We spent the past week in Shenandoah, VA...hiking through Shenandoah National Park trails, driving on Skyline Drive, hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail, kayaking, fishing and sort of relaxing. Even though our accommodations were less than stellar (well, the setting was serene and beautiful).
Looking at the house from the outside was great. It was a beautiful property right across from the South Fork of Shenandoah River. When we entered, we were greeted with air freshener and potpourri (a big sign that they were hiding some kind of smell). It turned out to be the musty smell of an old house. The house was probably more than 100 years old and it was kind of furnished that way, too. It only had one bathroom ...on the first floor, so those of us who need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night had quite the hike. The house was situated was RIGHT next to a railroad track and that also posed quite a problem for sleeping. When the train went past, the entire upstairs shook (my son actually thought there was an earthquake the first time!). Needless to say, didn't get much sleep. Halfway through the week, our bathroom door fell off the hinges causing us to scream, "don't come in the family room, I'm taking a shower" or "going to the bathroom!"
However, accommodations aside, the trip was pretty cool. Beautiful scenery, great and strenuous hikes and nice family time (although my husband was only there for 1-1/2 days and my oldest was only there for 2 days). Had quality time with the other two.
On our way down we visited the famous Luray Caverns and my youngest did a ropes course. See the brave boy to the right...
As I said, we did a lot of hiking, mostly to summit the two tallest peaks in the park -- Hawkbill Mtn. and Stoney Man Mtn. We also attempted Old Rag Mountain -- a very strenuous hike, which we weren't prepared for (one bottle of water each...what?!) We made it almost to the top, but after hiking straight uphill for about 4-5 miles over rocks and very steep inclines, we came to a huge rock scramble that required a lot of strength to finish. Sadly, we had to turn around...and "Miss fitness" here was the reason...seriously, I just couldn't do it and I am determined to go back and prove to the boys that I can (I know I can), but next time, I'm bringing a ton of water and energy bars....cooler weather will also help, but darn it, I'm determined! Here are some scenes from the mountain tops...and beautiful waterfalls along the way.
Well, school starts next week and I have a week's worth of work to catch up on, but these photos will always be a great memory.