Monday, October 19, 2015

Camping in Shenandoah

It's been a number of years since Chuck and I have made the trek to Shenandoah. But with the Scamp, I thought it could make those cold nights more bearable. And seeing as though it was 31 degrees when we woke up on Sunday morning, I think we made a good choice. And with the three-day weekend, it makes braving Virginia's horrible roads more tolerable.

We got there Friday afternoon in time for a ranger program on bears. Then it was time for a hike. Wherever Ollie goes, piggie goes too.

Then it was time to cook dinner and work on homework, er, junior ranger badges. How much did Ollie accomplish? Oh, he wrote his name and made a maze out of the crossword. As expected.

Saturday morning we went to Big Meadows for a presentation on the screech owl, ran into some old friends, and then ran around in the meadow. It's such a geographical oddity, having this big meadow along a mountain crest.

After lunch we hiked Dark Hollow Falls. Even the million other people on the trail could not take away the beauty of this place. Gorgeous.

One hike to finish the day: Stony Man Summit. Um, it was a wee bit windy. I wore four layers on top and wasn't too hot. Wow.

These colors! Dying.

Sunday morning before our drive home, we did a very small hike to another wee summit. The trail was right on the Appalachian Trail. Rhett was excited to go back to school and report to his teacher that he hiked on the AT. You know, not like he didn't do it in Harper's Ferry a couple of weeks ago or anything.

And while the adults, er adult, readied the Scamp for departure, I helped the kids get more wiggles out by playing in leaves.

The Scamp did great in the cold. The heater ran well, and we were kept toasty warm.

Trip's Highlights (in random order):
1. Friday night's starry sky. We don't see stars like that from home, given D.C's light pollution. Gorgeous.
2. Hiking with the boys. We did about four miles total on Saturday. It gives me hope! Next year I'd like to choose one 5-6 miler and spend all day doing it.
3. The food. We ate well (more on that Wednesday).

Even with the crowds, it's just such a lovely place to be this time of year. Oh, and like we do, we saw one small black bear running through the woods. Thankfully, it was from the safety of our car.

P.S. Because it's me, here's some ugly truths: the weekend wasn't all happiness and rainbows and changing leaves. The boys had a rough week, sleeping-wise, and it showed. Ollie was pretty terrible on Friday's hike. And then later that evening, when Ollie found a dead lizard and Chuck accidentally tossed it in the fire, you'd have thought Chuck threw Rhett's best friend in there, the way Rhett reacted. Saturday and Sunday mornings were WAY too early, especially as we were in the Scamp and the sun isn't rising until after 7. Kids.

1 comment:

  1. dang, this looks so perfect! so fallish and lovely! I love that you hiked a bunch, too. there is so hope for your littles!

    so was the lizard dead that chuck threw in to the fire? poor rhett. :)

    i'm excited to hear all about the food! crazy cool about the bear - especially since you were in your car!

    i'm super jealous - it just looked and sounded amazing!