Monday, October 31, 2011

A Sunday Walk In The Woods

Sunday, October 30, 2011
A Late Day Walk In The Woods

ORMS was on duty at the Old Rag Contact Station between 7AM and 2PM.    After our duty time was over I took a personal (non-ORMS) hike up to what we call PO(Post Office) Junction because it is near the site of the former Old Rag Post Office.    I would not normally find myself walking up the Weakley Fire Road at this time of day  but it was stunning with the sun light shining through the trees with half their leaves off.

More Text Later Pictures For Now

There was still some very bright Fall colors to be enjoyed.

With a lot of leaves off the trees the views of the 4th Class Slabs on Old Rags western facing flanks were quite easy to see and the snow is a useful indicator of non-vertical rock.

Above the steel vehicle bridge the fire road still had snow cover.

I found the snow shadow caused by the roof of the Old Rag Interpretive Sign interesting.

Sunday, October 30, 2011



This  Fall's first snow came with the added advantage that there was still lots of leaf color that could be highlighted against the white.

Note:  If you double click on pictures you will get higher resolution.   For even higher resolution click "Show Original" and then maximize the zoom.

The fire road leading up to the Old Rag upper lot.

The path through the snowy woods.

The Ridge Trail/Rock Scramble looked very menacing/dangerous.   I chose to turn around at the first false summit myself on this day.

On the way down the skies turned blue.

The setting sun was awesome as it highlighted the snow and brightly colored leaves.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pictures For Now Text Later


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Great Butterfly Resource for Old Rag and SNP

David Hamilton Cox is an amatuer naturalist who often focuses his camera lens on Shenandoah National Park(SNP) butterflies and moths.  His web site of labeled photos is a great resource for identifying SNP moths and butterflies.    Check out his great web site found at the following links:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sat.&Sun. Oct.15&16, 2011 Peak Colors Peak Crowds

Colors at mid-elevations were probably peak this weekend.   On the Old Rag summit we already had some trees with all their leaves gone.   Of course the rains early this week and the gusty winds of the weekend accelerated leaves dropping off their trees.   My guess is that there is still one more week of what I would call peak colors at mid elevations.

Notice how on the valley floor the leaves have hardly turned at all.

With peak colors and nice Fall weather you can be guaranteed that Old Rag will have a crowd.   Lines several hundred people long (sometimes as long as an hour wait) formed at choke points.   Here you can see part of the line on the first false summit waiting to enter the rock scramble.

This next picture is of the line at the Chute in the middle of the rock scramble.

Below is a picture of a very young lady topping out on one of Old  Rag's rock climbs.  Maybe she will be an ORMSer some day.

Since there was not a cloud to be seen the Old Rag sunset was not all that spectacular but still nice.

Since I camped near Byrds Nest Shelter overnight on both Friday and Saturday it allowed me to be on the summit before 8AM both mornings.   This gave me a couple hours of solitude before starting my duty near the chute a little after 10 AM.  

The various contingents of Sunday's Old Rag Mountain Stewards met on the summit.   After taking a short break from doing stewarding outreach we headed down for our days training on splinting.     We were very fortunate not to have had any needs for medical response on either Saturday or Sunday.    There were plenty of opportunities for providing outreach, and interpretation.

Make note of the trees with no leaves behind the Stewards in this picture.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sunday & Monday October 9&10, 2011 Fall Colors Have Arrived

Sunday and Monday October 9 and 10, 2011


Folks on good weather Fall weekend days remember to bring a lot of patience, extra money for the parking fee at private parking lot you will need to use if the SNP's free lot is full, and an expectation to have to wait in lines at choke points in the rock  scramble.

With good weather and the fall colors Old Rag becomes popular and crowded at times.    Double click then click on the picture to get to its highest resolution and you will be able to make out hikers on the first false summit.

On Sunday I positioned myself at R40 which I sometimes call the Leap of  Faith and for around two hours there was literally an unending stream of hikers.

Photostich does some strange things at times.  In this next picture Photostitch added an extra false summit to the Ridge Trail.   Some of my readers  may have vivid memories of hiking over this extra feature!  LOL

An Old Rag Sunset.

There was almost a full moon over the weekend and because it was still waxing it was coming up a few hours earlier than sunset so it was already high in the sky as soon as it was dark.

Just a quick video of the sunset.   The summit is a couple of hours from the Old Rag parking lot please make sure you have good light sources (preferably hands free headlamps) if you are going to be hiking in the dark.   Expect that if it is misty, foggy, raining, or snowing that your light is barely going to be effective at showing you the ground.    About this time of year Copperheads and Timber Rattlesnakes start heading for their hibernaculums but they may still be out and you would not want to accidentally step on one in the dark.    Night time temperatures can drop 20 to 30 degrees so come prepared for wide variations in air temperature.

patc trail patrol training

October 7, 2011 Wonderfull Fall Day

OCT 1, 2011 Knots, Patient Packaging

October 1, 2011

No  fall colors yet.

No discernible fall colors yet.

Tie knots, knots, and more knots than tying them behind our back, or one handed or maybe even one handed behind our backs.

With all the late summer early fall rain the fungi are very happy!

Trebor Kool had asked me to help him come up with a boulder that could serve as the Memorial Dumb As Rocks Boulder.   Well folks here it is!    Trebor will be doing a blog posting in the future about how we all can be dumb as a box of rocks sometimes.   Since all of us have at times shown the ability to be dumb as rocks or dumb as a pile of rocks and some of us manage to display this trait almost all of the time, Trebor felt that the condition deserved its on memorial.     After careful consideration the candidate pictured below was selected to be the Dumb As Rock Memorial Boulder found around R37 on  the Ridge Trail or just where the Ridge Trail first pops out onto the top of Skyline aka PATC Wall.

I believe the Dumb As Rock Memorial Boulder is very photogenic.   I would even say handsome or pretty.   Of course being handsome or pretty does not exempt one from displaying a lack of intelligence.

In my opinion, this wonderful boulder is providing a public service of the highest order so I make sure to give it a couple of pats and thank it for its service every time I pass it.

A patient packaging exercise on the summit.