard granite that makes up the Old Rag.

IMG_7711The group, taking another well-earned break, prior to hopping across another outcropping.

IMG_7716John, laughing at my old arse trying to keep up.

IMG_7714Ben, always polite, holding up large heavy rocks so other can pass by.

IMG_7715Father-son bonding moment between Oscar and Brandon.

IMG_7719Close to the summit, looking north (I think).IMG_7721The three amigos (John, Oscar, Jeremy).

IMG_7725Another (of many needed) breaks, John, Me, Ben, Brandon (front)

IMG_7723Father and son, Jeremy and Ben.

IMG_7724Eyes on the horizon (John)

IMG_7728Looking back, and glad we didn’t follow the trail from the other direction.

IMG_7726The whole crew (back row, left to right) John, Me, Oscar, Jeremy, (front, left to right) Ben, Brandon.

IMG_7731

Navigating the narrow and twisting gaps between the rocks as we near the summit.

IMG_7729Another look back at the ridges we scaled to get here.

IMG_7730At last, at the top (or very near it), Brandon, Ben, Jeremy, John and Oscar.

IMG_7734IMG_7736Eating lunch at the summit, beautiful views, but cold, biting wind.

IMG_7737 IMG_7735IMG_7732A look back, off the summit, back the way we came. Oh what a climb!

IMG_7743The descent, and a little first aid.

IMG_7745The fire trail heading back to the trail head.

IMG_7746View from one of several bridges across a stream running along the base of the mountain.

IMG_7747The last stream.  Did not take any more pictures, though I wish I had taken a few of us back at the cars, but by then I was beat.  Day was beautiful, hike a challenge, and the company of brothers in Christ, priceless.

One thought on “Old Rag Hike

  1. Pingback: The Ascent | PoisonedCheetos

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