It doesn't get much better than starting your day's journey with an eagle sighting. We stopped at one of our favorite pull-offs just south of the tunnel. Off to the south a young eagle was starting the day's hunting in a nearby tree.
The journey to Old Rag was awesome. It was a trail that just kept giving (and demanding). There were plenty of breaks to enjoy the wonderful views, but this was clearly the toughest journey we've made in the park either by walking on ledges, squeezing through rock formations, or jumping across gaps in the rocks.
This is not a journey for anyone of larger proportions. The paths through rocks make traveling with a small pack with water a chore.
I am always happy Ali is patient while I stop to capture the views in images before we continue the journey up.
Why have I been surrounded by vultures this year?
Just keep following the blue blazes wherever they lead.
I didn't know Ali would need to move this boulder for us to continue, ;-)
We were finally nearing the top.
We made it! It was awesome. It took us twenty-five years to make this hike. Hopefully there are many, many more hikes remaining. Yes, we're blocking the view. :) While at the summit, we found the answers for the earthcache.
We had expected to take the fire road to return. That journey was made certain when Ali hurt her knee on the way up. We were quickly rewarded on the trail to the fire road when we spotted a tall chestnut tree with fruit.
The fire road was a pleasant return journey. We were treated to some very late season cardinal flower and blue lobelia by the streams.
We drove back to Skyland with one journey left for the evening, a visit to Bushy Top and Miller's Head for sunset. It's become a tradition for us to make this short hike at least once during our Shenandoah visit. This trail doesn't see many visitors despite starting from Skyland. The sun dropped behind clouds before setting but the glow was pleasant.