Friday, October 2, 2015

Fall, 2015..Allium Edition

The Fall season is upon us! We're excited to be back on the mountain !  It's obvious that the hiking public is as well. Last weekend we had a solid stream of hikers crossing the summit... and the weather was....well, it was...

The weather forecast you read eight days ago was for areas of Northern VA,-DC-MD, Fredericksburg thru Baltimore... "Expect overcast skies with daytime highs in the low 70s and nighttime lows in the lower 60s"

"PERFECT!" you thought,  "LETS GO TO OLD RAG!"

(Of course, the forecast you should have read was:

"Shenandoah National Park officials are issuing a weather advisory for anybody planning on travel to the Park over the next few days.   Since Thursday, the Park has received 4.8 inches of rain in some areas, resulting in localized flooding of trails, parking lots and roads.
Forecasts show more rain — heavy at times — in the upcoming days. Visitors to the park should use extreme caution during this weather event; expect slick conditions and debris-such as trees, limbs and leaves- on roads and trails. Additionally for areas above 2000 ft, expect extremely low visibility, which will greatly restrict views and make bicycling extremely hazardous .. Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid forties to low 50s")

The view from the summit is always a breathtaking experience, which is part of the reason on days when the weather is so perfect, hundreds and thousands flock to this one of a kind mid Atlantic hike!

Often hikers ask the Old Rag Mountain Stewards about the bright orange shirts they wear... it is to help with visibility and provide ready identification should their assistance be needed..
This is a picture of one of our Stewards teaching a short class on Leave No Trace to a group of 30 novice hikers , and particularly,  how it pertains to several of the more fragile species of plants found on the mountain..  n

 I'm sure the novice hikers will be more than anxious to return and practice their newly acquired skills 

During the last days of summer, the National Park Service put the finishing touches on the combined lunch room - outhouse at the Byrds Nest just off the summit. This novel concept will aid those people who have felt the need to poop and pee on the trail. In the Byrds Nest, right behind the picnic table is a place that has been reserved for those who HAVE to answer Natures call, and cannot bring themselves to "go in the woods"  The concrete floor, and stone walls not only ensure privacy, but also ensure that your waste in all its smelly glory will be there for weeks and  months to come... enticing those others, who may want to picnic to come on in and pull up a seat... right  next to your offering..

(There was to be a ribbon cutting next weekend, but, unfortunately Anita Pee and her cousin Tiny Bladder couldn't wait ... Their (still liquid) urine and their paper are still enticing all those hungry picnickers who also cannot wait...)
So gross! No more will sights like this be seen on the trail or n the woods, now that pooping indoors, beside the picnic table is an option!


And this is really great news! "It has been determined that indeed, all the Park's wildlife can not only survive, but indeed THRIVE on a diet of spilled fruits, nuts, candy, waste products, bread, dirty socks and cigarette butts!"

So remember, for maximum enjoyment this Fall, come to Old Rag!  on weekends! when you can share the mountain with thousands of others looking for the same wilderness experience...

-There, you'll find trails where you and 8 of your best friends can hike abreast of each other... (no more of that dreaded single-file walking) 
-Don't bother checking the (Old Rag local)weather or with the Park... what do those guys know? Just read up on whats local to YOU, and go with it!
-Just drop your trash wherever is convenient! We'll all thank you... especially the animals!
-Please confine your pooping and peeing needs to those places where other hkers like to eat and relax.. it's much more user-friendly that way....
-And don't forget, for a real thrill, start late in the day...Now that it's getting darker earlier, you can have a true adventure, route finding your way down in the dark.. 

and above all... HAVE FUN! 


Anonymous said...

I came to this website looking for information on Old Rag. I've always appreciate the inclusion and warmth of the outdoors community. Instead, here, I've found condescending sarcasm that more or less says, "stay off my mountain." I'm surprised. It's one thing to help people understand how to care for the trail, to instruct and to's another to demean and ridicule. Poorly done.

Old Rag Mountain Stewards said...

Dear anonymous,
Please watch for the next blog entry, later today (hopefully) (this blog entry was to be an "onion-edition". Hence allium). And then come join us for a day on the mountain.. Think of it as a "ride along" .. ORMS was started in response to the potential restriction of access for the public...... Over the years we have interacted and tried to raise awareness of environmental and safety issues... And we are there to assist lost and hurt persons and persons not familiar with the particular challenges that a heavily visited mountain like Old Rag presents. Occasionally, the conditions are so miserable, and visitors, who in spite of "knowing everything" show up totally unprepared, and show up in huge numbers... Inviting tragedy thru ignorance... It is often better to vent frustration thru "humor and sarcasm" than many of the unpleasant alternatives so present in America discourse today.
I'm quite serious about my invite to join us... You probably have some good insights to share with us.. And at the same time, you may come away shaking your head and wondering why the NPS. Doesn't restrict the visitation of this magnificent resource... Something NONE of us want, otherwise we would not give up so many of our days off to be on the mountain... And if you live a long distance away, please don't let that stop you. we have volunteers wh come from as far away as Charlotte NC.. and many of us live outside of a 2 hour radius.