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.Ben, Jeremy’s son, looking back as we navigate from the parking area to the trail head.
The 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).
View as we ascended into the rocky portion of the trail.
Jeremy, beginning to think twice about wearing shorts (lol)
John and Oscar, wondering which one of them will have to push my bony old carcass up the hill.
Ben and Brandon, always well ahead and willing to bound across rocks while us old fossils huff and puff behind them.
Further up on the mountain, vistas become clearer, as do the shadows from the few clouds in the otherwise clear sky.
Me, leaning against a rock and catching my breath.
Further 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).
Another break, and chance to both catch my breath, and the group in a candid moment.
Supermen! 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.
Proof I actually was there, and modelling my latest bear whacking stick (which I promptly tossed once I had to crawl through rocks).
John, discovering his inner mountain goat.
Weaving between the boulders near one of the outcroppings.
Looking west, over a spine of hard granite that makes up the Old Rag.
The group, taking another well-earned break, prior to hopping across another outcropping.
John, laughing at my old arse trying to keep up.
Ben, always polite, holding up large heavy rocks so other can pass by.
Father-son bonding moment between Oscar and Brandon.
Close to the summit, looking north (I think).The three amigos (John, Oscar, Jeremy).
Another (of many needed) breaks, John, Me, Ben, Brandon (front)
Father and son, Jeremy and Ben.
Eyes on the horizon (John)
Looking back, and glad we didn’t follow the trail from the other direction.
The whole crew (back row, left to right) John, Me, Oscar, Jeremy, (front, left to right) Ben, Brandon.
Navigating the narrow and twisting gaps between the rocks as we near the summit.
Another look back at the ridges we scaled to get here.
At last, at the top (or very near it), Brandon, Ben, Jeremy, John and Oscar.
Eating lunch at the summit, beautiful views, but cold, biting wind.
A look back, off the summit, back the way we came. Oh what a climb!
The descent, and a little first aid.
The fire trail heading back to the trail head.
View from one of several bridges across a stream running along the base of the mountain.
The 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.