Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Another Zach Visit!

The week after we snuck up to Maine, we got to host a visitor brother Zach came back! We decided to take advantage of the good weather and do some stuff outside this time.

 We started by heading up to the southern part of Shenandoah National Park. We stopped at a few overlooks along the way, and eventually stopped for lunch at one of the little cafes.

I think those trees may have been burned in the big fire they had earlier in the year. There were a bunch of burned trees in this section, and you could see random spots on the mountains where other patches of trees had burned, too. We drove a little further and eventually reached the parking area for our hike. Time to check out Blackrock Summit!

This is one of my favorite hikes when people come to visit. It's short and sweet (one of the options is a fairly flat 1 mile loop), and the views are fantastic.

We all stopped to take pictures when we reached the opening in the trees.

There's no way I was going to hike without my giant camera!

Visibility was pretty good, and the view toward the valley was really cool.

One trail branched off to the side, so we decided to make the hike a little longer and go check it out.

There were more great views that way, too.

The trail eventually went back into the woods and met up with a wider trail that looped back to the parking lot. It may have been wider, but that didn't mean it was was so steep that we had to stop for a few breaks. We hiked back to the car, then drove down to Charlottesville for dinner before heading back to our house.

Zach was supposed to have a video interview the next afternoon, but we wanted to squeeze something fun into the morning first. We decided to take the inflatable kayaks to the park near our house for a little kayaking.

Zach and I shared a kayak, and Mark shared his with Giz. We hadn't taken any of the dogs kayaking before, so it was definitely interesting! Giz seemed kind of ok with it...

...though he did try to test the limits of how far he could lean out of the boat a few times.

Mark let him try to swim a bit after we made it back to the dock. Giz didn't seem very impressed. We packed up the kayaks and had a nice lazy afternoon at home, then eventually had dinner and drinks. Zach made his way back home the next morning. It had been nice to have him visit again!

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