The past 2 years I have taken a few days to unplug from the daily routine and go to see nature at its best. This year was no exception. I went to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia again this year. Some friends and I get together camp, hike and see the sights of nature.
The first thing that struck me was about 5 miles into the park. It was about 5:30 p.m. and there are many overlooks but at one particular overlook the sun was shining and you could see each ray coming on various parts of the mountain side. Unfortunately the picture did not turn out well to share but the picture in my mind will remain for some time to come. The sight of the whole scene was one of the reasons I return each year.
The first night, there was a brief storm. Seeing the thunder and lightning move across the mountains provides a great Mother Nature Firework show. It was brief in the area we were staying but the show could be seen miles away.
The next morning we went on a nature hike. The hike was about 5 1/2 miles round trip but it was a challenge. I have a tendency to think my legs are in shape but when you get uneven ground, gravel and hills it shows you exercise doesn’t really prepare you for true hiking. Many of the people we met were hiking through which means they may be taking the Appalachian Trail through the park (approximately 110 mile hike) or start in Georgia and try to end in Maine (a 2180 mile hike). I am always in awe when I meet them.
The trail consisted of many beautiful sights
You have to wonder how a random patch of morning glories survived.
Miles of green.
Rocks with their own set of lichen, an algae that grows. There are warnings on the trail not to disturb theses as they help the area maintain a symbiotic relationship.
Finally we reached our destination (and yes a couple of times I asked are we there yet?) The climb was definitely worth it.
You can actually see 3 different cities but as you can tell it was foggy so the view was limited.
Driving to the campstore to pick up some ice, we saw a rattlesnake in the middle of the road. Didn’t get a picture as it was on a windy road. When you go on the trails they always warn you of rattlesnakes around the rocks but we always thought it was just a myth.
One of the great sites of the trip was this.
This was the only picture I could take with his face showing. Otherwise he was much too busy eating dinner. He was on the hillside by the main road and had an audience for his meal. This bear is probably approximately 1 1/2 to 2 years of age.
I only stayed for 2 days but feel relaxed and like I have been away for a week. I hope I can do it again next year.