Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rain in the Shenandoah Valley

The rain is lightly falling this afternoon in the Shenandoah Valley near Rileyville, Virginia. We interpreted the weather forecast hopefully this morning and got out early to Shenandoah State Park. We were prepared to pay the $4 entrance fee at the gate when we were handed a bundle of papers and told "Welcome to Parkfest!" and "No charge today."

We spent nearly three hours hiking trails west of the park. We ended up out of our reckoning two hours in, before "correctly" orienting ourselves to return to the parking lot. I quote "correctly" because the trail map was not in synch with the trails. One could argue that we were not in synch with the maps and the trails, but this would run counter to the best efforts of two intelligent and experienced hikers. We normally go to the YMCA for exercise, but this hike covered us nicely.

Did I mention ticks? After we exited the grasslands, with twenty minutes to go in the hike, we pulled aside and examined our dogs and selves for ticks. Nearly a dozen each were on the dogs--the strangest location was on Merlin's lower lip--and nearly a dozen more were clinging to Kathy and myself. Upon our return to the car, we went through this again, pulling off a dozen more from the dogs. Running through the tall grass is a great pleasure for the dogs, but just walking through it is sufficient to become infested. Ticks are very good at hiding, so it is difficult to detect them. Kathy has the most experience, being a veterinarian, so she did the second, more thorough examination, while I did the first, more cursory examination.

Afterwards, we drove across the park to where the South Warren County Fire & Rescue Company was selling food to raise money for a new pumper truck. We were pleasantly surprised by the prices, which were a quarter of what typical event vendors would charge back home. The people representing WCFR were extremely cordial, and it was a pleasure to be a part of their event. While we ate, a local group called "Loose Strings" played acoustic melodies that sounded as if from long, long ago.

As we drove back from Front Royal following a quick trip to the grocery store, the rain began falling in this picturesque valley. It is easy to see how the Blue Ridge Mountains got their name.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, but must be courteous and thoughtful. I reserve the right to delete comments that do not possess these characteristics.