Adopting Hermione was one of the reasons I really came to enjoy my time in Arkansas. When Graham wasn’t deployed, we loved getting out and exploring everything Arkansas has to offer. And since it’s known as ‘The Natural State’, it has quite a bit to offer. Unfortunately, we didn’t give ourselves enough time, and there was so much that we missed seeing.
We’re trying not to make the same mistake in Virginia. We’ve already taken her on a couple of hikes, and we’re slowly crossing state parks off of the list. (Not all of the State Parks are pet friendly, so we’re skipping those.) Over Memorial Day weekend, we took her hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains.
The trail we took was part of the Appalachain Trail. Although there was a lot of ups and downs, overall it was a pretty easy hike. We’re not exactly sure what happened, but the hike that was supposed to be about 7 miles turned into about 10. All three of us were sore and exhausted for days! We started at the Jewell Hollow overlook and hiked to Mary’s Rock.
It was about a three hour drive to get to the park, and it took us about 4 hours to hike it. We loaded Graham’s backpack up with water and snacks for us, and loaded Hermione’s backpack up with lots and lots of water for her.
Graham is obsessed with letting her off of her leash. I hate it, because it’s against the rules. But since we ALWAYS encounter other people with their dogs off, I don’t press it. She’s a good dog all the time, but with her pack on? Best dog ever. She doesn’t veer from the trail, and every few feet she turns back to make sure we’re still behind her.
She did scout out some beautiful views for us. There were random openings in the trees that gave way to views like this!
Once we got to the top, the view was worth the six miles. So totally worth it. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.
Obligatory mountaintop selfie…
(You can’t see it, but don’t worry… she was back on her leash at this point.)
We stayed at the top for a while and enjoyed the view and ate our snacks. There was another lady up there who blew my mind. Had her back to the view and never once turned to admire it. Instead she thought it was the perfect time to change the ringtone on her phone (or something… it kept ringing). It was a busy day, so we didn’t get to climb to the top of the rock, but I don’t see how the view could have been any better. And I don’t think Hermione could have made it. Maybe next time… We have a lot more hiking to do in Shenandoah. I keep seeing pictures of beautiful places on various Shenandoah twitter accounts, so we will definitely be back!
And, on the way there, we passed this. On the way back, we had to stop and get a picture. I don’t think these people quite understand what ‘antique’ means.