Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sights to See in Shenandoah National Park

Check out the "Parkitecture", architecture, compare 1933 to 2016

Now hop in the car and let's go....................

Sightings, I started to create my own count and every time I looked down to add to the tally another creature would pop up. So I stopped the count relatively early on.

This is not just another bird. If a Shenandoah talent contest were held that day this one would have won, that bird could sing. I requested Shenandoah, but he had a tune of his own.  You know the song, right? If not I found a link on YouTube with Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Early morning seems to be rush hour for the deer with the exception of this one. It stoically lifted its head as if to say, what is the rush?

Scan down the official list of sightings at the last visitors center, as we were leaving the park. For the most part, they didn't see what I saw and I did not see what they saw. The only critter we had in common was the deer. I wish I would have seen the "Wookie" they said he was huge. People can be funny. I have however seen the Chewbacca masked lady on Facebook.

A cemetery in Shenandoah National Park doesn't seem too out of the ordinary but the pieces begin to fit better after you review the displays and stories at the visitor center. Any descendant of the Dean family has the right and the permission to be buried here.

The visitor center also offers insight into the people and transition times. Lewis Mountain looked like a great place to visit and stay. We stopped in the store and the proprietor was giving another family tips on things to see in the area. I listened in. One must take was a hike down to the falls. We did not take that trail. Here is a look at the facilities in that area, Lewis Mountain Lodge, store and cabins.

Here is a little bit about what the visitors center said about the history of Lewis Mountain and segregation.

Skyland is another section of the park where you can find accommodations. It may have been the first area set up for recreation. Make sure you drive down and see Massanutten, a home built by one of the founders of Skyland.  The side of the house is made of tree bark.


Recreation Hall

A cool comparison

The walls

The signage reads: If These Wall Could Talk The hand-cut walls have stories to tell for those willing to listen. Reed Engle, The Greatest Single Feature...A Sky-line Drive.

May 15, 933 saw the first Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps established in Shenandoah at Skyland and Big Meadows.  Young, strong men were now available to help turn the dream of Skyline Drive into reality.  Under the leadership of National Park Servic landscape architects, CCC enrolles and engineers helped build Skyline Drive's stone walls and overlooks, including the one where you stand now - Jewell Hollow

As you drive through Shenandoah National Park, you'll see plenty of fruits of the CCC's labor - re-placed boulders, graded slopes, and transplanted trees an shrubs.  While much of the boys' work blends seamlessly with the natural landscape, the walls stand out as visible testament to the quality and permanence of the CCC's work.

Thirty-seven years ago, I said I would be back and I made it!

Lost Treasures

Mary's Rock Tunnel

Mary Ann's Rock with a Twist, the key here is you do not look down. You are best to look across at the vista to dream into the future. There was a haze over many of the overlooks. When I was at Shenandoah a portion of the park was closed due to wildfires.  I am pleased to report that all fires have been extinguished. One of the rangers told us 10,000 acres were in peril.  It is good to have qualified people on the job.

Spending the day among the quiet and peaceful, sights, sounds and smells that Mother Nature provides in our National Parks has a bittersweet ending. It has a calming soothing effect on you and you are going to miss it.

Time well spent.

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