A Devil of a Hike

Tucked away in Rockbridge County Virginia, is a little gem known as Devil’s Marbleyard.

026

That little spot in the middle that looks white – is the marble yard.

Saturday we drove to the Eastern part of the state to visit some dear friends.  I told JG I wanted to get an early start Sunday morning because the parking lot at the trail head only holds about 5 cars.  We did hit the road just before 8 a.m. and were making decent time until JG decided we should take a “shortcut.”  WARNING – always beware of shortcuts.  Said shortcut was a twisty gravel road off the Blue Ridge Parkway that managed to get my car filthy and add extra time to the drive. So by the time we arrived the lot was full,

007

and we had to park on the street.

006

We had a rather grand entrance to this trail and the path starts out very pleasant.

011

A gradual incline makes you think, this is going to be a piece of cake!

Ha, too soon.  Once you get next to the marble yard, the trail turns rocky and steep.

012

If you are into “bouldering,” this hike is your dream.  The trail stays like this for about 1/10 of a mile – but miles are not equal.  By the time you finish this section, you will swear is was much longer.

As we were halfway to the top, we ran into a colleague of JG.  He and his wife were celebrating their 29th anniversary.  Younger and faster than us, we let them go ahead, but we kept meeting up with them throughout the day which was nice.

Once we got to the top of the mountain, we thought there would be a view of the marble yard, but we had been misinformed.  They only view is from the yard itself.  No problem, we took a connector trail and headed for the AT.  Even though this added miles to the hike, it was worth it.  This trail was a little easier and much more serene, we only ran into one other person.

We also had some nice photo opportunities,

015 even though the trees did not allow a clear view.

DSCN6254

After a while, the trail leveled off and we could easily stop for snacks.

DSCN6248

I must admit, the trip down almost did me in.  Imagine you have hiked six miles and the last part of your hike down includes the rock hazards.  The “devil” part of the name becomes crystal clear.

017

To top it off, you discover that the only good view you will get is if you climb onto the marble yard.

020

Which we did.

021DSCN6267

Okay, it was worth it.

Of course, if you are young, you can just skip on the rocks like it’s nothing.

019

Leaving this area, it was still 2 miles to the parking lot.  What I remembered as fairly easy going up, turned out to be rockier than I remembered and I thought at one point I could not go on.  JG, being my true rock, gave me the encouragement and support I need to make it back to the car.  He mentioned later that maybe we bit off a little more than we could chew.

Before we left her home, my friend gave me a chocolate bar from Germany .  She said “This will be your reward!”  Thanks, Jaime, it’s just what we needed after a hike that lasted six and a half hours, going nine and a half miles.  I slept eleven hours last night.

This morning my husband decided my trail name should be “Trooper.”  Thoughts?

 

 

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “A Devil of a Hike

    1. I should have included this in the blog, but here is what I found:

      “The geology of the region tells the story. For example, the Antietam Quartzite found at Devil’s Marbleyard in Arnold’s Valley is the result of a transgression, or rise in sea level relative to the land, that took place over 500 millions years ago. It was then a very pure quartz beach sand, similar to those found on the Outer Banks of North Carolina today. Proof of this setting may be found on all the blocks and boulders at the Marbleyard. The straight tube-like structures all running parallel to one another are the fossilized remains of cavities in which what was probably a worm-like creature lived.”

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I’m finally spending some time catching up on WP.
    What a place this must be, and while I know that I’d love scrambling all over these rocks, I can tell that one wrong step would be followed by pain.
    Those last 2 images are great!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s