Saturday, May 17, 2014

Shenandoah National Park

Our extended family went on a camping trip to Shenandoah National Park, which is a manageable 2-hour drive from D.C. if you avoid the Friday afternoon traffic jams on I-66. One of the more scenic ways though the park is along Skyline Drive, which is $15 per car if you don't have a National Park pass.
Just one of many scenic vistas

After being roadblocked blocked by defiant deer, we reached our campsite in the middle the park after roughly 30 minutes of driving on the tortuous mountain road. At various times during our weekend stay, we saw several groups of deer, bears, and at least one groundhog.

Clearly, there is one smart deer in the group (on the left).
My dog didn't like the deer as much as we did. 

We were able to reserve two adjacent slots in the aptly named Big Meadow campground. I actually didn't get any pictures of the meadow, but you can Google it. The campsite had all the conveniences: enough shrubbery for some privacy, fire pit & picnic table (and they allow pets). The bathrooms were close enough to see from our campsite, so we were comfortable letter our 4.5-yr-old go there by herself (in daylight). There were reportedly quarter-operated showers, too, but no one in our group felt like braving the low 40F weather to find out.

The information center has some great info about the history of Shenandoah and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that made it was what it is today. There's even a section about segregation during that time, which seems obvious now but I don't think I ever learned about in school.

Saturday morning, after a leisurely breakfast with some of my mother-in-law's former IB students who also happened to be in the park, the family decided to go for a hike and then see if we could catch a Civil War reenactment at New Market.
This is how you photobomb.
Just another peaceful vista on our way out of the park.
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