Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shenandoah River State Park and a bucket list item checked off…

2011-07-30 Shenandoah State Park 015

The travel day to Shenandoah River State Park was a bit exciting as Alice (our GPS) tried to take me a way that I was certain was wrong so I went further down highway 40. Guess what? Alice was right… so as a result we went a completely 2011-07-30 Shenandoah State Park 022different way than we had planned but it turned out okay… other than driving down a few small 2 lane roads with no shoulder and through very tight roads in small towns… ahhh, the learning curve strikes again!!!

Our first day in the park we had an extremely fun filled day. Since the temperature here was suppose to be in the high nineties we started the day with a three mile bike ride along the Shenandoah River which wasn’t as nice a trail as we had hoped. Between the horse hoof prints in the trail and the fact that the park had leased out the haying in the park (tractors everywhere..) we decided to go back to the RV and go on  to plan B.

2011-07-30 Shenandoah State Park 039Plan B was a three mile hike from the campground to the overlook and then to the visitor’s center then down to the river and back to the campground. Plan B won out as the hike was nice and enjoyable even though at times it was strenuous. We got back in time for a late lunch and then decided to head to town to McDonald’s for some internet access and an ice cream cone.

After my bride got a haircut in town we started to drive back when we saw the north entrance to Shenandoah National Park. It was only 4:30 so we drove in and bought our annual park pass for $80.00 (entrance fee was $14.00 without it) and decided to drive up the skyline road for about 15 miles and then returned back.

2011-07-30 Shenandoah State Park 020

On the way out of the North Park entrance I noticed something cross the road and pointed it out to Sharon. I explained as to where I saw it cross exactly and as we stopped to see if we could see what it was we saw a female black bear!!! 2011-07-30 Shenandoah State Park 014This was a life list item for me as I have backpacked in bear country for many miles and never ever saw one. But today there she was… how did I know she was a she? Because she had a twin cubs who were staring at us some 50 feet from our car standing on a rock in a beam of sunlight as if the sunbeam was showing them to us (no pictures because we were in awe).

All I can say is WOW… that is why you do what we are doing instead of slaving on in the workforce! Go out and see what there is to see… experience what there is to experience… and regret nothing!!!


  1. Shenandoah Natl Park is a beautiful place (we were there in the spring of 08), looks like you have the campground to yourselves.

  2. We had a similar black bear sighting of a sow and cub when we last visited Skyline Drive ... but our best sighting there was in the parking lot and around the cabins of Skyland Resort ... sow with two cubs climbing up trees and running around like they owned the place ... then again, they do and we're guests in their home.

    Would love to hear a bit about the campground ... we're thinking of driving over for a long weekend in a few weeks and first hand impressions would be good to have. In particular, what's the internet like (I may have to do a bit of work, so I'm hoping Verizon has good coverage).

  3. I will simply say "WOW" with you!! :-)

  4. Fantastic, especially fun to see a mama with twins.

  5. I lived fairly near Shenandoah National Park for over 30 years and it is a great place to see black bears. So glad you got to see the mother AND cubs!! Lucky you!

    Hope you got the annual National Parks pass so you can get into them all for "free" since they are about $25 each to enter for a week. You'll save it back in no time.


  6. Seeing wildlife in the wild always blows me away. I've not (yet) seen a black bear, but certainly hope to one day!