Last time in the Shenandoah Valley, Ben and I visited the Luray Caverns before our early anniversary dinner. Today, we finally see what we drove down to Shenandoah for…
By the way, here’s the song, “Oh Shenandoah”, that I hum every time I write these posts.
We awoke for our final meal at By the Side of the Road: the breakfast soufflé.
I sat on the porch swing one last time and we were off, back to Skyline Drive. We drove down Skyline Drive from the northernmost entrance southwards just one week prior, before a Halloween party, because we weren’t sure when peak foliage was going to happen. The reports were unsure, the leaves were already late with turning, and we didn’t want to miss it this year.
Driving up from the southernmost entrance, we were a little worried. While the trees were mostly green when we came down a week ago, most of the trees by this entrance were browned or, worse, bare. Did we miss peak foliage within just one week?
We saw a few disappointing views from the overlooks that indicated that, if nothing else, maybe the southern parts of Skyline Drive had already passed peak. This was terribly disappointing until we started seeing much more promising views.
While stopping for lunch, we noticed that one of the hiking trails had waterfalls! It was listed as a challenging hike, and Ben and I were literally both wearing jeans, but whatever! Hike for a waterfall!
This was indeed a very strenuous hike. It was about a mile to the first waterfall and very very steep. We don’t hike much at all, so I was definitely huffing and puffing on my way back up the steep incline. I only got a break to catch my breath because Ben finally got signal on his phone and was able to conduct some fantasy football trades. Whodathunk I’d be grateful for fantasy football?
After catching our breaths and letting our body temperatures come back down, we were in time for sunset! I really thought we would miss golden hour because I was so tired during the hike that I didn’t think we’d last long to still be in the park.
But we made it.
And it was so worth it.
I have so many photos from the brief half hour when the sun dipped below the Blue Ridge Mountains. With everything bathed in this sumptuous golden sunlight, I felt so content and at peace with the world.
Happy anniversary, Ben. I had a truly fantastic weekend exploring Shenandoah Valley with you, and I look forward to many more adventures together.
Where are your favorite places to hike? I am super new to hiking and am not sure where to start, to be honest. Any tips would be really appreciated!
What are the best places to see foliage, aka “leaf peeping”? (I swear this is a term that I read on the foliage report and not one that I made up!) Next year, we might look into going up to New York to check out the gorgeous foliage in the Catskills. I remember the leaves looking spectacular back in New Jersey, too, so we’ll see!