Several weekends ago Hillary’s parents were in town and we took a drive through Shenandoah National Park. Unfortunately it was so cloudy and foggy that every breathtaking vista looked like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing but white space. So a couple weeks ago we decided to revisit SNP — and not just to drive through, but to stay. As in camping. As in back-woods, off the trail, wilderness camping.

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The pictures speak for themselves. It was beyond beautiful. We drove along Skyline Drive, stopping at every overlook to marvel at the view. Each vista a colossal fresco painted on the bedrock 400 million years ago.

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Reaching our launching spot, we parked the car and set off on a hike to Overall Run Falls.

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And I know what you’re thinking. The only question you could be wondering: yes, Fitz came along too.

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In spite of his face in that picture, he did enjoy adventuring (so many trees and bushes to mark!). We stopped to eat lunch along the falls before heading back to the car.  Then we moved the car to a trail head, picked up the tent and gear and set out looking for a good spot to camp for the night. We found nice grassy clearing, pitched our tent (inside which Fitz immediately passed out for the night), and made hot dogs over a propane fire for dinner. We finished the evening getting tipsy on boxed wine, eating homemade cookies, and watching a giant moon creep along the sky.

Late the next morning, Fitz woke us up. He told us about a terrible nightmare he had where we walked for miles and miles and miles and spent the night in a tent outside in the wilderness. Half way through his story he glanced absentmindedly out of one of the tent’s window flaps and suddenly realized we were in a tent outside in the wilderness. True story, he starting leaping around the tent looking through the window flaps to see if there were any creatures he could bark at. After a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausages, and fresh coffee we packed up, cleaned our site, and headed back to the car.

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I’ve gone camping backwoods camping several times as a teenager. Hillary had never been camping. This was a great, easy, introduction. We carried all our own gear, peed in the woods, and didn’t get eaten by bears. All in all, an overwhelming success.

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