Within ten minutes of entering Shenandoah, a deer and her two fawns pranced through my campsite, looked at me, and then continued to chomp on some long grass five feet from my vehicle. And such began my adventure to this gorgeous, sprawling landscape in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The wildlife at Shenandoah amazed me for the entire three days. Whether it was a wild turkey trotting on the side of the road or a bear cub (teenager?) hanging out on a rock, there definitely wasn’t a shortage of animals that caught my eye and won my heart.
Skyline drive is well known for its incredible views and spectacular overlooks. I never quite realized, however, just how breathtaking each stop was. Depending on the time of day, the experience would differ slightly. On Thursday, the first full day of my adventure, I woke up early to go on a sunrise hike. The view from the top was surreal, and much more rewarding than a car-side pullover.
Shenandoah is also home to Camp Rapidan, a retreat center that President Hoover set up in the late 1920’s. This camp allowed him to escape the stress of city-life and relax in nature. The guided tour was informative and intriguing. I was able to see historical buildings, the stream in which Hoover frequently fished, and Mrs. Hoover’s decor.
Already I am loving the camping lifestyle. I can’t wait for new experiences and more time spent in the great outdoors!