My first hiking adventure in Shenandoah National Park left me full of wonder and longing to return. This time Gyps and I had the chance to share the beauty and peace we found while following the arches to glorious falls at the bottom of the canyon with those we love the most. She and her new hubby, Wolf went on ahead while Todd, The Tribe and I followed behind at a much slower pace.
It was an amazing experience to watch them find all the treasures along the trail. Tree stump dragons appeared before them only to be squealed at and climbed upon. Their voices permeated the tranquility of the winter forest scape before us as each found new and exciting things at each bend in the trail. And, as on my previous hike with Gyps, always before us and leading us on were the arches.
The falls at the bottom were even more beautiful draped in their winter glory. We longed to stay and visit with Gypsy and Wolf bur our visit had to be short. We still had a passel of little legs to get a mile and a half up the side of the mountain before it got too cold.
The last mile if hike out was steep with the worst being the half mile at the very end. BJ, being the smallest had to privilege of being carried on me or Todd's back most of the way out. Nathan plodded along like the energizer bunny and Farm Boy took position as rear guard with ever a stick or branch (sword of course) in hand. There were only a few grumbles as legs and lungs were pushed past the levels of comfort. All pain was forgotten as we sought the warm comfort of the van, where we snacked on jerky, trail mix, cheese nips and our water bottles.
The crowning glory of the day was sunset over the valley. I have been witness to many a sunset and I feel certain this one was in the running for most amazing. We got back to the villa tired and sore but with memories that would be with us forever.