Our Maine Event: Shenandoah

2 08 2017

Two weeks in a tent.  In the summer.  All the way to Maine and back: almost 3,000 miles of driving. What were we thinking? But that’s exactly what my husband and I did.  And we had a great time.  Even Brian, but don’t ask him to admit it!  Here’s how we rolled…

7/7/17 Day 1:  Drove to Shenandoah National Park.  502 mi./9 ½  hrs.   Big Meadows Campground.

After stopping in Fort Mill to have brunch with our daughter Annalise, we drove on to Shenandoah National Park, arriving around 5:30.

IMG_6063Needing to stretch our legs after the long drive, we set up our tent, grabbed an apple, and headed out for a four-mile hike around the big meadow.  Along the way we saw several groups of deer who were very used to people and then watched two bucks bounding through the meadow.

IMG_6060We made the first of many egg burritos for supper.  Although the weather was cool and the cot comfortable, sleep didn’t come easily for me.  Brian, on the other hand, slept well.



A rested camper is a happy camper.

7/8/17 Day 2: Explored Shenandoah. 

We started our day by walking through the exhibits at the Visitor’s Center.  It’s sad to realize that this beautiful park only came about because the federal government, through eminent domain, forced people off their land, many of whom had lived here for generations.  In Aiken County, a similar scenario occurred with the moving of Ellenton and Dunbarton when the Savannah River Plant was built.  However, this was done for reasons of national security, whereas Shenandoah was developed so that people on the east coast could have a natural area for recreation.  It doesn’t seem right.  But that didn’t keep us (or lots of other people) from enjoying it.  Shenandoah is beautiful.

Our first hike of the day was a three miler to Lewis Falls.

2017-07-08 7-17 Acadia trip 002The trail led us through thick forests, around mountain sides, and to a small but pretty creek that leaped over the side of a cliff beyond our view.  Part of the trail joined the Appalachian Trail, where we were overtaken by a hiker wearing a kilt.




Later in the afternoon we joined a group led by a ranger at Milam Gap.  She gave us all the ins-and-outs of hiking the AT.  Interesting, but not on my bucket list.  In the evening, we attended a program at the amphitheater on raptors.  It’s always enlightening for me to be on the audience side of one of these talks!

Several memories stick out: the last rays of daylight catching the campfire smoke, a group of young people practicing on a slack line, another group singing the Shrek theme song to ukulele music, and the muted sounds of voices sifting through the trees: laughter, kids whining, shrieks.  Oh, and I won’t forget the cramped $1.50/5 min. shower that we shared. But it was good to see a wide diversity of ethnicities enjoying the camping life, more than I’d ever seen before: Ethiopians, Asians, and African Americans, to name just a few.  Most campgrounds I’ve been to are only populated by people who look like me.  In the case of Shenandoah’s eminent domain take-over, I’m not sure that the end always justifies the means, but I sure do like these ends.



2 responses

2 08 2017

How buggy was it? It looks lovely! I haven’t visited it since I was a kid, but it sure looks like something I should put on my list! Way easier to get to than where we were!

2 08 2017

Not buggy at all! It was cool and not very humid, considering the time of year! I think we just lucked up, though.

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