The Blue Ridge Mountains

This is a sequel to theBlack Bear (1) post Shenandoah National Park. I felt the need to broaden my scope of the area considering that the Blue Ridge Mountains are practically out our back-door.

We frequently take day-drives over the mountains on weekends, and every once in a while we stop and spend the night. Fall is the most beautiful time to go. It is still warm enough to sport a light jacket, the leaves are incredible orange hues, and the black bears are easier to spot as the climb up and down the Shenandoah trees.

We vacationed at Massanuten for a few nights last fall and the area is incredible. If you are anything like us and prefer camping and hiking to miniature golf and manufactured ski slopes, I do not recommend staying at Massanuten, but the area around it instead.

MassanutenThe wildlife in the area are awesome. If you are lucky, just driving along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah will introduce you to various black bears, some of which are quite small, cheeky cubs. Looking in any direction and you are bound to see mother deers with their fawns, giant groundhogs, and birds along the entire color spectrum flitting from branch to branch.

We live against the backdrop of the Appalachian Trail where fall brings the changing of the leaves. The trail is marked by giant outcrops of rocks and some spectacular views. I still find it strange that one can look down from the heights of these mountains onto towns and highway systems. It all seems so compact to me, having grown up in the west where we have an abundance of wide-opened, never-having-been-inhabited places. Still, I cannot deny the beauty of the mid-Atlantic’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Skyline DriveThere is still so much I have yet to see of this “wilderness” in the east. The future looks to hold a few more years in the area and my son is two now and on the verge being more easily packable making excursions easier. Not, of course, that it hindered us too much before.

As we explore, I will most likely add to this post and not create a new one, so check back!

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