Windows down, music up: cruising through Shenandoah National Park

One of the hundreds of picturesque views

When the city begins to feel too hectic, it’s time to venture out into the country; and that’s exactly what my travel buddy and I did when we made our way to Skyline Drive in

Buzzy at work (sorry, was that too much?)

Shenandoah National Park. And WHAT a gorgeous drive and time we had! After an early departure time, we made it to the Park around 10:30 or so and began winding our way from scenic view to scenic view, stopping for photo ops whenever we well pleased. The entrance fee was only $15, and for all the sights, it was totally worth the money.

After a while of sightseeing (which included pretty much everything  we drove past), we grew hungry. A small rest stop had well-used picnic tables, so we found ours and began lunch. When was the last time you had a picnic lunch? Seriously!? Both my travel buddy and I had brought several items to feast on,  

This tunnel took us a bit by surprise

and a feast it was. Sandwiches, chips, fruits, drinks, it was more than enough. We talked, we laughed, we dined, we swatted bugs away, it truly was an authentic picnic experience. Best of all we were off the grid. No cell phones ringing, and no hassles. Such a serene time!

With lunch wrapped up, we were energized for more cruising down Skyline Drive. Remembering some falls she had once visited, my travel buddy suggested a little hike. Whilst at the beginning of the hike–not even at the the information board yet–we spotted a black bear crossing

Black Bear Crossing

the road. Literally crossing the road! We watched from a distance (a healthy distance) and snapped photos like crazy. Ok, so maybe a hike at this location wasn’t the best idea. Traveling a little ways further down the road, signs pointed us to another trail and many cars and people were there. Safe, right? Half way down the trail toward the falls, a couple told us there

Second bear spotting. What kind of luck is this?

was a bear and to make lots of sound on our way down.

Making sure to stay in the midst of clusters of people, we loudly made our way to the falls, and I’m so glad we did. What a relaxing experience. After rock-hopping at the base, I climbed my way to a higher vantage point and was able to look down at the falls. The water was cool, ferns grew from every corner in the heavily-wooded forest, and the smell was clean.

Absolute calm

This was one of those day trips I will not forget! It was exactly what I needed:  time outside of a schedule, highways, and cell phones. It was two friends enjoying an absolutely beautiful day! And for a $15 entrance fee and $30 in gas, it was the most rewarding way to spend a $45 day.

 On the road again, Ms. Thrifty

This entry was published on September 5, 2011 at 3:25 am. It’s filed under Other hot spots and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Windows down, music up: cruising through Shenandoah National Park

  1. Frannie on said:

    I love visiting our national and state parks. Haven’t been to this one, but your comments make
    me want to go there!

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