On Sunday I had to give my sentinel rock buddy the Dumb As A Box Of Rocks Memorial Boulder a few pats and thanks for doing what he, she (it) does so well as he patiently balances on just a few contact points while keeping a watchful eye to the West of the Moon and East of the Sun.
OOPS NO FIRES ON OLD RAG!
I cleaned up this fire ring that someone built right off the trail so others would not think it was OK to have fires on Old Rag.
By the way folks, the fire roads are called that because they provide access for firefighters to more easily fight forest fires NOT! because they are meant to have fires built in the middle of them as a recent group of very nice but clueless newbie outdoors people seemed to think.
PSST let me whisper something.......
In general campfires are not allowed in Shenandoah National Park but if you are good at detective work work you might be able to find the Compendium that lists the "special rules" informing you where and when you can enjoy that primal ancient human pleasure called a campfire within the park.
There are a limited number of copies of the Compendium but many of the SNP Rangers have been entrusted with a copy. I have had the great pleasure of seeing the Old Rag Contact Station's worn copy of the Compendium.
More than once I have naively shaken my head in disagreement over words in the Compendium only to find myself in almost complete agreement with them after having a chance to be exposed to and understand the wide set of opinions and issues surrounding what I originally thought to be a much simpler matters. A huge amount of professional thought goes into trying to make the Compendium's words reflect the best answers for the changing times.
The Compendium is not meant to be a secret text. Quite the contrary it is meant to be a widely used and understood public document. Since folks can not see something they do not look for it sometimes feels to me that the Compendium is an ancient secret text. Please see the comment to this post and you will understand just how publicly available the Compendium is meant to be. Its well thought out wisdom is available for all those who make a point of looking for it.
It is well worth part of your Plan-And-Prepare(Leave No Trace) efforts to find and at least skim a copy!
Keep in mind that the Compendium is a living changing document so please make sure you are reading the most recent copy.
It would be interesting to see somebody do a Parallel Compendium especially if one of the parallel texts was from long ago.
A couple of crazy climbers(Charlie and Ben) I know from ORMS that had just finished a day of testing themselves (in a fun way if you like that kind of stuff) on the seemingly timeless rocks of the summit cliffs.
Some journeys are for reaching destinations and some destinations are for creating journeys.