Tag Archives: Shenandoah

When Hikers Leave Love Notes

11061984_10206892725255259_2489945500142692694_nAnother beautiful day in the Virginia spring; another day where my husband leaves before the sun rises to hike in the amazing Shenandoah mountains.

When I come down to fix breakfast/lunches and get the kids ready for school, papers like this on the table are my love note. OK, the pink is not drawing a heart, and there aren’t even any written words. But Keith printed out the maps of the areas of his planned hikes, and charted his planned path. With him hiking solo – outside of cell coverage more than 3 hours from home – this is what gives me a little peace of mind.

I hope to never need these to try to track him down, but I sure feel better having them!

Check out some of Keith’s hiking posts on Facebook at Gettin’ High with Keith or some past hikes on this blog in the Daytripping>>Hikes category.



Bear Church Rock

IMG_3033I had an early start to the trail since the weather was going to deteriorate as the day went along.  I arrived at the trailhead around 8:15 and prepared to make the four mile climb.  I was the only one there and I figured that the impending weather would keep the trail pretty desolate.  I left the parking area and headed along the Rapidan River Trail for a half a mile.  The trail was nearly flat and offered nice views of the rapids caused by the churning Rapidan.

IMG_2926I reached the Staunton River Trail and began a steeper ascent.  Continue reading

Big Meadow Trail Loop

Rose River, Dark Hallow and Lewis Falls

9.3 miles, 2500 feet

The hike began behind the Big Meadow Visitor Center on a cold morning in March.  After stopping at  several wide vistas, we began our descent down to Fisher’s Gap.

Fisher’s Gap is the start of the Rose River Loop Trail.  The trail has a gentle slope at the beginning, but steeper grades remain for the sections before and after Rose River Falls.  Rose River Falls (67′) is divided into two falls.  The first fall is about 25 feet high.  After a small pool, the water slides down a trough in the rock ledge the remaining distance.  The lower fall was not very photogenic.The trail continued down for several hundred more feet before leveling out for a couple hundred yards.  The trail became very steep, passing several small cascades before reaching the bottom of the Dark Hallow Falls Trail.

Dark Hallow Falls (70′) is located at the top of a series of falls and cascades that start at the bottom of the trail.  We arrived at the falls after passing several large cascades and falls.  We climbed over the rocks and up to the base of the uttermost part of the falls, taking pictures along the way.

We continued on up the remainder of the trail and to the Big Meadow Visitor Center, where we stopped for lunch.  We headed west through a series of trails until we reached the top of the Lewis Falls Trail.

The trail was extremely steep, with many switchbacks, but we finally arrived at the falls.  Lewis Falls (81′) is located in an area were there are cliffs on all three side of the falls, making a climb to the base basically impossible.  A viewpoint had been built by the park service that provided nice views of the falls.  Standing right above the falls also yielded great views of the Shenandoah Valley.

A steep climb up another trail led us back to our car.  Worn out and tired, we headed home.

Hiking Doyles River and Jones Run Loop

A Hike Report from Keith:

I headed out to hike the Doyles Falls and Jones Run trails just before 9 am.  About two hours later, I arrived at my destination in Shenandoah National Park.  There were no rangers at the south entrance station, just a sign posted on the window to pay as you exited.

I arrived at Brown Gap (near mile post 83) at 10:45 and loaded up for the day’s hike.  I had plenty of water and several granola bars.  I had googled the weather for Charlottesville and it was going to be 50 degrees.  I figured it would only be a few degrees lower since Brown Gap is only 30 or 40 miles away and 1,000 feet higher up.  Well, that was my first mistake of the trip.  Continue reading

Things Kids Say…

The setting: sitting outside at a Shenandoah National Park Ranger Station/visitor center/snack bar/picnic area. Many other people are also enjoying the beautiful weather and park facilities.

Kourey: Mama! They’re NAKEE!

Mommy: No, honey, shhh! They just aren’t wearing shirts.

Kourey: We don’t go nakee. We have to wear shirts.

Mommy: Well, yes, we have to wear shirts. Girls always need to wear shirts. But sometimes it’s ok for boys to not wear shirts, so it’s ok for them to take their shirts off.

Kaitlyn: Hey, Daddy, do you want to take YOUR shirt off?

Daddy: Um, no.

The Hike from Kait’s View

On our Skyline Drive hike, Kaitlyn asked if she could take some pictures. I told her if she told me what she wanted to take a picture of, I would let her. Click below for a gallery of the pictures she took, and what she told me she was photographing.
Continue reading

Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you/Away, you rolling river

Wednesday was a very rare day indeed. For starters, Keith was off. That’s not too odd (though not often enough, but we’re blessed he has a job to be off to!), but what’s more, we were ALL off. No school. No church. No meetings, playdates, nada.

(Of course, while school was out Anja was not able to come since she was in Kentucky with the church youth group on a Spring Break mission trip.)

Continue reading