Alas, the photos of the big surprise of the day did not come out clearly. In fact there was no hint of a surprise in the photos that I took, just a blur of trees.
My daughter had wanted to hike in Shenandoah National Park to see the colors. I warned my kids that all of Washington, DC would be there too, but they were determined, I was happy to be invited along.
We took the back country route to avoid the DC traffic on I-66 and had the happy surprise of seeing a 1941 vintage auto!
But once we arrived in Front Royal, less than 2 miles from the entrance, we hit the stagnant traffic from DC.
Out adventure in the mountains felt more like our
A couple of hours later we finally made it into Shenandoah National Park. Famished we finally got to devour our picnic lunch at the overlook at the Visitor Center. Brrr. It was cold. The coldest day of the season thus far.
By then the sun was hinting at sunset. After all we had gotten a late start and it was Fall Back Sunday. We had two hours to see what we wanted to see. My son was determined to take us on a very short hike on the Old Rag Trail.
My daughter's boyfriend exclaimed that his one goal was to see bears. He's from the city and apparently had not ventured into the mountains very often. While warning him that seeing bears is quite rare, my son drove around the curve and soon slowed down because of all the cars ahead of us, stopped and parked. Many people were out with their cameras.
Alan jumped out, ran to see what everyone else was looking at. Enthusiastically he mouthed to us that there were bears! Just inside the tree line was a mother bear and 2 babies. I barely got to see them, but that was pretty cool. I stayed in the car most of the time, only stayed out long enough to try to take a photo, then jumped back in the car. I know full well that bears, especially mother bears, are not to be messed with.
Finally we traversed on. At the first overlook I asked if we could at least stop at this overlook to take photos of the Shenandoah Valley before the sun set.
At this moment the kids headed for a very short hike (they promised me it would be very short) on the Old Rag Trail. It had gotten considerably colder and I don't like being on the trails at night, so I stayed to take photos of the sun set.
I was stunned not only by the beauty, but how the view seemed so spot on with a Lexington Quilt Row by Row I had sewed a couple of years ago.
I couldn't capture the glowing beauty of the sunset in the photo below, but I was taken not only by the sunset but also by the layers of the mountains. It reminded me of yet another Quilt Row by Row I had sewn, this time from Winchester.
And yes, the kids quickly returned to take their own pictures of the sunset. Then we drove to another overlook to watch the sun set. My son's goal was to do some star gazing, but by then the clouds had come in.
I couldn't believe all the lights we saw in the valley below. All that had seemed like pasture land by day, seemed to turn to city by night.