I could have spent New Years watching a spectacular fireworks display, hobnobbing with friends downtown and enjoying the local festivities, or I could choose to be on the mountain in the rain.
Many of the Appalachian mountains use the names that the indians bestowed upon them. Some are monikored with the names of the first english surveyors who were employed to map the topography for newly arrived settlers. These settlers were quickly able to explain the concept of property ownership to the indians, as in "we own it, you don't". But mountain naming took an twist in this area of the Southern Massanuttens: First Mountain, Second Mountain, Third Mountain and Fourth Mountain, all the mountains lined up in neat little ridges and aptly named just like a New York City street map.
The area Keith, Lisa, Terri, Kisses, Jada and I visited was mainly 2nd and 3rd Mountain. We hiked to Kaylor's Knob on 2nd Mountain on the first day. Keith showed us the old trail markers that were installed when the trails were built by the Civil Conservation Corps Keith valiantly tried to explain to our group what the numbers on the markers meant but whoever created the trail mile marking system had a creative mind-think that was not obvious to the rest of us.
Due to the rain we stayed at the Boones Run Shelter and we put together a New Year's buffet consisting of shrimp, several kinds of cheese and crackers, dips, beverages, cookies, olives and gourmet kibble.
The entertainment consisted of fireworks at midnight. Although it rained most of the night it was nice to be in a shelter.
On New Year's Day we hiked through Peterfish Gap where we had a spectacular view of the Shenandoah Mountains above cloud cover. Once Lisa and I got to the top of the ridge we found we were very warm. For those that insist that global warming doesn't exist take a look at this picture, for January 1st this just isn't right.