With the Holiday Season come and gone, some weekends have started to free up for random trips out in the wild outback of the George Washington National Forest. Fortunately, several members were able to assemble for an impromptu day trip to Slate Springs Mountain, aka Flag Pole.
” The trip after the 2nd stream crossing to the summit seemed to go forever as my anticipation for looking out over the valley grew.”
Those in attendance for this ride were:
- Jason, Red Rubicon
- Alex H, Black Blazer
- Dave and Amanda, Rust Rubicon
- Josh, Silver Silverado
Our journey began at the Haymarket, VA Sheetz at around 8:30 with plans to travel down 66 to 81, stop in Harrisonburg for gas and hit the trail. We made our way down the road with no problems and soon found ourselves at the trail head. With three of the four vehicles having experience on this trail before, we didn’t expect any problems for the day and for the most part the trail ride was uneventful. We stopped just prior to the first stream crossing to air down and go through the motions of a driver’s meeting.
We soon hit the trail and no sooner had we started we came across a large group of approx 10 vehicles parked along the trail. Since we had just started and they flagged us through, we bypassed the group and made out way further up the trail. I’d like to mention that we did provide the group with CORE business cards in hopes that they’d connect with the group later on. Little did we know that we’d meet up with those folks about ten minutes down the trail.
As we descended a hill on our approach to the 2nd stream crossing, I noticed a NFS Ranger speaking with a group of well built jeeps, 6 total. The ranger was out of his vehicle speaking the members of that particular group, so we waited to approach in hopes of moving on up the trail. After about 20 minutes, the ranger dismissed the group of jeeps and approached Dave and I. The ranger provided some information about various projects that the 4WD community could be involved in, wrapped up our conversation and said our goodbyes. We were soon back on the trail and headed to the summit.
The trip after the 2nd stream crossing to the summit seemed to go forever as my anticipation for looking out over the valley grew. After about an hour and thirty minutes, we made it to the top of Slate Springs Mountain where we had lunch, conversation and enjoyed watching Sabrina (Dave’s dog) run around. Some sprinkles started falling and we decided to pack it in and head back down the trail.
On the way down FR 225, we stopped occasionally to take pictures and make sure everyone made it through certain rock outcroppings okay. The trip back down the mountain summed up the day as a leisurely experience in the woods on a warm January day. We briefly stopped at the bottom of the FR 225 to air up, say our goodbyes and make for home.
This was my first “trail guide” experience and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m hopeful that Dave, Alex and Josh will be able to go out with me again sometime soon!
Trail report written by Jason Grogg. Pictures courtesy of Jason Grogg.