Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah (7)Situated in Northern Virginia along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lies Shenandoah National Park.  Geographically, the park is long and narrow, with Skyline Drive cutting through the middle and offering sweeping views in all directions.  The surrounding mountainside is covered in deciduous trees full of fall colors.  When we first arrived at the visitor center we were bombarded by hundreds of flying “stink bugs”, as some of the natives called them, which caused much concern for the rest of our visit, but fortunately their numbers dwindled significantly once we reached higher altitudes to the south.
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We hiked down to Dark Hollow Falls, which was a real delight, until Lisa spotted the big, furry, spider (shown below) crawling across the ground.  On our way back up the hill, a buck and several deer took her mind off the horror by offering us an up-close encounter.  They were very peaceful to watch and didn’t mind our presence much at all, even crossing the path just a few feet ahead of us. 
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With declining sunlight, we made a quick stop at Big Meadows before continuing along the road under a colorful canopy of trees.  The drive through Shenandoah Park in the fall made for a spectacular day of sight-seeing!

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