Sunday, June 14, 2015

Celebratory Camping Weekend in the Shenandoahs

This weekend, Florian and I had most of both days free so we decided to pack up the dogs, pack up a tent and go camping in one of our favorite spots, the swimming holes along the Thompson Hollow-Overall Run Trail. This is a place where Dahlia's been before, but we wanted to go there again to celebrate a little milestone in our family...more on that in a future post. 

When we got there Saturday afternoon, the camp site we'd had in mind was unoccupied so we set up the tent right away.












Then I took the dogs down to the water to cool off.




This is our favorite place to go on a hot, humid day. 














Somehow nature has conspired to create an absolutely blissful spa-like environment nestled in a fragrant forest, where every feature seems designed to relax and generate fulfillment.


We were not surprised that there were a number of people already enjoying the swimming holes , 

but the great thing about this place is that there are a series of depressions carved out over a long stretch of cascading rock.


So if one is occupied when you arrive, and you wish to enjoy relative privacy for whatever reason, 

you can just descend further to one of the other perfectly carved swimming holes to meditate and relax.   

Everyone we've ever met there has been mellow and nice, so once we ascertained that the natives were friendly we let the pups off the leash so they could explore.

There are a bunch of trails that converge near these swimming holes, and if you wanted to you could hook up with the Appalachian trail from here or you could do a loop trail that takes you past the 93' high waterfalls--the strenuous Tuscarora-Overall Run hike that we did with Lamar, bless his angelic heart. 

So we explored down the trail in the other direction, and turned around when that trail started to go uphill. 

Great time for a dinner break at the tent, then some after- dinner relaxation and reading on the flat rocks by the water. 












The dogs were completely exhausted by this point. 





But some fellow campers out on the rocks let us know they'd heard about a sighting of some bears just down the trail, so time to leash up.










Pretty soon, it was time to hunker down for the night. 

As you know, I am not the greatest sleeper and it was a bit of a crapshoot whether I'd sleep away from my beloved latex mattress. 

But I was still looking forward to spending the night with my yawning, snoring beasts 




right by my side and unable to escape to their own personal space.
Sure enough, come morning the bipedal among us were groggy and sore but we felt good anyway, and even better after going down to the water once more and enjoying a cool swim.


So relaxing and refreshing. 

Exciting too, once the crayfish started crawling out of their rocky hiding places and waving their claws around. We saw about four of them, and I was only mildly terrified and certainly less so than was Florian at the news of a gray water snake slithering about. 
So much wildlife!

And so much adventure and restoration. Hard to believe we were just a few hours from DC! 

The short hike to the car was enough to thoroughly exhaust those dogs, and Dahlia snored in my lap the whole drive back home.

I think we're going to have to do this again soon! 

Next time, with a cushy inflatable mattress pad for those of us who lack Dahlia's ability to be at home wherever she finds herself in the world...as long as she's with her people.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Kirsten, it looks like you had a great time, despite the absence of your latex mattress. We're not really good little campers. My dad said that his camping is spelled H-Y-A-T-T.

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  2. Crikey ...... that looks idyllic to Mum ...... looks pretty good to me too. What a wonderful way to spend a night away from home. Sammy Sams Dad says he likes to camp at the Hyatt. He'd never see anything as beautiful as that place at the Hyatt, aye??

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  3. What a great place. I'd love to go camping but my husband is dead set against it. He wouldn't mind a cabin but U.S. Not interested in tents. Lol
    Retro rover

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  4. You are reminding me that it is time to dust off the tent and sleeping bags and try to convince my humans and dogs that comfort isn't everything in life.

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  5. I adore that first picture of Dahlia! What a character! That is a beautiful spot for a day or a weekend. It looks so relaxing. In fact I feel more relaxed just reading yur post!! Have a great week :-)

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  6. Thanks for sharing your camping trip! For me, it brought back memories of our last trip there. I wanna go back!!!

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