Thursday, September 29, 2011

WEATHER ARTIC BLAST

WEATHER HEADS UP
AND
OLD RAG SAFETY VIDEO
AND
FALL COLORS REPORT

UNLIKELY BUT MAY FLURRY SATURDAY NIGHT!

Hey folks it is always good to check the weather for SNP above 2,000 if planning on hiking Old Rag.    Below is the link for the SNP page with this information.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/LWX/RECLWX

You can always find the link by going to the SNP website and followng the link to Plan Your Visit then follow the link Things To Know Before You Come then follow the link for Weather than click on the link for Park Weather Forecast, above 2000 ft (NOAA)

LOTS OF GOOD INFORMATION ON SNP WEBSITE FOR OLD RAG VISITORS TO KNOW ABOUT.

 LIKE THIS GREAT OLD RAG SAFETY VIDEO:

http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/old_rag.htm

SNP'S FALL COLORS REPORT
PAGE USUALLY UPDATED WEEKLY:

http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/fall-color.htm

SNP's Fall Folliage Report via Phone
540-999-3500 option 6? (options change sometimes)

THE VIRIGINIA DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY'S
FALL COLOR PAGE:


http://www.dof.virginia.gov/fall/index.htm




.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sat. & Sun. Sept. 24&25, 2011
Many of the pictures need to be viewed at their highest  resolution.   
Double click to expand than click than mangify for highest resolution.

A new ranger for the fall season Linda.    If you click on the word ranger in the label list in the right  hand channel it will bring up pictures of most of the ranger staff that has worked the Old Rag Contact Station over the last couple of years.


The weekend turned out to be mostly drizzly.   If you enlarge the following pictures you will see the marvels of a dew soaked spider web.



Looking down on the Saddle Trail col and Byrds Nest Shelter.


Not all the color is going to be natural.  Check out the brilliant fall reds of this patrol/jamboree of boy scouts.


A little bit of maroon.

The oranges and yellows of Chicken In The Woods.   I like to jokingly call this Chicken And Eggs.

With all the recent percepitation the mosses are very green.

Monday, September 19, 2011


SAT&SUN
Sept 17&18
PRAYING THE NEWS


This was the first weekend since Spring when I was  glad that I packed my fleece.   I also found I could crank up the exertion level with the air being on the coolish side.

The parking lot was  at capacity on Saturday.

Some of the understory brush is just starting to turn.    I spotted a road side farm market selling pumpkins and I have been noticing Walking Sticks down on the ground (another sign of Fall).


The following pictures are of late summer early fall wildflowers which can be found on Old Rag.  



The following picture is stitched together from two shots that were taken around sunset on Saturday evening.

This picture is chronologically out of order but was taken a little earlier on Saturday from the part of Old Rag's summit that looks down over the Ridge Trail.


I only have a point and shoot digital camera but I try to capture the wonder of Culpepper's lights twinkling below Old Rag's Ridge Trail on Saturday evening.


The following video was taken late on Saturday afternoon on the summit.

video


SUNDAY

Heading up the Weakley Fire Road on a reverse circuit.


Leaves on  the fire road and a continuous stream of hikers are sure signs of Fall.


PRAYING THE NEWS

The following video was taken late in the day on Sunday. The folks you see at the end of the video were from a church choir and it seemed appropriate that about fifteen minutes after I finished reading the last page of Praying The News on my Kindle they showed up and practiced one of their hymns .

Note: During the song I was the only other hiker on the summit.    Out of respect for my potential desire for solitude they had asked me before singing if I would mind.  

I am acquainted with one of the authors of Praying The News so I  am going to give it a shameless plug:

Remote mountaintop, inner city, suburban home, country farm, professional office … deeply Christian or having absolutely no idea what you believe in…… Praying The News is an inspirational; introduction, testimonial, and field guide to intentional prayer. If you’re interested in; celebrating your life, actualizing your belief in good, preparing or equipping yourself against life’s storms, pushing back against evils, Praying The News is an invaluable tool.


The following link is to the Amazon page for Praying The News:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=10&ved=0CG4QFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPraying-News-Your-Prayers-Powerful%2Fdp%2F0830759263&ei=4Ht3TsyXIMH30gH8tIS-DQ&usg=AFQjCNE9N4dOE3ksn2afoQsHSI2NnJ9Dp

video



The following short video was taken from near  the top of the Chute.  
video

The following short video is from the same location looking down at the first false summit.

video




Monday, September 12, 2011

Sat.&Sun. September 10&11, 2011

Awesome days and wonderful night hike under the moon.




video

The following shows the Byrds Nest build out with the padlock in  place.


This was one of those weekends where the clouds were big gorgeous broiling puffy white cummulus clouds which while pretty in static pictures can be mesmerizing to watch as they constently change.


Saturday night and I hiked down the Ridge Trail under a beutiful almost full moon.





On Sunday I was back at my reading/living room and it was another gorgeous day.


Got lots of reading and contemplation done.    It may just be my imagination running away with me but I have a very strong sense that Old Rag is a nexus of spiritual energies.
On Sunday night my co-hiker came within two feet of stepping on this Copperhead as it crossed Weakley Fire Road.    Pretty little guy who wanted only to go about his business but surely would bite and envenomate you if you happened to step on him.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sat-Sun September 3-5, 2011 ORMS BACK BYRDS NEST BUILD OUT

SAT., SUN., & MON.    LABOR DAY WEEKEND
SEPT. 3, 4, & 5

BOY SCOUT EAGLE PROJECT TO PARTIALLY ENCLOSE BYRDS NEST

ORMS ON THE MOUNTAIN FOR JUST LABOR DAY WEEKEND

I was told this was a Fishing Spider which I assume made its way to the Contact Station from the nearby Hughes River.    It is hard to tell from the picture but you would need a circle of about six inch diameter to encompass all the tips of his legs.    A very impressive spider.



On the days when it is on the mountain ORMS tries to get in at least around 2 hours of training.     In this picture we are reviewing spinal stabilization techniques.



On Saturday we had a to provide some help with a barely ambulatory ankle injury.


The following picture is of a fairly impressive Jack-O-Lantern fungi.    These sometimes have a faint phosphoresence.  

For his Eagle Project, Kevin of Boy Scout Troop 366  worked with SNP to enclose Byrds Nest Shelter for the purpose of holding rescue response equipment.   When there is a non-ambulatory injury on the mountain a substantial amount of the response time to that injury can involve just getting the 15-20 people and all the necessary response equipment to the patient.    Having required equipment cached high on the mountain allows for a much better response time.    This new resource will also allow volunteers to engage in higher quality training high on the mountain where they can quickly respond to requests for help.

While the quality of Old Rag emergency response is being improved keep in mind, Old Rag is still backcountry!   If you had a heart attack in your office you would not expect a specialized cardiac response team to jump out of a nearby closet complete with crash cart (well some might but come on really folks......)    While on Old Rag you should keep in mind that you are probably hours from help and 10-15 plus hours from being able to be loaded on an ambulance.    If you engage in your trip during a bad storm these times could be extended to over a day and in a blizzard possibly days.

Lots and lots of folks helped the Kevin on this weekend.    SNP employees donated volunteer time, ORMS volunteers donated time, and  passing hikers spontaneously volunteered time.     One of the biggest tasks involved the logistics of moving all the lumber from Old Rag Shelter to Byrds Nest Shelter.  
  

The following picture shows me alongside some of the hikers who had spontaneously volunteered to carry up wood.



ORMS volunteers training on patient assessment skills while the Scouts and volunteers work away on construction in the background.


For any of those of you who have ever built "structures" the sound of a hammer being used to nail up some framing may trigger memories of that purposeful and useful work.
video

False Foxglove one of the seasons pretty wild flowers.    If you like wildflowers let this be a teaser to check out Silver Spring Wanderer's blog.   I have a link to her blog over in the right channel of my blog.

Still lots of interior work to be done but by Monday morning the rough framing was done and the exterior walls were up.


Monday and the weather was RAINY but fun in its own way.    ORMS trained more on patient assessment and flora identification.

For those with wilderness response training, think AMPLE, ABCDE, CRM, OPQRST, AVPU......

One of the pleasures of a hard rain is being able to experience the patter of falling rain and all the bubbling gurgling of miniature cascades.  
  video