Hiking on boulders on a hot day

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The beginning of our Old Rag hike, a popular trail in the Shenandoah in Virginia. The loop we took was about eight miles long. The temperature climbed into the mid nineties during the hike.

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2600 feet of elevation gain. Did I mention it was hot?

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A nice clear day. And hot.4

Old Rag is known for the boulders on the trail, which hikers have to climb over. More of those later. Still hot.5

A spectacular view of the very, very hot landscape.67

The boulder jungle gym begins. A hot boulder jungle gym.8

An array of sun-baked boulders.9

Group shot! And shelter from the blazing hot sun.10

Once again, I prevent a boulder from crushing my fellow hikers, sacrificing the skin on my hands to hold the blazing hot surface of the rock.11

The Blue Ridge Mountains on a hot, hot June day.12

DON’T TOUCH THOSE ROCKS! They are hot!!!13

The path narrows through the boulders, which are, of course, hot.14

The heat even mutated this fly. It’s the only explanation.15

This is me just before the heat struck me down.16

A rock that will soon melt off the nearby cliff due to extreme temperatures.17

And yes, we saw this rattlesnake. And a bear. And another rattlesnake. This is the honest truth. There are people who hike the entire Appalachian Trail, traversing almost the entire eastern coast, and don’t see one rattlesnake or bear. The fact that we saw two snakes and a bear and suffered through horrible heat can only mean the apocalypse is upon us.

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