Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Walking the Weakley Hollow fire road that divides Old Rag Mt from the bulk of the park lands we are surrounded by the history of the place. We gaze upon the old cemetery with the unmarked rocks set at the head and foot of the graves. The fallen foliage reveals more of the walls, stone piles, and old roads which remain from the hollow folk who lived here before the park was established. A closer look into the woods might reveal a burnt tree, or cabin charred by the historic fire of 2000. The rusted remains of a Model T lie in stark contrast to what geologist believe to be billion year old boulders.
A few miles up the mountain near Dark Hollow we ponder the history of Pvt John Weakley at his beautifully inscribed headstone. The leaves have fallen around the Cave Cemetery and we can look out in the valley and admire the yellow bands of Tulip Poplar still hanging in the sheltered elevations.
We too can be found hanging on outside during these fall days. The temperatures are great for a hike to a waterfall, or a climbing lesson in the lower and more sunny spots.
Dressed for the cold we enjoyed a sunset atop the mountain while practicing haul systems before the sun set on the years last Old Rag Mountain Steward weekend.
As always, we add to our personal history with every hike through the woods, scramble over Old Rag, or climb up a crack. We intertwine our own histories with those of this great park in this great place, and we soak up every minute of it.