Thursday, November 5, 2009

The First One...

For our 4 week and 1 day anniversary, Kassidy and I decided to head out to the Shenandoah National Forest last weekend for a night of camping and some hiking to enjoy the most excellent fall flora. We woke up early and headed out, loading up with firewood and snacks for the trip. After only about an hour of driving, we arrived at the entrance to SNP and Skyline Drive. We wound along the top ridge of the mountains, pulling over (what seemed like) every 20 yards to stop and capture more photos of the picturesque country landscape rolling out in front of us from our perch high atop the hills.

 When we finally arrived at Matthews Arm campground we set up camp. (thanks to crust and dave for the tent loan, and pop for the bags and pads). Since it was only about noon, we headed out on a trek to find a waterfall or two. In our halloween costumes.

The hike was so amazing, with brightly colored fall leaves covering the trees and most of the trail, it was like walking through an Ansel Adams picture that had been colored in by a  young Robb Havassy. It was BEAUTIFUL. We finally got to the waterfall and spent a while relaxing on the cliff overlooking an eastern valley.

Upon arriving back at camp, we realized we had forgotten some essential creature comforts (yes we are wussy campers) and so we drove to the nearby camp store. While there, we discovered a small black bear wandering through the woods! I took several pictures from what I deemed to be a safe distance, and went in to the store to buy our goods. When we walked back out, the bear had climbed all the way up to the top of a 100 foot (estimate) tree. I stupidly thought two things. "Whoa! I didn't know bears could climb trees like that! I mean i knew Koalas can, but not real bears." and "Hey, this is a good chance to get really close and get some good shots." So up I strolled to the base of the tree, thinking, well even if he comes down to attack, I am really big too, so I can probably take him. Man you should have seen me running when he started sliding down that tree like a fireman down the pole! He was fast. I was scared. I ran like I'd never run before. End of story.

Well Halloween night camping after the bear chase was fairly uneventful. We devoured our delicious tinfoil dinners, watched Taken on Kassidy's laptop, and fell asleep to the sound of the gentle rain that had begun shortly after retiring to our tent. Sometime in the middle of the night, that peaceful, gentle, comforting sprinkle of rain became a torrential downpour, and our rain fly failed to perform its duties, leaving us thoroughly soaked through. We drove home happy as could be. Soaked, but completely content. And that, my friends, is how the adventures begin...


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