Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shenandoah National Park Trip

Hey everyone, I like how I added Belle Isle photos when that was last week and didn't get around to placing the mountain day trip up first. Well here it is, I finished editing them a few days ago and now I have some time before I go to work tonight which we are now closing at 11pm >_>

On with the photos!

Back on 10-10-10, my family and my sisters boy friend went to Shenandoah National Park that are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Yes these are also part of the Appalachian Mountain range that is on the eastern coast of the US. My sister didn't know this and was wondering why the Appalachian Trail, also known as the AT, was called that. The trail starts, or ends, on Springer Mountain in Georgia and the other end is Mount Katahdin in Maine. This trail is about 2,179 miles long. Yeah that long. I have been thinking about maybe doing it but since it takes so much time I don't know if I will be able to until after I graduate from college. Grabbed that bit of info from Wikipeida.

Like the Nags Head photos and album, I decided to take another shot of my feet walking along the trails as the album cover. I might make this the norm lol

The park was full established on December 26th, 1935. The main road through the park is SkylineDrive and the highest point on the road is Skyland.
We entered at Swift Run Gap which is the second to the most south entrance. It is off route 33, also called Staples Mill in Richmond :)
Our first hike that we had gone to was Bear Fence which has some intermediate climbing to the cliffs up top. It is one of my favorite views on the park and it is rather not long to get to it.

Here is some plant and wildlife that we bumped int on the hike up. I didn't get to see any wooly bears like I use to but this caterpillar reminded me of them. The only other wildlife that you see tons of are Chipmunks. We usually are always guaranteed to see one deer or more but we didn't come across a single one at all.

Some rock formations on the trail

There is my shadow on the bottom right. This is at the cliffs up there. It is a nice view of the Shenandoah Vally down below.

In the far off distance you can see that other mountain range and at the end of in in the dark blue you can see Massanutten Mountain

Now a ton of people go to the park during the fall since that is the prime time to go see the colors change on the trees. When we went you can see down below where some of the trees are changing and some have yet too. I am sure about now or this past week was a great time to go since we were there just before it was perfect. If you ever get the chance go to the mountain range and enjoy the lush colors that are on the trail ground and on the trees and the wind blows them in the air.

Now the reason that they call it the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Chain and starts in Georgia and ends in Pennsylvania, is because when you see them from afar you get this blue haze is from the trees on the mountains. They release isoprene into the air giving the effect of a blue haze. A lot of pollution from the Shenandoah Vally that is getting in the air is starting to effect the bluish haze and it might disappear if continued. Info here

You can also enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway that travels nearly 500 miles and links the Shenandoah Park to the Smoky Mountain Park which is also part of the Blue Ridge.

There was a private school that traveled up there that Sunday and was having a class right there on the cliffs. That is a shot looking back on them. As you can tell from the sky, the weather was perfect for hiking because it wasn't to hot o cold and there wasn't much of a wind. Perfect clear skies.

This shot is looking back from where I came. The trail that goes to the left and heads up was where the bluffs were. The loop trail uses the Appalachian Trail which is what I am currently standing on. The one that goes straight on is heading South on the AT to Georgia.

Our second trail that we went to is Dark Hollow Falls which is near Big Meadows. My parents dropped us off since my Dad can't handle the way back up because of his knee so my sis, her boy friend and I went down.
This is also one of the most popular hikes too since it is the closest water fall to get to from Skyline Drive.

You get to travel right against the creek that forms the waterfall tis self the whole way down. :)

Here is the top of the falls and looking down to the bottom

Most people hang out at the very bottom enjoying the spray and humidity and the cold chilly pool of water but I climb up along the side to get shots of the upper falls. Plus there is less people up there.

Add a bigger one :P

More of the creek

Next hike was Stony Man which is just North of Skyland Resort. Great hike with an amazing view and it isn't that long of a hike to the cliffs either. There wasn't to many people up there today which is fine by me. Some people were climbing up the cliff face and surprising a noticed a lot of Asian people on the mountains that day. They had way better cameras then me >_>

Love the look of this tree up at the top as the winds from the west bellow onto it.

Down there on Skyline Drive where most of the cars are at is the view point for this cliff. That is where my mother, sister and her boyfriend waited for my father and I's return. They were tried, my sister and him were sleeping when we got back down :)

For the last shot it is my father and I at the top. We got an Asian girl to take it for us. She had a Nikon camera but it was like $500 lol. Sorry I had to edit out my dad and I's face but it is the first official photo of my entirely other then my foot that I have posted on here. It was a nice time with dad and worth the one last hike. I love it up there truly and deeply.

I'll post the album on the Photo page, you can also click these photos and I think it takes you to the album on Picasa Web. I got to go to work now Night! Also all of the info pertaining to the Shenandoah National Park I grabbed from Wikipeida.

Samshio ©

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