Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Along the AT

Nov 6 2006

A milkweed seed opens its chute and prepares to soar over the Shenandoah Valley.

A great hike on a beautiful day! Complete with views of ice in the shadows, fifty degree sunshine and hot chocolate on the roof of Shenandoah. Throw in some good company and a pinch of wildlife watching and you’ve got the recipe for a memorable day!

After a short break hikers prepare to move out.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A ROMP on Old Rag

A ROMP on Old Rag
Nov 4 2006

The group listens as park botanists speak.

Around 40 participants gathered amid the falling leaves for the park service led Rock Outcrop Management Project field trip. The very first arrivals were greeted with warm doughnuts and muffins from the Apple Hill Bakery. In the morning's freezing temps, the doughnuts cooled quickly but the donated coffee from Central Coffee Roasters stayed hot and everyone had their fill.

The morning treats brought by SMG were later used to coerce participants into carrying around trash bags all day. Maybe it was the coffee or maybe it was the cold but it was a quick trip up the mountain despite making new friends and chatting with old. Stops were made at various points of interest near the top of the mountain. The group discussed problems, solutions, and alternative solutions. The day got nicer, the ideas got brighter, the trash bags got filled. Some stayed around to climb the classic cracks. Some centered their attention on the trash-cluttered cracks at the summit. Most just had to head home.

One guide spent too much time looking for antique litter and ended up hiking down alone with a ripped trash bag. As the hole in the bag expanded, the bag moved from one hand, to two, to a bear hug position where the ragged rip could be eyed so no litter could fall back out. What could get out was the smell of the not-so-old sardine can. But if taking a large bag of trash off the top of the mountain doesn’t make it seem worth it, a doughnut, a cup of coffee and a country road will.

Buried in the clean-up and hoping that the jacket is ripstop.
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