The date still needs to be approved by the Virginia GentleLady, but this October we will hold our first annual outing. It will be a hike up Old Rag Mountain in the Shenandoah National Park. It is not so much the start of a new Virginia tradition, rather, a renewal of an old one. It seems the Byrd family every summer would make the hike up old rag mountain. The first trip was taken around 1900 when Harry Byrd's grandfather made the hike. According to Harry Jr. his great grandfather made the trip up the mountain on a mule. As Senator Harry Byrd's power grew, more and more Virginia politicians, and would be politicians started to tag along. At one point nearly 40 Virginia politicians and reporters would attend the annual event. Even after Senator Byrd's death in 1966, his son Harry Jr. continued the family tradition.
Governor Gerry Baliles tagged along, in the 1980's. Governor Baliles described the event, which involved taking in Virginia's natural beauty, and talking politics, as "Harmonic Convergence."
Famed Richmond Times Dispatch columnist James Latimer described himself as the, "world's oldest surviving old rag climbing
Call me a sentimental old fool, but I like the tradition. Enjoy perhaps the finest views of the Shenandoah, get some exercise, and talk Virginia politics. Sounds like an excellent way to spend about six hours. I will send out the date in the next couple weeks. Hope you can make it.