The following is a Tall Tale written by my backwards ego Trebor Kool. It is written in the spirit of mischievous fun and is not meant to be mean spirited or disrespectful. Especially since I consider Trebor a good friend. While it is a lighthearted blog the activity of hiking at Old Rag still needs to be approached with some sobriety. Good judgment, planning, consideration and respect for yourself, others and the resource are still very much needed. Very bad things can and have happened on and to Old Rag. Revel, recreate and enjoy but please be careful and considerate.
By Trebor Kool
TREBOR KOOL WITH LATTE AT OLD RAG INTERNATIONAL PARKING
NO FREE WI FI
AND GUESS WHAT,
THERE WAS NO CELL PHONE COVERAGE EITHER!!
First off I want to complain about the fact that my car’s GPS was at fault for taking me to some crazy non-Old Rag location. By the time I made it to the Old Rag International Parking Lot my 60 person hiking group had long ago left the bus and started up the mountain.
Of course since I had driven all the way from Suburbia-Ville wearing my best Sunday strolling cloths I was definitely going to do enough of the trek so I could get some pictures, buy the tee shirt and scratch Old Rag off my bucket list.
Since I had parked my own car, I was not going to engage the attendants with any questions in hopes I would not have to tip them. I still wanted to get a picture of me starting on my walk so I waited until the attendants were busy with other stuff and then got a passing hiker to snap a picture of me with my Venti Carmel, Chocolate, Hazelnut Latte with Whip and Nutmeg powder topping.
There was a white board mounted on the attendants’ shack which mentioned the possibility of thunder storms.
I LEFT MY UMBRELLA AT HOME.
Not wanting to talk to the attendants I found out from a nearby hiker that they did not sell umbrellas. But the good news was I remembered that the weather report I had heard a couple of days earlier on San Francisco KFOG radio had said the whole Baltimore region was going to be sunny all weekend.
As I was starting up the trail I realized it was getting really hot and there was a ton of pollen in the air. I had left the house without taking my heart, diabetes, allergy or blood pressure meds. Worst because of the distraction of a slight hang-over I had left them all at home.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Is it turns out there are no water fountains on Old Rag so I could not have taken my meds anyway.
NO WATER FOUNTAINS, NO BATHROOMS, AND NO SNACK BARS!!
I AM GOING TO NEED TO TALK TO MY FRIENDS ON THE HILL ABOUT THIS.
I finally made it up to something they call the old upper lot but which I have nicknamed Old Rag Base Camp. The bugs were getting way to annoying so I decided Old Rag Base Camp would need to be my highpoint for the day.
As I started my descent my new dress shoes were starting to dig a hole into the back of my heel. The return was a little desperate but I managed to limp back to Old Rag International Parking no worse for the wear.
During my trek I saw hundreds of people of different sizes and shapes and I am thinking somebody should write a field guide on Old Rag Primates someday.
I found out Shenandoah National Park has a great website with all kinds of useful information and they even have a great podcast about Old Rag. It turns out the attendants were really friendly Rangers who like to help for free. You do not need to pay for parking but there is a cost to enter the park. In addition I found out there are all kinds of other guides, books, maps, and Internet sites with information about Old Rag. Even better there are all kinds of clubs and commercial organizations that offer training.