and relax in nature.
I've been so anxious about leaving the country when Lamar is not feeling well, and although meeting with my amazing housesitter yesterday eased my mind a lot, I knew I wanted to take a day doing what we all enjoy so much.
So we went to one of our favorite places, a stream that is easily accessed off the road in the George Washington National Forest west of Shenandoah National Park.
I have warm feelings about this place because the very first month after I moved to the DC area, before I even met Florian, I came to this road and went for a hike with Tashi and Lamar on the Signal Knob trail which is a bit beyond this swimming spot.
On that occasion, I slept in the van in a parking area near the trail, which you can do pretty much anywhere on a national forest.
Florian and I have done the same here, and we always love being here in the deep forest, in the silence.
It was perfect for us today because the swimming hole is right by the road, so no strenuous hiking for Lamar to navigate.
Just therapeutic, cool but not too cold water.
A perfect temperature and deep enough for swimming. The rocks going into the water were super slippery, so Lamar didn't feel so comfortable going in there except when I was right beside him.
But Fozzie was excited to go for a swim, though as always he was not without some anxiety.
Which caused him to try to be extra close to us
and to readily engage in wet kisses with Florian.
For a long while, we had the whole place to ourselves and could just space out and enjoy the water while Lamar kept watch from his beach towel high up on the rock sloping down to the water.
Then a nice couple with a dog named Moose showed up. We are in the habit of just leaving a place when another dog shows up, but we decided to give it a chance and see how Fozzie would do.
He did pretty well! Definitely anxious, but engaged in some totally appropriate sniffing and following around.
The beginnings of some testy humping, but we just kept an eye on things and intervened before anything could get out of hand.
Lamar, as usual, barked a bit from his safe vantage point.
After a while, we loaded up and drove home on a circuitous, scenic, beautiful route feeling incredibly restored.
We stopped in some of the many farmers market stores along the road and got yummy beef sticks for the dogs
Such a wonderful place for a day-cation, just an hour and a half away from home!