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Mark Sanford, really hiking the Appalachian Trail (or close to it), at Virginia's Old Rag Mountain

By The Reliable Source

Consummate outdoorsman Mark Sanford on a kayak tour in 2005. (AP/Times & Democrat)

After all that, he really does like to hike.

If you were climbing Old Rag Mountain, the popular Blue Ridge day-hike near Sperryville, Va., you might have seen a familiar face Saturday. One hiker who was headed down the challenging rock scramble just below the 3,284-foot summit saw the man headed up, between two boulders, and told him: You look like the governor of South Carolina.

"Well, I am," said Mark Sanford.

So, yes. A year and a half ago, the former GOP rising star set off a sensation when he told his staff he had gone off to hike the Appalachian Trail -- but instead flew off to visit an Argentine girlfriend, a revelation that led to an emotional confession on national TV, the dissolution of his marriage and calls for his resignation. "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" became the wink-nudge catchphrase of the year.

The past several months have been quieter for the term-limited governor, as the spotlight turned to the race to replace him, won last week by his protege, Nikki Haley. Sanford, 50, hasn't said much about what he'll do next, other than something in the private sector -- possibly real estate -- back in the coastal Beaufort/Charleston area where he's from and where his four sons still live. ("If there's anything that's abundantly clear," he told a gathering earlier this year, "it's that I ain't running for president.") His ex-wife, Jenny, recently said on "Good Morning America" that he's still seeing the Argentine lady, María Belén Chapur.

On Saturday, though, he was hiking -- during the University of Virginia's parents' weekend, with his eldest son, Marshall, a first-year student -- and maybe reclaiming the old phrase from smirky euphemism. Old Rag is only a couple miles, as the crow flies, from the Appalachian Trail.

By The Reliable Source  | November 9, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
Categories:  Politics  
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Comments

Which moose is he bird dogging in Virginia?

Posted by: Calabrese99 | November 9, 2010 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Guess he has plenty of time to really hike now!!

Posted by: bkarpus | November 9, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

The shennandoah trail is renown locally for it's gay beats. Maybe there's more to Mark Sanford than we realize.

Posted by: 44fx2901 | November 9, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

U.S.C. not up to the Sanford's standards?
What did you expect to find on the mountain other than hillbillies?

Posted by: fish4 | November 9, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Please tell me when an on-line W. P. journalist learns to write correctly.

Posted by: baronflyer55 | November 9, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Thank you liberal/progressive Washington POST for all the stories on this conservative southern Republican govenor......

Now can we have just as many on John$400 Edwards a liberal/progressive southern Democrat ?

POST = smearing and mocking conservatives.........everyday......every story

Posted by: allenridge | November 9, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Wait; Conservatives, as they are currently organized, deserve to be mocked every day!

Posted by: baronflyer55 | November 9, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Another Family Values Republican shows his true colors.

Posted by: vigor | November 9, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Don't call them hillbillies. Use the term: Appalachian-Americans.

Posted by: cyberfool | November 9, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey allenridge, try googling "John Edwards Washington Post" next time before you assume he wasn't mentioned here. The celebritology section even took a poll on who should play Edwards in the upcoming Aaron Sorkin movie.http://voices.washingtonpost.com/celebritology/2010/07/casting_aaron_sorkins_john_edw.html

Posted by: sarahabc | November 9, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Being a real backpacker, rather than someone that just uses it as an excuse; I'll say that a 5-day backpacking trip on a linear trail doesn't make sense, unless there is a non-hiker providing transportation. You might go on a 2 day backpacking trip, out one day, back the next. Possibly a 4 day, 2-out, 2-back, but an odd number of days doesn't make sense...unless you are doing a loop or have someone dropping you off or picking you up. So as soon as I heard that he was out of contact for 5 days for a hike on the AT, I knew it was BS.

Posted by: cyberfool | November 9, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

...and who cares? He also likes to lie, misuse state funds and commit adultery while telling the rest of us about Republican "family values"...

Posted by: areyousaying | November 9, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Exactly what is the purpose of this post by this right wing tabloid? Perhaps trying to rehabilitate one of its old stars full of hypocrisy. Hey but what does that matter as long as he is a right winger.

Posted by: kevin1231 | November 9, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

So at the end of the day it turned out a man fell in love with another woman... and he's a villian??? Let's see Ted Kennedy drove a woman, not his wife, off a bridge and left her UNDERWATER till the NEXT MORNING before he informed the police.. And Ted's a HERO!!

Posted by: sovine08 | November 9, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

his ex is a spoiled little rich girl that is also a boney skank.

Posted by: OldSalt8 | November 9, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Who really cares what Mark Sanford is doing these days?

Posted by: firepink | November 10, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Who really cares what Mark Sanford is doing these days?

Posted by: firepink | November 10, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

LOL! This time, since he's a Republican and a Christian, we can expect local area goats to be violated.

Posted by: DamOTclese | November 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

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