Saturday, August 30, 2008

Skyline Drive-Shenandoah National Park

Today, we kidnapped Mom for the day and went up to Skyline Drive. She lives nearby and has been here many times.

You know how when you live somewhere, you don't get around to seeing the really cool places in your backyard? Well Skyline Drive was one of those places for me when I lived in the Shenandoah Valley. I saw some parts of it, but that was just driving through it to get somewhere. I can't believe I missed this:
Going here was sort of like visiting the land of Oz where there are lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Except this was more of a mountain lions, copperheads and bears, oh my kind of place! Yes, this is what we were told to expect seeing while visiting this gorgeous place. Scary and neat all at the same time.
Except our version ended up being more like:
MushroomsButterflies and
Baby deer, oh my!
Yeah, I know...we thought we were going to have a Crocodile Hunter experience and it ended up being more like Dora the Explorer. Without the really cool Spanish lesson that is.

The scariest part of our trip was when I realized my child had crossed the road and was on some rocks. I immediately think to myself, "Where is their father!?!" Oh yeah, there he is TAKING PICTURES of it. Well, I am not one to be outdone in the picture taking category, so I had to join in and snap away myself. And I'm so glad I did because I caught this:

And then I decided, this is really cool. My children are being one with nature. They are not one of those nature deprived kids that I keep reading books about. This is what makes this trip so cool, that they can do this! (Austin at the bottom, Auburn half way up the rocks,crazy person all the way at the top) And look at the pride and joy on their little faces. This is one of those memory making, confidence building experiences. This will stretch them and this will make them better people. And I was in the moment, enjoying it fully...when I hear Mom yell, "Watch out for copper heads". "Are you looking for the copper heads?" And I returned to my normally neurotic self and yelled at them to come down NOW. Don't feel too bad for them though, because they found other rocks to climb on, copper head free rocks and I know because I climbed up and checked it out personally.

At Big Meadows, we got out and went to the visitor's center and looked around. There are some neat displays there. We then went down the Dark Hollows Falls trail to see the waterfall. On the way:
The falls are 70' and are gorgeous. Well worth the hike. Even if I did hike in flip flops. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either. Silly Florida girl forgets all land is not flat so flip flops are not an all purpose shoe for every state. Still it was worth it to see this:
Just gorgeous!I'm thinking by the ache in my bum tonight that I may have to call in sick tomorrow. Do you think my company that is coming up to the campground to visit us will mind if I lie by the pool all day while they make their own food and wash up the dishes afterwards? Or will they tell me to suffer the natural consequences of my actions with some dignity and high five me for hiking even if it was going to hurt really bad later? Yeah, I'm guessing I'm delusional on both counts.