End of Daylight Savings Time
Almost Full Moon, rain turned to partly cloudy.
The next three pictures are of the brand new moldering privy located at Old Rag Shelter or where the ends of the Saddle Trail and Old Rag Fire Road meet. For those who pay attention to such things, it was located outside the Congressional approved wilderness area. A very high percentage of Old Rag acreage is enclosed designated wilderness area. If you are curious these areas are designated on PATC maps. As with all your back country visits it is best if you use toilet paper designed to be biodegradable. This privy is designed so as to create an environment for natural decomposition of human waste. Please follow the instructions posted in the privy and especially do not put anything in the privy that either can not break down like metal, plastic, diapers or glass or might be toxic to the organisms being used to foster decomposition like baby/wet wipes, or perfumed toilet paper.
The following link will take you to the Appalachian Trail Conference's(ATC) Backcountry Sanitation Manual which has a lot of information concerning all the various ways for trail maintainers to manage waste including a lot of information about moldering privies.
I was told and believed it was assembled off-site and delivered by helicopter. Repeating this story to my weekend companions I was told that I was most likely the victim of a favorite hiking pastime in which naive folks are told creative tales. Clearly a helicopter lift would never have been approved because of the associated noise pollution. With the Weakley Hollow Ice Road not being available for a couple of months the privy was most likely delievered; silently by para-glider or by the Nethers 20 mule team.
Please follow the instructions posted on the privy.
Because of the rain there were probably only about 50 hikers on the mountain today. Last Sunday we had close to 2,000. Because of the light crowds we decided to do some extensive first response training. The following pictures show us neatly putting the equipment away after several hours of practice. The Shenandoah Mountain Guides are great at coming up with pertinent but challenging scenarios. On this day Jeremy invented a great scenario and Ann, Bob, Scott and Tony got in some good hands on practice and learning time.