Camping in Shenandoah
|Can you believe it? We are well into October with out a single day camping. Well, we couldn't let that happen, even though the season was quickly passing us by. Matt and Cami thought it sounded like a good idea too so we made the plans.|
Jill and I took Friday off from work and after packing, cleaning, and a quick trip to Target we were off. We drove down 340 through Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia until we got to Front Royal and entered the Shenandoah National Park.
The leaves were just starting to change into their autumn glory. We were in a hurry to drive 80 miles through the park (at 35 MPH) in order to get to the campground.
Two of the park's campgrounds were already full when we entered the park. And later we found out that all of the 400+ campsites in the park were completely taken by Friday night.
We took lots of 'drive-by' pictures through the windshield of the car. There were lots of clouds along the Skyline Drive. The rain was staying away for the most part but the threat was always there. The forecast called for thunderstorms all through the night!
Here are all the Drive-By pictures.
We arrived at the campground and began our search for a suitable campsite in the fog. Just as we exited the car to inspect our choices the rain began to fall. Within moments we were soaked through but we selected our spot and waited in the car until the down pour calmed down a bit.
About 15 minutes after it began, the rain was just a drizzle and we decided that we had better setup the tent before the rain came back.
We setup camp and waited for Matt and Cami to arrive. It took them a few times around the campground in the fog before they found us (even though they knew the site number where we were).
We sent up their new tent (I mean 'Vacation Home') and made a yummy dinner. Then it started sprinkling again and within moments the downpour was soaking us again. We put away our dinner as quickly as we could and retreated to our tents. Unfortunately we brought in a lot of rain water into our tent too.
Luckily it only lasted about 15 minutes again. So we moved over to the Chapman Vacation Home to play a game on the comfort of the queen size inflatable bed! After a couple of games of Gin we headed for bed. Even though it was only about 8:30, we tuckered out and crashed quickly.
On Saturday, after a big breakfast of sausage and pancakes, we went for a hike to Doyles Falls. It was about a 3 mile round trip hike. Like most of the hikes in the park, you start at the top so the easy downhill part is first. The falls were quite small since the region is experiencing a pretty severe drought right now but still very pretty. There are lots more pictures from the Doyles Falls hike.
The tinfoil dinners that Matt and Cami put together were awesome. We spent several hours staring at the fire and enjoyed a great evening relaxing. I love camping.
Sunday morning we had a quick breakfast of bagels and cream cheese then broke down our camp. Matt and Cami needed to get back to church to be with their Primary class and I needed to get back for an Elders Quorum meeting.
We decided to continue South through the park for the remaining 24 miles. If we had try to drive back through the park it would have taken about 3 hours with all the tourists.
We lucked out by finding a black bear only about 20-30 feet off the road. It was a challenge to take some pictures though the trees and bushes. This makes the sixth black bear I have seen in Shenandoah National Park. On another camping trip I saw a mother bear and two cubs walk within about 20 yards of my campsite.
The drive home was quite nice as we headed North through small towns in the Shenandoah Valley along 340. The 'mountains' we on both sides of us with lots of splashes of color.
Here are some more camping pictures and autumn leave pictures.
I LOVE Camping!