More prictures! As promised!
We headed up towards the Shenandoahs last weekend for camping and hiking. I was the one who reserved the camping spaces, and clearly I need to learn to look more closely at where we are going when I do such things, because I failed to note two important facts: 1) this was a hike in campground; 2) that is the first state park with camping that one hits off of I-66 headed west out of D.C. Number one wasn't really a problem, just that we hadn't packed for hiking in, so we had to do some readjusting. Number 2, however, would explain the prevelence of fellow-campers who were boisterous and not appropriately packed for the hike in location. Or the woods, really, for that matter. Our much too close neighbors were a large group who sang Hindi songs well into the wee hours. They were set up in an ancient tent with giant poles holding it up that was meant for far fewer people than were inside it. They also brought EVERYTHING THEY OWNED. They had chairs. They had appliances. THEY HAD LAPTOPS. IN THE WOODS. At one point we heard a terrible dragging sound and turned to find one of them dragging a rollie suitcase up the hill. Who brings wheeled luggage on a camping trip?
This was only one of several groups that brought an enormous amount of stuff, most of it not so useful. There was another group that involved several annoyed looking young women who seem to be very angry at having discovered exactly what their boyfriends meant when they said "let's go camping!"
I believe that when looking at the website of the park I so fixated on the park's being an entrance to the Appalachian Trail, which in my mind conjured up images of lonely woodsy forests faaaaar from civilization, that I simply failed to really look at the map to see where it was in relation to, you know, NoVA. I also failed to process that we were in the descent path for planes coming in to Dulles from any and all points west. The park was pretty, and the hikes were nice, but it was like living in Flushing Meadows. yyyyyyeeeeeEEEAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW, all night long, one after another.
The hiking was really nice, though, and I really enjoyed it. And, planes be damned, the cacophony of insects singing and singing all night long was cool. The lightening storm that went on and on was a little hairy, though it didn't start raining until about seven the next morning while P and I were quickly striking camp. We spent the rest of the trip imaginging the pandemonium that must have ensued when our neighbors woke to find water dripping on their laptops.
The next day it rained and rained and rained, but, undaunted, we visited that amazing site....
If you haven't gone, you should.
On Sunday we discovered why it is that you should always go to a state park on a Sunday.
We were blissfully alone, the only people in the entire primitive camping section of the James River State Park, which was pointedly not the first state park on I-66. We hiked a whole lot, all over the park, and saw lots and lots of bugs and animals and snakes and fish and birds. Lots of wild rabbits, a big spider with a crazy coned web that probably could have caught a chipmunk, quail running across the road, and several deer, including a huge buck with a giant rack of antlers. (Sadly, I am almost positive that we also saw several Emerald Ash Borers).
We rounded up a faaaaaabulous weekend with a little canoeing on the James, which was great.
Sigh. wish there was more trips like this coming up.....
But in the meantime it's back to work....