A natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising more or less abruptly to a summit, and attaining an altitude greater than that of a hill, usually greater than 2000 feet (610 meters). There is a sense of profound reverence as you gaze out at the view, knowing that the only people to see it have climbed the very mountain you stand on. Your own goals will feel the same way – the fact that you have worked for them gives them deeper meaning, makes them worth the effort.
Atop Blackrock, I had the normal commanding view down two valleys (Paine Run and Madison Run), of Rocks Mountain to the south and Humpback and the Priest to the way south, and Rockytop and Big Flat to the north and the Central District to the way north.
Legend after legend tells of untold riches at the Lost Dutchman but with little evidence that the mine ever existed; yet this mine is talked about by nearly every prospector in North America and you can bet scam artists will raise $millions to search for this Lost mine.
If you plan to hike this as the shorter 3.6-mile version, turn right and head south; otherwise, turn north and descend on the AT. After a half mile of descent down some switchbacks, I came to a very small clearing with a view north to Bear Den and Scott Mountains in Shenandoah.
Each year, we publish two books: a spring anthology which follows in the line of our early issues, and an autumn special issue, whose editors get to play with other ways of making a Dark Mountain book, while pushing deeper into a theme on which this project touches.