Yesterday was a day for an adventure. Holly, who is a girl in the program but who lives in VA with her family, invited some of us to go with her and some people from her ward and hike old rag mountain in Shenandoah National Park. . Having been trapped inside the concrete jungle for more than a whole moon now several of us jumped at the chance to breathe the fresh "mountain" air and feel the excitement of adventure in our blood. 6 of us caught the metro up to the last stop on the orange line (I should say the last working stop since track work prevented us from going all the way to the end) and then Holly picked us in her SUV and we met up with Natalie's fellow intern Anne, who is from Germany.
We stopped for gas a food at a wonderful place called Sheetz which is HQ'd in Altoona PA and was the bread and butter of us missionaries in Pennsylvania, so that was a great nostalgic moment for me.
We then headed up into the hillish mountains of VA.
The hike up Old Rag Mountain was beautiful and a lot of fun. We could not have had a better day for it. We went the short way up to the summit which meant that about half way up the trail disappeared an we began doing what we called bouldering at BDSR but the locals refer to as "rock scrambling." This involves climbing over, under, around and sometimes through the crags of the huge boulders that make up the higher parts of the mountain while following little blue painted arrows to know you are actually going a way proven to get you to the top. This was a lot of fun, but also difficult at times especially where the rocks were slightly slipper from rain the night before. We reached the top and ate the food we had packed and enjoyed the spacious vistas of Virginia's forests. Then we came down the longer but much easier path to the bottom. All in all it was a ton of fun to be out in nature with good friends and fresh air.
Here a some pictures in no particular order: