Monday, April 20, 2009

Horizon Team Hike to Marys Rock--A-Trail--April 17, 2009

The Horizon Software Development Team held its 2nd annual team building event: a 7.2 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail, from Pinnacle Picnic Ground to the top of Marys Rock, in the Shenandoah National Park.

The temperature was in the 60's for most of the hike; light wind except at Marys Rock, where the winds were stronger. We had the trail to ourselves, encountering as many as a half dozen hikers along the way. Saw many turkey vultures, a few black vultures, an American Redstart (warbler), some Cabbage White butterflies, along with some yellow and black swallowtails.

Total hiking time, including a lunch break on Mary's Rock, was five hours.

Note: at the bottom of the posting, there is a video of two athletic team members scrambling down the rocks at Mary's Rock.

Getting ready to depart Pinnacles Picnic Ground
Starting up the trail; the Pinnacle is ahead.
Taking a well deserved break

First challenging rock on the Pinnacle

Destination is Marys Rock, a "blip" on the peak in middle of picture.

An American Redstart stayed long enough to have its picture taken.

Byrd's Nest #3 Shelter, for A-Trail through hikers
The destination is in sight

Time for lunch on Marys Rock

Interesting plant growth in the crevices

I wonder how steep it is, over the side...

Very steep!

Magnificent view
Time to return

Departing Marys Rock

Interesting rock outcropping

Nice view

New Market Gap in the Massanutten Mountain, to the west.

One of many deer seen near the picnic ground

Rock scramble by Jim and Stephenie

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