Friday, November 4: We’re on our way this morning to Fayetteville, West Virginia to get away for a three-day weekend before the U.S. election on Tuesday. It’s a trip to celebrate my birthday (Oct. 25), belatedly, and our 28th anniversary (Nov. 13), early. We decide on our way down south, we’ll drive a portion of Skyline Drive from Front Royal to Thornton Gap.
Skyline Drive is the scenic roadway that winds 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia just west of Washington, D.C. There are only four entrances to the park; we take the northernmost one, getting off at the next one south. We have a long way to go to get to our destination in West Virginia, but we want to see some of the fall colors. Thus we take the slower route for about 28 miles.
We’re so glad we do because it’s a gorgeous day and we’re rewarded with some marvelous vistas.
Forty percent of the park (almost 80,000 acres) is designated as a wilderness area; it represents one of the largest wilderness areas in the eastern United States and has about 500 miles of hiking trails, according to Shenandoah National Park – Skyline Drive: What to See.
It’s surprising to see so much color on the trees in early November; usually the trees are further past their prime at this time of year.
We enjoy our drive immensely, stopping at the numerous pull-outs for sweeping views.
Finally, we exit the beautiful park and head south on Interstate 81, in route to cross the state line into West Virginia.
Friday, April 18: This morning, we go for a hike at White Oak Canyon in Shenandoah National Park. This four-hour hike follows along a flowing stream and leads to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the park. This is the best time of year to go on this hike because of the high water levels from the spring melt-off.
The only bad thing is that I’m exhausted from an overnight stay Thursday night at American Sleep Clinic. I’ve been having sleep problems lately, and last night at the clinic was not at all restful as I was hooked up to a bunch of wires. I am wiped out before we even start out, and the fact that the first half of the hike is uphill doesn’t help one bit.
Luckily, it’s a beautiful day, weather-wise, with a nice cool breeze. Sadly, the green hasn’t really come out on the trees yet, so it’s a little browner than I would have liked. But we do find a few glimpses of color here and there.
Needless to say, when I return home, I take a long hot bath and then drop off to sleep for an early night. 🙂
Monday, October 14: This morning, I have coffee and some Apple Scrapple from Great Harvest Bread that I brought as a gift for Annette and Dan. I guess it’s pretty bad when you bring a gift for someone and then you end up eating a lot of it! I enjoy our chat. I’ve learned a lot about their lives and their farm, the Allegheny Mountain School that I’ll recommend to my son Adam, their own Permaculture certifications and yoga training, and the lifestyle they’ve chosen.
After breakfast, I take off to drive back to northern Virginia, leaving the pretty fog-sprinkled Allegheny Mountains behind, and crossing over the Shenandoah Mountains.
I arrive home with one day left of my four-day weekend, and I spend the next day working for over 3 hours, entering Midterm marks for my students. This job is eating me alive!