Shenandoah 2016

After some great hiking in Great Smoky, we headed to Shenandoah national park. We checked into Cardinal Inn motel and then spent the afternoon at Luray Caverns and Luray Valley Museum before setting off to some hiking in Shenandoah the next day. But first we attended Mass at the very small Our Lady of the Valley Catholic church near our motel, and the only one in the entire parish. The next few days were filled with strenuous hiking, rock scrambling, breathtaking views, junior ranger lectures and activities, some rain, and lots of beautiful butterflies and black bears.

Our Lady of the Valley is a tiny Catholic church- about 20 pews.

The first black bear we saw in Shenandoah and one of four beautiful bears.

Hawksbill Summit and the

magnificent mountains 

After 45 mins of scrambling up a 311 ft elevation. The reward - a magnificent view

Hands, feet, rock, scramble! And hold on to dear life!

After scrambling Bearfence, we hiked up  Stony Man Mountain at an elevation

of 4,000 ft.

Another cute black bear on Skyline Dr.

Lots of beautiful butterflies fluttered through Shenandoah

Ranger Travis teaches us about Skeet, the owl that was hit by a car while trying to eat food thrown out of a car. Skeet is now blind

Hike up to Rose River Loop -

8 miles roundtrip

 Pledged to be a good junior ranger 

Spotted a running black bear on Pass Mountain Trail on the AT loop

After the last day of hiking, I enjoyed a most delicious Osso Buco at Big Meadows

Lodge Restaurant on Skyline Dr

Atop Hawksbill Summit after a 2.9 trail hike at an elevation of 860 ft.

Rock scrambling my way up to Bearfence. The trail is only 1 mile but I really used my hands and feet to pull me up

To get down from Bearfence Viewpoint, I need to scramble my way up a boulder 

to get down.

Amazingly, I did not break one finger nail!

I'm tough as nails!

The view from the edge of

Stony Man Mountain

is breathtaking

Big rattle snake on Skyline Dr

A docile deer 

Ranger Travis signs our junior ranger books

Glad we packed our rain gear. It poured coming down 

With my Shenandoah junior ranger patch

Found an empty energy drink can inserted in a tree branch. Why do people trash

beautiful trails?

Celebrating the National Park Service 100th anniversary and our

childhood sense of wonder

Hope you'e been inspired to visit Shenandoah. Find out how to plan your visit at Shenandoah National Park  website. Happy Trails!