Three months after we left Shenandoah National Park, we returned for a weekend, this time with Robb in tow. A chance for Don and I to introduce him to the wonders of Skyline Drive.
There’s this one spiky flower we kept seeing along the roadsides as we were driving.
We couldn’t identify it on the move, but it was never present at the overlooks.
Finally Robb and I walked back along the road to take a closer look.
Robb and I had wanted to walk to a waterfall. Small problem – the crowds. It was the Fourth of July in one of America’s most popular National Parks, after all.
We opted instead to take the hike to the top of Stony Man, knowing Robb would love scrambling around on the boulders.
Oh great. Thunder and lightning. And there were Don and I on the second highest peak in Shenandoah, clutching metal trekking poles. Cruel and unusual punishment.
The rain was relentless, and we were walking downhill in a rushing streambed that used to be a trail. Oddly, I was thoroughly enjoying it. I’d not been feeling well that day, but the rain was cooling and rejuvenating. Even when I had to pour it out of my “waterproof” boots at trail’s end.
As we reached our car, the rains stopped. But of course. By the time we returned to Skyland Resort for a brief stop, the skies were clearing and the sun was coming out. The mountain air had a delicious washed-clean feel to it.
Later, in a nondescript hotel room, a different kind of washing took place. Don used a hair dryer on his cash, blowing dry each individual paper bill. Money laundering at its most elemental.
Same scenery, different crime.
If spending a day in Shenandoah National Park is “punishment”, I’m going to have to be very, very naughty.