Monday, August 25, 2008

Ladies Banquet and Skyline Drive

Well, our weekend was full of fun....

It started Friday night, when we went to the Ladies' banquet. Ronnie was one of the waiters, and of course, I just went to... well... be there:). This event was how we really started flirting back in Jan 2007 - - this was the third one we have been to together - - and although it was the first time that Ronnie wasn't the waiter of my table. It was still a wonderful time. This was the largest of our Ladies banquets to date... there were 180 tickets sold... I think more than that actually showed up!

Saturday morning we woke up without a plan. Usually, for us, a lack of plan means that we end up wasting the day away asking each other 100 times "what do you want to do?"... "I don't know... what do YOU want to do?" etc.

Thiis Saturday morning was different. We went through a few options, but ended up decided to drive about 3 hours up to Skyline Drive. A part of the Shenandoah National Park in VA. It is also an extension of both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian trail that travels from Georgia to Maine.

The first attempt to get to skyline drive - we were following our trusty GPS... (who apparantly is NOT completely omnipotent) ended like this...

We turned the Echo around here... drove back down the dirt road - found two men mending their fence (we were SERIOUSLY in the middle of nowhere!!) they disagreed on the best way to get to skyline drive from where we were.... we followed instructions that included statements like this:

"when you see two houses across from each other turn right."

"when you get to the store go straight... don't turn there!"

Anyway - those directions - in that area - - since there is NOTHING there.... got us there. We were finally on Skyline Drive!

Ronnie had been there before when he was in college - so we started out going to a familiar location for him. BlackRock. The walk here started with this warning:

I should have turned around at this point.

I didn't.

5 Minutes later, I was INCHES away from stepping on one! If I had not heard it move I would have hit it right on the tail!!

So, needless to say, the rest of that trail was an adventure for me.... and for Ronnie - who then had to carry me on his back through portions of the trail that were too grassy, too close, or if I just got scared. He also had to go ahead of me and "check out" all the rocks to make sure nothing was hiding to "get me."

Here are a few of those pics:

After a while of climbing on the rocks, we decided to take a second hike to a waterfall. In theory, it was to be a 3.4 mile round trip hike. This was the warning before embarking on this hike.

No biggie.

After the snake incident at Blackrock - I was a bit nervous about this one!

This trail also dropped 915 feet over the course of the 1.7 mile one-way trek to the falls.

This was the "waterfall" we worked so hard to see....

A bit disappointing huh??? Anyone see the water???

Descending 915 feet one way means that you CLIMB 915 feet over the return 1.7 miles back to the car....

Climbing 915 feet, over 1.7 miles, watching for bears, mountain lions, snakes, and wild hogs the whole time... yep - definately "a good time was had by all."

We weren't done yet. We pulled into the little roadside store and saw this....

Yep - those deer would just about come right up to us! I was not using zoom on my camera!

Leaving the deer - we drove around the corner and ran into this guy:

Luckily - our only encounter with the bear was from INSIDE my car. But knowing how young he must have been - I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous that "mama bear" would be coming behind me as I had my camera stuck out the window getting the pictures. I kept an eye on the rear view mirror. I mean, seriously, the echo is small.... a Large bear could throw it down the mountain... I am sure of it!

Finally, the sunset looked like this:

And we headed home... it was an amazing day of adventure -

I think next time we will go shopping:)


Michelle C. said...

that sounds like quite an adventure. I miss those days of just me and Lee and doing whatever we wanted whenever we wanted!! ENJOY IT!!! I would have freaked if I saw a rattlesnake. I love reading your blog!

Julie Tiemann said...

We've totally been there! We drove up to meet friends who were living in New York - we met up to camp in Shenandoah. So beautiful! Your wildlife sightings were amazing (except for the rattlesnake - could have done without that one, I'm sure!)!

Just Me'n Mine said...

Hi Julia,

In a funny round about way, I just found your blog.

I have been to that black rock place in VA, and have a picture of Kurt in the exact same spot where yall were sitting.

I am glad I found your blog. Mine is just getting started, at least this most recent attempt. I don't post a whole lot, mainly because we were without I-net for a while. Now its back (i-net I mean) so I should get with it a little more.

I will check back in on your more though.

Just Me'n Mine said...

Uh...typo in that last comment. Sorry, the editor in me can't ignore it. That last sentence should read: "I will check in on you more...."

Ali Richardson said...

Wow! That was beautiful and my kind of adventure (besides the hiking or rattlesnake part). Ha. You've inspired me. I think we'll go up to Cheaha this weekend. Thanks! :)