(I will have to edit this later to be able to add photos… for now I will add links to the photos)
also known as “I kicked my nemesis in the teeth”
so… there is this hike we like to go on around here on Old Rag mountain
my fitbit calls it 202 flights of stairs… and almost 11 miles (I know that the website calls it 8 miles… but I believe my fitbit… it doesn’t lie to me)
The very first time we did this hike it took us 14.5 hours… I have done it several times since then (and attempted it once and failed… which is another post) and I love it… it’s one of my favorite hikes.
I have had a hard time with it though. There is one spot, called the key hole. I was stuck there for three hours the first time. I was terrified. TERRIFIED. I had to get help from three different people to climb it, two pushed me from behind on the bum and one pulled me by the arm (dislocated my thumb while he was at it). It was horrible. I was mortified. I was ready to accept the fact that I was utterly incapable and have the rangers called and accept a helicopter rescue. I was ready to lay down and die by the time I got help. I mean, I couldn’t do it.
I have gotten better since then. I have done the trail in 8 hrs and in 7.5 hrs and in 7.25 hrs.
On 20 July we did the hike. It was 90+ degrees outside and it was sticky hot. We park at the end of Weakly Hollow fire road (not the regular parking lot) and hike the fire road first (gets the flat boring part out of the way, starts us out with a nice downhill, and makes it so that when we get to the car we are less than 3 miles from the car (as opposed to roughly 5 miles to the other parking lot).
and I just want to say before I get to the pictures. I may have them not in exactly the right order. And that’s ok!
this was near the car. The boys like to climb on things and be epic.
My son (Shakespeare) and his girlfriend (Hannimal). He accidentally forgot the bag that had the extra water in it so she only had one water bottle. He was offering her water to splash on her face because she was hot. I just missed taking a picture of her drinking water from his hands, it was so cute!
Shakespeare and Hannimal holding hands. His best friend Rhino walking with them.
I balanced on the rocks in different parts. It’s fun to balance.
This was at the end of the fire road before the uphill. It took us just less than 2 hours to get to this point. You can see how sweaty I was, and this was the EASY part!!
Hannimal loved this tree 🙂
this was about half way up the easy ascent (there was easy ascent and hard ascent, you will see both) I was taking my time because I had to work the next day and I am PRONE to injury when rushing. Besides, we didn’t set out to break any records we set out to have a good time. And I KNEW that taking the photos would take a LOT of time and mess with my actual hiking time!)
There were so many switchbacks I always lose track. I believe there were less than twenty although the kids say otherwise. One time I will have to take a notebook and take notes. But it doesn’t really matter!
We got to the first part of the rock scramble and needed snacking. Mr. Peanut Butter joined the hike!
Zombie enjoyed the views here. And yes he did most of the hike barefoot because he is awesome like that 🙂
turning around you can see the next part of the rock scramble. It is about 0.9 miles of this.
we went down this, around the corner and find this:
which we have to climb
and more up
Shakespeare likes to climb the hard way. This is NOT the way I went.
Climb up this.
Climb up that (but under the big rock. Shakespeare just likes to be difficult.)
Zombie watching Rhino on the rocks.
Zombie laughing after he took this video
(and sorry by the way for the bad angle and his LOUDNESS! I don’t know how to edit the videos but I promise I will learn)
And this: my nemesis. The horrid KEYHOLE.
And this my friends:
IS why I am awesome.
More awesome photos that I can’t remember when they happened
this was a shot looking DOWN at what we had climbed up
And then we made it to the summit
My phone battery was dying and the flash wouldn’t flash so I held a flashlight on my face.
it was very windy
We took a while to get to the bottom. The kids (my lovely children are SEASONED hikers who know that they MUST check the flashlight batteries before we set out) didn’t have a flashlight. We had one for the five of us. Well Rhino had a penlight, but it wasn’t a good light.
Thankfully it was a full moon and it wasn’t terrible. We are accustomed to hiking at night and sometimes go lightless. It’s amazing the things you can see.
When I got to the car I took my shoes off and refused to put them on to go into walmart. I was starving and the kids wanted soda (or other beverages, they were THIRSTY, there were no streams to get water from after the rock scramble started and Shakespeare didn’t drink anything because he was saving it for Hannimal.)
(I ended up eating a full package of turkey lunch meat and a pint of strawberries and a whole Bolthouse farms soy chocolate drink. I was starving. I ended up sharing my food with the kids because they forgot the bag. The one part of me wanted them to be hungry and learn a lesson. The other part of me (the one that wanted everyone off the mountain alive and uninjured) decided it was wiser to share food. It’s a great thing that I always pack WAY WAY too much food.)
The only injuries were a slightly skinned knee (which isn’t painful at all any more but did cause some difficulties on the rock scramble) and a major blister on my deformed toe (that toe is round before the blister, but about twice the normal size. sigh)
All in all I think it was an awesome hike. Even though it took us 10 hours I was happy when I got home .
I didn’t set out to break any records. I set out to have a good time. A good time was had by all. It was the first time Hannimal had done a difficult hike (or even one of that length) and she was amazing. There were many laughs and everyone was smiling when we got to the car. If we had started at a decent time (rather than 1400) we would have been done WAY before dark. I work nights though and slept in so we got a late start. That’s ok.