Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Picture of the Day: August 2

I think I might have gone crazy if I spent any more time at home, so off to Shenandoah it was! I drove up to the northern section of Skyline Drive and started heading south.

I decided to hike the Fox Hollow Trail. It's only 1.2 miles long but I haven't hiked it yet, and it snakes back through what used to be a farm but is now overgrown woods.

I put a dollar in the dropbox and grabbed one of the little guidebooks they had at the trailhead. There were quite a few of these rockpiles; as they cleared fields for the farms they would stack the rocks they found.

The trail eventually snaked around to a small cemetery. There were only a few headstones, but they seemed to be in really good shape.

...and shortly past the cemetery is where my hike abruptly ended. While I was wandering through the cemetery a father and son caught up with me, and since I figured they'd be moving a bit faster than I would be with my camera I let them pass me on the trail. Good thing I did! I watched them disappear around a bend in the trail, and about 30 seconds later they were back and moving quickly in the opposite direction. As they had rounded the corner they almost ran right into a bear! That was good enough for me, so I turned around with them and we all hiked back to the trailhead together. Turns out they were visiting from Connecticut; I hope the rest of their trip was a bit more bear-free!

Since it was only mid-afternoon I decided to follow Skyline Drive south to the Central section, then exit there. One of my favorite stops in the northern part of the park is Range View Overlook. It looks south toward the rest of the park and you can see almost every peak. So pretty!

Since my hike turned out to be a wash, I decided to stop at the tiny store at Elkwallow Wayside for a chocolate eclair ice cream bar. Mmm...scenic ice cream.

I was a little frustrated that my hike was cut short, though that's much better than running into a bear while I'm alone. However, it really didn't help that I missed a turn on the drive home and got terribly lost! I wound up driving about an hour out of my way and didn't really figure out where I was until I wound up in downtown Culpeper...which was about 15 miles south of where I should have been. *sigh* Happy thoughts, happy thoughts...

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