It is time for my annual attempt to actually share photos here again! Best intentions, and all that.
Most of these are from January 22 - 24 when we went camping in a yurt at the Shenandoah River State Park. It was really beautiful and so well kept and very very cold!
The drive was interesting. We took slightly different routes to and from and spent some time on Virginia Byways that sometimes felt a bit like we had time traveled. Stone fences and little roadside cemeteries, fog and narrow, unpainted roads.
We arrived at the park just after check-in and got our stuff to the yurt and cooktop set up before it got too dark.
1. Wagons for getting to your campsite from the parking lot. 2. Firewood, $7 a bag. 3. Bear warning and 4. A box at every campsite to keep your smelly tasties aways from bears.
We had hot dogs for our first dinner. I am reminded of a suggestion I have read that you should just get takeout for your arrival at camp. Since we didn't have a tent to set up this time, I didn't think this was necessary but, you know, for a winter camp this felt like super good advice because it was fully dark by the time the food was done! Anyway, we ate by candle and lanternlight in the yurt, and it was still fun!
When we woke up the next morning, we got a good look at the Shenandoah River, right off the yurt deck.
I precooked a lot of our meals, so we just had to get them heated up, it was a great time saver. For breakfast we had potatoes, bell peppers, onion and veggie sausage. It wasn't very photogenic but super delicious. Boiling water was the most tedious task, but my giant Stanley Thermos kept it hot all day long.
There was ice on the deck!
The campsite had a heated, lit, fully plumbed bathroom (with private showers we didn't utilize) and it was great to get to actually wash our hands while camping, something I really missed when we did the primitive campsite at Caledon State Park.
Even the view over the parking lot was beautiful!
Shenandoah River from the picnic area.
We hiked Hemlock Hollow trail.
We loved these two bridges right before you get to the Visitor's Center on the Hemlock Hollow trail.
The Visitor's Center was really informative about the wildlife in the parks. We liked the Eastern River-Cooter and Smallmouth Bass, Sam and Elliot!
The views from Culler's Overlook.
Here is a panoramic view I got with my phone:
None of these pictures really do it justice. I bet it is stunning in the Fall!
The campground trail was nice and wooded. Little streams mushrooms all around.
The river from Bluebell Trail (which is evidently actually full of Bluebells in the spring!)
Several spots of river access all around.
The water was very clear!
The trail to the camp bathroom and showers.
One of the campsites, #5 I think. We liked the look of it if we return with our tent!
Packing up our yurt. We brought our own wagon, but they also had two available for use so we didn't have to take two trips!
The vault bathroom and potable water spout were right outside the yurt. We never used the bathroom (since it was really a pretty short walk to the one with real plumbing!) but we did use the little drain on the side to dump our water from doing dishes, so it was really convenient to have it so close by.
I'm trying to document the mundane things again. I've gotten out of the photo diary habit. Laundry got all the way away from me in January. That's life. I liked the hanger still standing up and jaunty from Shaun getting dressed for work. A sign that he had been there.
I have been rereading some of my favorite gothics by Barbara Michaels, the Georgetown series. Ammie, Come Home, Shattered Silk, and Stitches In Time.
Ammie, Come Home had an entry in the book Gothic Novels of the Twentieth Century by Elsa Radcliffe. "Tops in every respect"!!!
I did Yoga with Adriene's 30 days of yoga "Center" in January. I doubled up a couple of days to make up for what I missed when I was camping. I do her videos every year in January. Day 30 is always freestyle and I always take a video of it.