Created By: Kaitlin Cleary
Now standing at the tail end of the hike, nearly 9 miles completed and nearing the parking lot, I feel so grateful for being able to have experienced traversing this space again. My time being local to Charlottesville is coming to an end and I know that I will not be able to frequent this mountain and its hike as many times as I once did. My dad often told me that as demanding and painstaking as this hike was, I would miss it once I moved away. I seldom agreed with this point but I now begin to understand its truth. This land of the Manahoac and Shawandasse people has blessed me with an abundance of memories to last a lifetime. From jaunts during the pandemic with friends to family camping trips that always resulted in a last-minute journey up the trail, this land has truly changed me for the better. While the hike has almost always been about the journey and not the destination, the reality of an endpoint is inescapable. There is a part of me that wants to remain grounded here among these pine trees and worn trails. However, I know now that there is an element of cyclicality that will remain with me forever when I think of this space. Though I may move farther and farther from these hills with every change that life directs my way, I can always find memory that ground me back along the mossy river banks and blooming trails.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Final Project: A study of Old Rag Mountain