When on the Massunutten Trail East a few weeks ago I got a good look at the west ridge and decided to check it out. I set out in the dark Friday night and managed to park my minivan at the very top of Woodstock Gap near the tower, so I had a beautiful view of the lights on both side of the ridge. I set out on the Massanutten Trail heading south on Powell Mountain early because of the limited daylight and realized the trail was going to be a slip and slide due to an excessive amount of newly fallen oak leaves. I made this video for your enjoyment:
A ran into a couple of hunters around 10:30AM, although I can't imagine they were having much success that air was alit with the noisy sounds of many ATVs and bambi has never hung out on a steep ridge of a mountain, I have never seen a deer midmorning either. Maybe these guys knew something I didn't or they weren't the brightest bulbs. I had to climb Opechee peak because I had seen this pretty peak from the other trail. Although you can only get to it on the ATV trail which is a long road of annoying scree, it is well worth the climb. I also saw some hang gliders and paragliders along the way, there must be a ramp around somewhere.
I managed in the neighborhood of 15-16 miles before I gave up at 3PM. I spent the night in Front Royal which has proved to be a pretty good place to hang out, the Daily Grind downtown is open until 9:30PM and the streets over there are relatively quiet. The good news is that they are currently building a Wal-Mart which will come in handy. Now if they only will build a decent Sheetz.
I decided to play tourist the next day and visit Antietam. Battlefields tend to put me to sleep but I am trying to make use of my parks pass. I watched the NPS official Antietam movie and they made it sound like the Civil War was about the struggle over slavery. Nothing is further from the truth, that war like every other war was about ego and testerone much like our present war. All it takes is one maniacal power hungry dimwit from the south to come up with a dumb idea and thousands of people lose their lives waving the American flag. If you think for a minute that the Civil War soldiers or those Iraqi troops were/are fighting for "freedom" you better think again. Fail to fill out a 1040 form on April 15th and you will find out just how not free you are.
I made a little video in the cornfield. Several troops on both sides were sent to battle each other at close range even though their weaponry could have been used yards away. Nobody could see anything in the cornfield because of...the corn. Nobody knew who they were maiming and killing.
Here are 2 more pics. The first is picture of Bloody Lane which is all of a few hundred feet long. 5000 soldiers lost their lives over this pathetic piece of farmland.
This next pic is of Burnside Bridge where a bunch more people lost their lives over a tiny little bridge. I am sure some of those soldiers must have thought at one point, WTF am I doing here?