Sunday, September 06, 2015

Shenandoah Valley

When I look back on my life, I want to be able to say I lived my life to the fullest by my experiences. I do not want to be one of those senior citizens who have regrets that he/she did not take chances but played on the safe side without adventure or love, kindness or joy. I want to be able to say I lived my Life and I lived it Well.

When Bill & I began this latest road trip we could have taken 95 to Washington D.C. then crossed over to Front Royal by way of RT 66 however we wanted a more relaxed scenic drive so we headed out West passed Harrisburg then took 15 South towards Gettysburg into Frederick Maryland where I quickly got on goggle to check out the area hotels discovered a decent hotel and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered we had enough points for a free room in a nice hotel. We knew where we were going to stay when we arrived in Front Royal Virginia however I wanted to be adventurous and find a place to stay the first night of our travel when we felt like stopping for the evening. After a nice (though late) dinner at the Red Horse Steak House and a restless night (because of eating too late) we were off early the next morning down 340 stopping along the way to stand on a bridge in Virginia that overlooked Harper's Ferry in West Virginia before we traveled through Harper's Ferry West Virginia into Charles Town passed through Front Royal Virginia to get on Skyline Drive and drove 60 miles into mountains of Shenandoah stopping at various overlooks and climbing mountains that reached a peak of 4051 feet before arriving at Skyland Lodge for a tasty lunch of spicy hot vegetable chili and wine from nearby vineyards. We walked the trails down and around rented cabins climbed boulders took pictures of butterflies and wildflowers examined a tree with various holes evident that this tree was a favorite of woodpeckers. Around dinner time, we drove back down the mountain into Front Royal and to our hotel room. We checked in, took our bags to the room, and dropped the bags on the bed, before we headed back out to dinner at Houlihans. Dinner, Dessert and a bottle of Château Ste. Michelle's Riesling later we exhaustedly fell into the bed where we read until late into the evening before sleeping the sleep of babies until the alarm went off at 5am.

Yes. We planned to get up at 5am this morning so we could head up the mountains for that perfect spot to photograph the sun rising over the mountain while oceans of fog rolled out. As Bill set up his camera and I took out my camera phone, I sat on a wall overlooking the horizon with the only sounds of a bumble bee buzzing, a bird calling and the sound of a train very far out in the distance. I counted a total of six deer that passed by, one raccoon and a chipmunk. And I thought this must be what it is like in heaven.

Night left. Dawn came. The sun rose. It was time for breakfast and explore other adventures!

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