Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Travel Diary: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

A few weeks ago I took a road trip with my friends. We drove about 7-8 hours from Connecticut to Virginia for a weekend of nature, hiking and relaxing. After hearing people walk about how amazing Shenandoah National Park was, we wanted to visit for ourselves and found an Air BnB. Our drive down was pretty relaxed. We left around lunch time and made it to the cabin around 9pm after stopping in Maryland for a Five Guys and a Walmart run. Our route also took us through West Virginia so we sang a lot of John Denver. We explored our cabin (which has some really creepy drawings) and caught a relatively early night ready for the next morning. 



We were about an hours drive away from Shenandoah National Park which was where we spent the day. There's one long road through the park called Skyline Drive and we drove up from the bottom stopping at various viewing spots along the way to take in the classic Blue Ridge mountain views. It was a pretty hazy day which really added to the ambience of the place. 






We wanted to go to Hawksbill Peak which is the highest point in the park and is roughly in the middle of Skyline Drive. Because the road is actually pretty elevated it isn't that far a climb to the top although it was pretty steep and I struggled with it a lot more than I thought I would. The view from the top was pretty amazing however and I'm glad I made it up there in the end. When we returned to the car we realised we still had a few hours until sunset and wanted to do another smaller walk. Dark Hollow Falls was on our way back and a relatively easy walk. They were pretty awesome! 



Just as we were leaving the park we spotted some bears climbing in the trees next to a parking lot so we pulled in to watch them. It was amazing. There was one large bear we assumed was the mother bear and two smaller cubs. They were climbing around in the trees and eating acorns. 


And the sunset as we left the park was just simply stunning! 




The next morning we got up, had French toast for breakfast and then hit the road for a lot of travelling. First of all, we drove to Wardensville, West Virginia and did some walking around! We really just wanted to sing Country Roads again really. It was really interesting to see how different it is as a state and how 'middle of nowhere Southern' it felt. But after that we were back in the car to head on home. 


We decided to drive home via Delaware as it's a really small state and we couldn't really see ourselves visiting for any other reason. We stopped in Wilmington, the largest city in the state, and stopped off to grab some dinner/ice cream at the UDairy Creamery Market. I had the mudslide ice cream and it was absolutely delicious if only a bit too big of a portion for my little lactose sensitive body to handle. We didn't find out until we were actually there that Wilmington is actually the most dangerous city in America based off of crime per capita. Umm..... oops! That being said, we all enjoyed our quick trip to the city and escaped unharmed. It actually really reminded me of Boston!


I thought we would have been home pretty late but we actually made it back to Stamford by 9pm and spent the rest of our road trip blasting The Lonely Island. I had an absolutely fantastic time and it was great to spend the weekend with my friends as some of them are finishing their internships this Christmas and moving back to Canada!
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