I have a serious case of the Post-Vacation Blues, you guys.
I spent a long weekend in Virginia visiting my mom then hiking in Shenandoah with my cousin Susan, and after five glorious days out of town, coming back to real life feels like a bit of a struggle.
Sunday morning I picked Susan up from her hotel in Richmond and, after a brief stop at WaWa, we sailed west down Route 64 towards the university town of Harrisonburg. We dropped our bags at the hotel then immediately headed into Shenandoah National Park. We’d picked two sub 4-mile trails and the first day’s selection was Rose River Loop. We stopped at Big Meadow Campgrounds to use the facilities then parked just up Skyline Drive at Fishers Gap Overlook. From there it was a short walk across the road to the trailhead. Rose River Loop is full of lovely little waterfalls. Being a Sunday it was pretty well populated, not not crowded. We even piggybacked a volunteer digging out the drainage channels along the trail.
The first half of the trail was a steady downward slope without being too steep. Near the bottom of a trail we saw a couple in swimsuits ready to take a dip in a cool, crisp pool.
The second half of the trail was a steady incline upwards, and we caught up with the trail volunteer at a bridge. We stopped for a snack about a third of the way back up.
At the footbridge at the foot of Dark Hollow Falls we were supposed to make a sharp right and turn up the Fire Road, but we missed the turn on headed up the much steeper, much more populated incline of Dark Hollow Falls Trail. Unfortunately this put us about a mile and a half down the road from where we parked the car, so we had to haul it on foot down Skyline Drive.
Along that trip we saw a bear, which I sadly did not get a picture of. From the car we drove back to the hotel to shower and head out to eat, but not before snagging this stunning view of the valley below:
Now Harrisonburg is a college town (James Madison University is there) so we were lucky enough to find a tasty Indian restaurant not a half mile from our hotel. After that we relaxed at the hotel and conked out early to ready ourselves for the next day’s adventures.
(To Be Continued…)