Rock Of The Ages

October 16, 2011

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First time up Old Rag Mountain!!  A 9 mile hike that involved leaping over deep crevices and scrambling up rocks for a good few hours. It’s known to some as the “best hike on the East Coast.”And of course, a fabulous picnic and beautiful sweeping views of Virginia! We had absolutely PERFECT fall day for a hike.

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Oh to have those fresh legs again:

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We started out chipper on the pathway that soon started to turn steep

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Next thing we knew, we were climbing straight up rocks

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Up and up and up! There were two parts were I was VERY scared I was going to fall in a deep crevice. Matt had to help me out. It was the hardest hike I’ve ever done!

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A snippet of one of our vertical climbs:

We stopped for our lunch picnic about 2/3 of the way up – already gorgeous views!

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We had bread and cheese, fruit, carrots/celery with hummus and pumpkin oh!

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It was a free-for-all of tearing hunks of bread and popping grapes

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Pumpkin Oh tasted so good in the fresh air!

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After lunch, we kept going up. I thought we were at the top until I saw a few people standing on a rock on the next peak over – they looked like ants!! That’s where we were headed.

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And finally, we made it. And then collapsed. It was so nice to just relax in the breeze for a bit before we headed back down.

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We took the fire road down – which was much less difficult to navigate and took us from mountaintop to miles and miles of wooded trail and back to the parking lot. The bathrooms and water could not have come fast enough!! We hiked for about 6 hours – with 2 breaks for lunch and our heavenly rest.

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GREAT hike and a fANNEtastic time with our friends!!

Back at the Hungry Homestead, we feasted.

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We pan-seared the No Bull Burgers that the owners gave me on Saturday and served them with melty cheese on Virginia roll buns. Heaven on earth, let me tell you!

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Served with a baby romaine salad dressed in olive oil and salt along with tomatoes and pan-candied pecans (butter, maple syrup, cayenne, cinnamon and salt all stirred together over medium heat for 5 minutes!)

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Matt and I are exhausted. I’m going to attempt a bubble bath and then crawl into bed! Literally because I can barely walk!

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 r8chel October 16, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Good for you for hiking Old Rag! I hiked it a number of years ago, and it was hard, but worth it. A few minutes after we reached the summit, we heard THUNDER! We got down to the fire road so fast! If I had known how hard it would be, I probably wouldn’t have done it, but I’m so glad I did.

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2 KathEats October 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Oh gosh! Right when we were up there I said “Can you imagine if you heard thunder right now!?”

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3 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) October 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm

That sounds like an amazing hike! And the weather does look perfect. Congrats on your longest hike. Your legs are going to feel it tomorrow, huh? hehe

No Bull burgers look SO GOOD! Want :D

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4 katie @KatieDid October 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

9 miles! Damn that’s impressive, sounds like an awesome hike. I try to go hiking most weekends in the fall here in Vermont, but I’ve never attempted such a lengthy one. I’m sure you’ll sleep well tonight.

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5 Lisa Fine October 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Yay! So fun, and I love that first photo.

The pumpkin oh looks delicious. What do you use for the filling? Cream cheese frosting?

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6 KathEats October 17, 2011 at 7:51 am

I forgot to mention this – it’s usually white cream cheese frosting, but for this one Matt used our pumpkin cream cheese spread so it was more like pumpkin pie. So good!

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7 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table October 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm

That looks like such an awesome hike! What a gorgeous day for it. I love all the climbing involved – so much more fun than a regular trail.

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8 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm

That hike looks like a blast! Hiking is one of my favorite outdoor activities! Unfortunately, there are no hills in Illinois… trust me, I’ve tried to find them.

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9 Stephanie October 16, 2011 at 8:34 pm

ooh yay! I did this hike 2 months ago, but it was sooo overcast all we really saw were clouds! I am actually going back (hopefully) next weekend! The rock scrambles are the best part and there are amazing views. Glad you guys enjoyed the great weekend weather!

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10 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance October 16, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Now THAT is what I call a picnic :)

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11 lynn @ the actor's diet October 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm

i’m so scared of steep hikes! when we went to the grand canyon i was cursing the whole way down (and back up)

those burgers look FANNE-tastic!

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12 Anne P October 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm

This is a fANNEtastic comment. ;)

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13 Cait's Plate October 16, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Gah! This looks like SUCH a fun day! And that burger looks incredible. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself – you deserve it!!

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14 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Wow, what an amazing hike! I can’t wait for my boys to get a little bigger for us to do that kind of stuff with them. They can handle smaller hikes, but the big ones are still a bit much.

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15 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

What an amazing day! I’m sure you’re exhausted tho! I had a bean burger for dinner too but since I didn’t have any buns, I just had it on some toast but after seeing that bun, my mouth is watering again!

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16 Lauren October 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I did Old Rag about a year ago with my Girl Scout troop. Hardest thing EVER! And I know exactly which steep crevices you are talking about. I think I was *thisclose* to tears on one of them. So scary! But I felt super accomplished afterwords. And crazy sore the next day.

Food wise, I had those No Bull burgers when I was in Cville this summer and they were great. You’re making me miss Cville! Must come visit soon.

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17 Nicole @ Yuppie Yogini October 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I just began listening to Bossy Pants and thought about her Old Rag hike…..funny. :)

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18 Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) October 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Wow, that hike really does look amazing–although I’m pretty sure I would have been terrified by all the vertical climbs. Ever since watching 127 Hours…hehe.

That burger looks awesome! Wasn’t the weather fabulous this weekend?! Loved it.

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19 coco October 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

what a great hike! 9 mikes? that’s a long one but it totally worth it! fantastic views!

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20 Sana October 16, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I have been waiting to do that hike!! So jealous!

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21 Anna October 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a year, but have never watched a video before…your voice sounds so much different than in my head! Get some sleep–especially if you do the normal Monday thing and do Body Pump tomorrow!

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22 KathEats October 17, 2011 at 7:52 am

:)(

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23 Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco October 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Wow, what a hike! And look at your fabulous pictures! Do you use Photoshop Elements to edit?

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24 KathEats October 17, 2011 at 7:52 am

Lightroom 3.0

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25 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! October 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I love hiking!! I can’t even imagine a nine mile hike though! That is crazzzzzy……..looks like so much fun though! I would love to do that but I have no one that would want to do it with me :(

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26 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I love a good, hard hike with gorgeous views! Looks like a perfect day to me….especially with the OH in there ;)

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27 Mom October 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

That must have been some hike if you guys are exhausted. You’ve got tons of energy. Pics are gorgeous!

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28 Eileen October 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

That looks like an absolutely amazing day! And, there’s nothing like a burger after a hike like that. Yum.

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29 Lauri (Redheadrecipes.com) October 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

That sounds like a pretty hard core hike!!! Glad the weather was PERFECT for it! I love fall!

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30 Stef @ Living HI October 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm

That looks like a wonderful hike, I imagine it would be gorgeous when the leaves turn. What a fun day!

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31 Anne P October 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm

So glad we got you guys out on Old Rag finally! Thanks for a fun weekend :) The KERF B&B rocked. xo

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32 Alaina October 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm

What a fun day!! I love hiking! Especially during the fall. :-)

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33 Deva @ Deva by Definition October 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

That looks like a fabulous and challenging hike! It is definitely not one I’d travel on my own – but looks fun to do with friends, and good food!

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34 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) October 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm

I bet you are exhausted… 6 miles of hiking will do that to ya! That burger looks awesome.

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35 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl October 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I love hiking. 6 hours. Awesome hike. Love the pics. And dinner…yes, dinner looks like a bit of heaven. Think I am going to need to get me some of those. Thanks for the link!

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36 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl October 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Ah… NoBull Burgers are a Virginia thing. I see how it is. Will have to see if they can dry ice and ship me some. Desperate, maybe? ;)~

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37 Stephanie C October 16, 2011 at 11:42 pm

I need some too! I saw you mention on your blog about Tom’s Farm.. are you in Socal? We should get them to sell No Bull burgers here!

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38 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl October 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Hi Stephanie, Yes. I am in So Cal. Not a far drive from Tom’s Farm. That would be a perfect place to sell them. :D

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39 Brittany October 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Such gorgeous views!! That sounds like such an awesome day with a picnic, how cute.

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40 Angel7 October 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm

What a workout!

What views of fall foliage!!!

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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41 Lisa (bakebikeblog) October 16, 2011 at 10:27 pm

oh my – this all looks so positively wonderfuL!

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42 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Looks like an awesome hike (food included!). :) I like challenging hikes, as they make things a little more interesting, but wow, this one looked tough! Great job you guys!

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43 jrm October 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Did any of y’all scratch your legs or get ticks?

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44 KathEats October 17, 2011 at 7:52 am

Nope!

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45 Lindsay @ biking before bed October 16, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Old Rag is my all time favorite hike. I did it several times when I lived in Fairfax. I remember the first time I went with a girl friend. We had to wait for some guys to come along to help us up that very steep part. Next time I need to take you with me… your hiking lunch looks way better than what I normally have… PB&J:)

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46 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

the burgers and pumpkin bread look tasty but the shots of you in those crevices, sort of just balanced…whoa, amazing!

And I’d say that looks like one really hard hike! Glad you made it home safe and sound :)

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47 eliza October 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Ahh Old Rag!!!! I hiked old rag in 2010 while in college at UMD. It was a weekend trip with our outdoor recreation department and we started the hike at 12pm (pitch blag might I add!) head gear and all to watch the sunset from that very peak!!!!! it was grueling and my butt was sore for days, but it was one of the best things I have ever done! Such a small world

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48 KathEats October 17, 2011 at 7:52 am

oh man, I can’t imagine doing that in anything but beautiful sunlight!

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49 eliza October 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm

12 am!!! lol writing this and I am a little tired. That hike is the only time I ever planning on exerting that much energy in the wilderness from midnight to sunrise

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50 Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Wowza, nice job on the hike. That looks like on intense trail–or lack thereof!
Andddd now I’m going to go watch the other videos on your YouTube channel. Can’t believe I haven’t seen them before!

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51 Amy* October 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Looks like a beautiful day for a hike!*

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52 Leanne October 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Love Old Rag! I haven’t hiked it in years…. once the 2 year old is big enough that is a must do for us!

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53 kathleen @ the daily crumb October 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm

what a break hike! always wish we had awesome trails in this area, but, unfortunately, chicago is flat as they come!

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54 khushboo October 17, 2011 at 2:11 am

What a glorious hike- amazing photos! That meal must have tasted amazing afterwards, I hear hunger makes an excellent sauce ;)

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55 Health Bee October 17, 2011 at 3:03 am

Great photos! Love the photo of you between the rocks. :-)

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56 Hillary October 17, 2011 at 6:16 am

I went hiking for the first time when I was in Israel last summer, and I became addicted. It’s one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done, but you don’t feel like you’re working out because you’re so focused on, well, not dying (wonk wonk)! Now you have me itching to get to VA and try that out!

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57 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 17, 2011 at 6:46 am

That sounds like a pretty intense hike! Thanks goodness there was a fire road to take you back down. ;) I would have dreaded going down all those steep climbs!

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58 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope October 17, 2011 at 7:12 am

I’ve never gone hiking before but it looks like it would be a fun experience. :) Those burgers look absolutely delicious!

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59 Amanda October 17, 2011 at 7:19 am

That hike looks really challenging, but the views are spectacular! I’m usually okay hiking up the mountain, but it’s going down that scares me. So afraid I’m going to lose my balance!

I bet those burgers tasted outstanding. Nothing like a 9 mile hike to rev up your appetite! :)

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60 Molly @ RDexposed October 17, 2011 at 7:20 am

Do I see a hop grenade?

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61 KathEats October 17, 2011 at 7:53 am

I don’t think so…unless you just mean Matt, who is ready to burst with beer at any moment!

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62 Sally Anne @ PaleoRunnerGirl October 17, 2011 at 7:39 am

That is seriously the most perfect Sunday–hiking, friends, and food! How wonderful! That pumpkin roll looks SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!

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63 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning October 17, 2011 at 8:02 am

I am SO jealous that you did Old Rag! Every time I’ve planned to go, it’s ended up raining, so I’ve yet to do it! One of these days…
Good for you guys- that hike is like a bucket-list thing to folks in this area!

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64 ~Christy @ wonderofallthings October 17, 2011 at 8:10 am

So very cool! And thank goodness for the fire road — going down those verticals would have been a little freaky. What a wonderful hike! And food just tastes so much better in the mountains…

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65 Michaela October 17, 2011 at 8:12 am

wow, that seems taugh, but awesome at the same time!

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66 Jennifer October 17, 2011 at 8:25 am

Wow…..that’s definitely a workout. Maybe for days. (haha) Did you come across any sort of wildlife? I would have been freaked about bears. It looks so beautiful, though.

Hope you are well rested. :)

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67 KathEats October 17, 2011 at 8:26 am

No but I hear there are bears!!

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68 Jen October 17, 2011 at 8:30 am

What a lovely day! The weather is gorgeous there.

Your pumpkin and hummus spreads have me wondering if it’s possible to make a pumpkin hummus?

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69 Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well. October 17, 2011 at 8:51 am

This is definitely my fave hike in the area! My honey and I love to hike, especially near our house, but we’ve only been up Old Rag once. It was on New Year’s Eve day and it was snowing by the time we got to the top! You have inspired me to make plans to go hike it again next weekend!

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70 Kelly October 17, 2011 at 10:32 am

I did this hike last week and loved every minute of it! I definitely recall the 2 crevices that required a major leap of faith for me too. There was a very difficult vertical that the guys went up first to help pull the girls up, but I’m stubborn and had to go for it myself. That stubbornness almost left me face planting into the rocks.

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71 Allison October 17, 2011 at 10:38 am

Ok, now I feel really guilty. My husband and I did Old Rag last Friday (Oct 7) with our 8 and 10 year olds and a friend each. We did it in under 5 hours. We wouldn’t let the kids rest for more than about 3 mintues (with snacks) until we got to the top. We did have a big long break for lunch and took the fire road down, but clearly we were pushing them a little hard. But they all did great and loved it. It is a great hike, but can get way too crowded!

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72 Lea @ Healthy Coconut October 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

That hike puts our “mountain to sea trail” hiking path to shame.

I love hiking though because it’s fun with friends and you forget that you are exercising too.

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73 Sandy October 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm

We have done Old Rag several times. That is an awesome hike.

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74 Lindsay October 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

What a gorgeous challenging hike! I love it! And I love when we can all bust out of the norm, and see how fit we are, you DID it! And an excellent workout too:)

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75 Anne Parris January 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I really enjoyed seeing your pictures! One of my best friends who lives in Louisa recently hiked up Old Rag with her family. Can you imagine doing that with five kids under ten? She is crazy fit.

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