Yesterday we were finally able to use our camping equipment, for only the second time this year. Its not like we hadn't wanted to go camping before the end of the season, but, really, where did the summer go?
The drive up to Shenandoah was "interrupted" by a trip to a winery. I know what you're thinking...Virginia wine? Yeah, well, they do have wineries, but for the most part, don't expect too much out of them. When we got to Shenandoah, we set up camp, had lunch, rested for a while, and then decided to head out hiking. Unfortunately, it was getting kind of late at that point, about two hours to sunset, and the hike we chose had a time estimate of about 4 hours. We decided to try it, and we booked it down the trail. We got to the waterfall in about an hour, and then had to hike back up. Luckily, we were able to make it off the trail with about ten minutes to spare until sunset. We pulled out of the parking lot, and drove down the road a little bit, where we watched the sun set over the Shenandoah valley. A gorgeous experience.
Dinner involved sausages and the Yee Fong Chang story, a story which Matt will only tell when we go camping. Unfortunately, we forgot the marshmallows for s'mores, but I ate chocolate and graham cracker, which was still really good.
This morning, we woke up, had a good breakfast, and decided to go for another hike. We decided to stop at the ranger station to ask for advice where to go. She directed us to a trail that involved spectacular views...and rock scrambling. Lots of rock scrambling. On mountain sides. Have I mentioned that I'm scared of heights? The whole experience was terrifying but exhilarating.
We left the park to go explore some more wineries, and we ended up at this quiet place with pretty good wines. But more importantly, they had picnic tables, and we ended up unpacking a picnic. Luckily, today was a beautiful Indian summer day without a cloud in the sky, sitting in a vineyard, enjoying a cool bottle of wine with a fresh picnic lunch (that involves sausage). As my friend Jen said, "its like the opposite of dying."
Sitting here at home, I'm glad to be sleeping in my own bed tonight, but I wish I were back up there in the mountains, where the leaves had just started to change colors. Unfortunately, I think the camping season is over now, and we'll have to wait for spring to go out there again.