Shenandoah National Park Hiking

Last month, before the shut down and near my birthday, Good Man and I went hiking at Shenandoah National Park. Most traces of the previous families who lived on the land was erased when the park was formed, but there are some signs that indicate the park was not all wild land. We focused on that area near the northern entrance to the park.

Rock Wall

Grave

Infant’s Grave

At a different location there was an old barn in remarkably good condition, along with a cellar.

Barn

Cellar

From the Inside

Hiking on an Early Sunday Morning

View of the Valley

Snead Farw?

Ready to Go Home

Blooming

Flitting off in Shenandoah

Assateague National Seashore and Ocean City Sunrise

On Sunday, Mark’s Lover, a friend of his, and I went to Ocean City to watch the sunrise on the beach. Unfortunately, it was more a sky lightening than a sunrise, but it was still nice to watch.

Sunrise in Ocean City

At the Shore

Waves

Final Minutes

I dropped off Mark’s Lover and his friend and then headed to Assateague by myself to take some early morning photos. I played around with my new camera’s HDR setting. I thought maybe that would help me learn to like it.

Nope. Still dislike HDR.

Without HDR

With HDR

At the North Beach several people were stand-up paddle boarding, which made for some interesting pictures.

Coming In

Silhouetted

Spray

In the Distance

Waiting

Getting there early enough to see the animals was another benefit of waking up early, even though I was tired.

Skittering Along

With the Waves

Strutting

Surveying the Scene

Raspberries

I went to the clam digging spot and found some wild horses off of the road.

Clam Digging Site

Assateague Ponies

More HDR. Still Don’t Like It.

I then did the short hike along the Life of the Dunes trail. It was hard because of the sand. It was also starting to get hotter, but the trail was deserted and interesting. Along the trail was bits and pieces of an old road, which was taken out by a storm in the early 60s. According to the interpretive sign, the storm basically took out the community living on the shore and that was the basis for founding the National Shore.

Life of the Dunes Trail

Road to Nowhere

Assateague National Seashore

Good Man, Mark, Mark’s Lover and I all went to Assateague National Seashore this weekend. The weather was perfect, and really sunny (I wore sunscreen and am still sunburnt). It was a first visit for each of us.

We arrived late Friday night (traffic was terrible) and spent Saturday walking along the shore.

Crossing the Bay Bridge

Footprints

Along the Shore

Feeding

Dunes

His Turf

Remains

We had lunch at a Tex-Mex restaurant and there was a rather large spider hanging out near us.

Close Up

Feeding

Hanging Out

Caught

Good Man Appears to Be Planning Something

Prince William National Forest

We went to Prince William National Forest this weekend. It was a nice hike, but my heel started acting up, so we had to cut it short.

I found this on the bathroom wall.

Bathroom Wall Worries

As best as I can decipher, it says:

I’ve never written on a bathroom
wall before but I feel the [need?]
to reach out to you…
I am booked to go to Thailand,
and I am scared and don’t
want to go (my trip is alone).
My [siblings?] hate me for it and
all I was trying to do is find
my self and happiness… I am
going to cancel my ticket and [run?]
[away?] from them. My [family?]…
I leave you with this:
In any decision you
choose, do it for your
self and your self only.
Doubt will kill your hopes and dreams.

Reaching

Lazy River

I thought this photo looked a bit like a Monet, especially up close.

Water

Watercolor

Near Water’s Edge

Skittering Along

Mushroom

Harper’s Ferry National (Historical) Park

A few days ago, we went hiking with Diana’s family at Harper’s Ferry. “Hiking” might be a stretch. It was more like a leisurely nature walk because there’s only so fast you can go with a toddler. As has been my experience everywhere else, as soon as we got a bit away from the parking lots, we were the only ones on the trail.

Even though it wasn’t the hikiest of hikes, we really enjoyed the company and the walk.

(We also bought an annual pass ($80) and this park cost $10, so if we spend $70 more in the year, it was worth the cost.0

Harper’s Ferry

We took the shuttle down to the Lower Town and then walked back to the visitor’s center. Can you see the sign behind the C&O Canal trail?

View from Lower Town

Apparently it was painted sometimes between 1903 and 1906 and reads Mennen’s Borated Talcum Toilet Powder. The NPS site says they tried removing it in the early 60s but it reappeared four years later.

I like the idea of just leaving it. Don’t remove it, don’t restore it, just let it fade naturally.

Sign Detail

Neon Green

Flitting Away

Swallowtail

Bark

Three Seed Pods Floating in the Air

Feeding

Sunning

Tiny Streams

Ferns

Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls State Parks

Good Man and I slept very, very well after our hikes at Temperance River and Tettegouche State Parks.

The following day, we checked out of our B&B, Superior Gateway Lodge. The B&B was incredible, very romantic! It was not right on the water, it was off in the woods. The hosts, Joe and Pat were full of wonderful information (we followed our travel rule and followed their advice), interesting stories, and their breakfasts were amazing! If we ever make it back to Two Harbors, we will stay there again.

Superior Gateway Lodge

Mushrooms

After breakfast, we went to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. I asked the ranger for a shorter hike, since our legs were sore from the nine miles we’d done the day before, and I was a little worried about my plantar fasciitis kicking back in.

“You like hills?” The ranger jabbed her finger at the map.

I hate hills.

“Sure!” I said, “I love hills.”

(If I always avoid hills, I’ll never get good at hills.)

So Good Man and I headed up to Day Hill. On the way there we passed an island with a land bridge. I pointed to it and proclaimed we’d go there first.

Then we saw this sign.

When it comes to rules made to protect nature, wildlife, or a park, I am a rule follower.

No Access

Happy Good Man

We made it to Day Hill, admired the fireplace, took no photos, enjoyed some trail mix, and then walked along the shore back to our car.

I wanted to dip my toes in the water,

Driftwood

Split Rock

Large Rocks

Edge of the Lake

Cold Feet!

After we finished with Split Rock, we went to Gooseberry Falls. It was so busy! It was too crowded, and we were happy to escape the crowds by moving away from the main falls. We went on a rather nice hike, but I didn’t take many photos.

When we rounded a bend, we saw these plants and I wondered if my vision had suddenly gone haywire. The plants were waving in the wind and my vision couldn’t focus well. I felt like I was in a lenticular image.

Lenticular Plants

Tired, but happy, we finally headed back to my parents’ house for the rest of our visit.

Tettegouche State Park

After Temperance River, we headed south to the next state park, Tettegouche State Park.

We went on a shorter hike at this park, about two miles long to a few different waterfalls.

Forest Floor

Good Man

Over Baptism River there was an extremely rickety looking (and feeling) bridge.

Water Under the Bridge

Baptism River

Bridge Over Baptism River

With Good Man

Two Step Falls

Rainbow Spray

By the end of our hike, we’d hiked nine miles total. I know other people hike a lot more than that in a day, but for us it was a record, and I felt like I had “won.” I felt like I’d beaten the lingering pain from my tailbone injury.

We went to a restaurant recommended by the B&B owners, the Rustic Inn Cafe. While everyone else around us was chatting and laughing, Good Man and I just sat and stared at each other. We were bone tired, but it felt so good.

Temperance River State Park

Our full day along the North Shore, we started off by heading north to Temperance River State Park.

Our hike followed the river at the beginning and was very crowded for the first half mile or so. Once we got past the major waterfalls though, the trail was mostly empty.

Yellow Swallowtails

Temperance River Waterfall

Good Man

Wild Roses

Before we started the hike, I’d asked the ranger about the distance to Carlton peak. He said it was about 2.5 miles to the peak. I wasn’t sure if my back could handle that, but I had my hiking poles with me and wanted to give it a shot.

It was much harder than it should have been. And I whined. Good Man said we should turn around, but I refused to. This would be the longest hike post-tailbone fracture, and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

We got to the peak, rested, ate some snacks, and then…Good Man checked his work email.

At Carlton Peak Lookout

Muddy Boots

Resting at the Peak

Checking Work Email

Sap

Bending Birches

Up the River

Before heading off to another state park, we paused at an outlook to take some photos.

Slow Shutter

Fast Shutter

Happy to Have Reached the Peak

Last View