My husband and I hiked Old Rag yesterday (http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/upload/old_rag_area.pdf ), something we had done with our children many years ago. But that time we had cheated, going up and back the easy Saddle Trail without partaking of  the euphemistically-named Rock Scramble.  This time when we set off from home in the dark, early morning, all weather reports suggested a mere 20% chance of showers. The closer we got to the mountain, the wetter and grayer it got, and the clearer it became that it wasn’t going to clear up, but there was no turning back. Not sure why. We’re stubborn, and sometimes even optimistic, I guess. So optimistic, in my case, that I hadn’t packed a slicker or the rain pants my husband had left out for me. At any rate, we survived and summited (several times in our heads since there are so many false summits on this mt.) and took in the majestic view of 360 degrees of fog. 

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traipsing through the fog

At one point up in the rocky spots, we were flummoxed by the down arrow that went into a 12 foot crevasse–me with the ACL surgery 8 months ago, him with bad knees– but four hikers in their sixties, one complaining of sciatica, lumbered down ahead of us, so we took that as the kick in the pants that we needed.  With the rocks more than a little slippery and wet leaves underfoot, it made for a more tense and intense climb at times than we had expected, but one that we want to do again when we can actually see where we’re going.

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We could see leaves and tree trunks.

On our way down the woodsy Saddle Trail, tired and happy, we came upon two perky gentlemen in their seventies whom I insulted unintentionally when my jaw dropped upon hearing that they were going to do the same thru-hike/scramble/heave-ho thing that we had just done. More power to them. So now for the next thirty years at least, we’ll  have to keep coming back, just to remind ourselves we’re over-the-mountain and not over-the-hill.

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