10/31/17 -11/3/17 Shenandoah River State Park

November 4, 2017

 

 

Most idyllic campground so far. Sites really spaced out; Huge. Water and Electric hookups. Sitting in valley close to river with views of mountains to west. Great feeling of the outdoors and isolation. Bathrooms are recent and relatively clean. Drive into park is serpentine with 6 and and short 7 percent grade right at campground turn. 

 

Our campground is just off to the left of the middle of the photo below:

 

 

11/1/17 did a short drive up Skyline Drive and a walk Mount Marshall trail. (see Sandy’s notes).

Been gone 10 days and it feels like a month - in a good way.

Yesterday Thursday 11/2/17 was a complete day. Bacon and eggs in the morning; casual start with showers and prep; drive to Skyline Drive (free with our $10 National Park Passes - $25 for others!); blue skies and 70+ degrees; stopped at every overlook; took a 2 mile round trip hike from Hogback Overlook to Rattlesnake Point Overlook; saw a black bear close up (from the car); stopped at two visitors centers; drove down the most twisty road ever; grilled out burgers; had a nice campfire; a glass of wine for the lady (or two); a can of Lord Hobo Boom Sauce for me (one of my favorite beers); chocolate chip cookie and a movie; and just being close at the end of the day talking about it all. Really a perfect day. 

 

 

 

 

 

Two events on ride - one funny and annoying at the same time. Ladybugs (Asian Lady Beetles). Swarms of them. I mean like we’ve never seen before. As soon as we would step out of the truck to take a look at an overlook, there would be 5 ladybugs on us. Instantly. We would see other people swatting them away as if they were bees. They did try to crawl down the back of my shirt which was bothersome, but otherwise we just laughed about it. Getting back int eh truck was a challenge. Had to move quick, but a few would still get in. As soon as the door was open they would try to get in and maybe a few were stuck to us as we climbed in. We had to brush each others’ backs off, but by the time we separated they were back on us. It was a sunny day and we noticed that they definitely were hovering over the areas open to sunlight - the overlook parking areas and the road. Driving around one corner we went through a swarm that literally sounded like rain hitting the truck. 

 

During this incredibly fun day we witnessed a tragedy. We saw a firetruck go in the opposite direction. Minutes later we went around a corner and slowed for flashing blue lights. There we saw two cruisers - one parked in front of and the other behind an overturned car. There was a small drainage ditch on each side of the road, and the car was laying on it’s roof. The disconcerting thing was that there were no doors open - no visible means for anyone to get out or in and the two officers were not standing anywhere near the car. The roof was flat to the body of the car. No front side windows or windshield were visible. A small section of rear window was. It appeared that whoever was driving was still in the car. 

The road has a 35 mph speed limit and it didn’t make sense how anyone could flip over. Sandy came up with a very probable cause. Ladybugs. If someone driving was as skittish of the bugs as we saw others by the wayside, then one or more of the critters could have distracted the driver. I know a few times I had them on the inside of the windshield right in front of me or suddenly fly right by my face and startle me. 

 

 

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We are Sandy and Bill embarking on a journey we thought of for years, but pipe dream? Nope. We are doing it - while we are able to. While it is hard for us to leave our family, we feel we need to do this now. 

 

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