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.
How beautiful! Sounds like a fun trip. I love reading about areas I have never been – thank you for sharing! Glad you didn’t see the rattlesnake close up!
I am glad too! Unfortunately it was hazy so the pictures at the top of the climb were not as good as previous years but the mental pictures of beauty are there.
What a beautiful trip. So glad you were able to relax and unwind for a few days. Nothing like a little trip to recharge the batteries. Counting the days until you get here in August!
I enjoyed the few days away and it was enough to keep my batteries charged until August. I am so excited and have already started my packing list.
The bear would definitely have scared me! The rest of the trip looks incredible though. Glad you got to enjoy!
Actually 2 years ago we were hiking the trail and a bear came out within 20 feet of us. It was also a smaller bear and ran off into the other side of the woods.
Completely unplugging and relaxing in nature surrounded by good friends. Sounds like a small slice of heaven to me! Thank you for sharing it with us!
It definitely is at least my little slice of heaven on earth. I look forward to the trip and hope I can arrange it next year too.
Sounds like it was a wonderful trip – and a beautiful hike!
Each hike is beautiful through that park. I really want to go back to a waterfall we hiked to the first year we were there.