Shenandoah National Park - monday 2008-08-04 2212 last modified 2008-08-04 2212
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It's been a bit busy, driving up from western Virginia to Toronto to see my cousin married, then driving around the US side of the nearby Great Lakes from Syracuse down through nearly all the big C cities in Ohio. With wifi and a bit of space to breath, I'd like to take some space to recommend Shenandoah National Park, by far the best lands I've come across on my brief journey on the east coast, and probably the best they have over here. It was founded with the intent to provide the other quarter of populated land with something to at least captivate, though perhaps not directly compete, with the likes of Yellowstone and Death Valley. I can't imagine what it must have been like in the area without preservation. Forestry, perhaps?

Since it's been in the hands of the National Park Service, it's become a place for folks of just about every level of comfort with the great outdoors, unless you can't stand nature. You could drive through in a day, or take a few days and rent a very motel-like cabin in a (to me) overly developed segment of Skyline Drive, eating at in-park dining services or shopping at a camp mart. Or you could park a camper or tent in the more natural settings, with good and clean facilities, or, with a few exceptions, you could just grab your gear and hike down a trail until you find a spot in the wild that suits your fancy. You could stop at one of the multitude of viewing points or park and hike to a waterfall.

I only managed about a day's worth of time, making it through the southern half of the park. Someone will have to join me to tackle the northern half. Maybe by then I'll have enough back country skill to make a real go of it (without stopping to get ham and cheese sandwich supplies at the store).

I loved it. I'll go back one of these days for a longer exposure.

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