Hiking with Hermione: Shenandoah National Park

This past Saturday we woke up early, packed up the dog (and her adorable backpack) and headed back to the Shenandoah National Park for another hike. This time a pretty mountain top view wasn’t our goal, but waterfalls were (which was a good thing since it was a super hazy day). We decided to do the Jones Run Trail, which ran alongside a stream and had three really pretty waterfalls. We took the Jones Run Trail just past the Doyles River Falls and then took the Brown’s Gap Fire Road to a portion of the Appalachian Trail which took us back to the Jones Run Parking Lot.

The trail was beautiful. It was lush, green & rocky. And I busted my butt about five minutes into our hike. No big deal normally (I am pretty clumsy), but I had my camera around my neck and landed on it. Luckily it was okay… just a few scuffs.

It was a really great hike, only a lot more difficult than I was expecting. It was mostly downhill until we passed the first waterfall, but after that it was all uphill. I thought I was going to die. I was wearing my heart rate monitor and once my heart rate hit 180, Graham got concerned. He thought my monitor was malfunctioning until he checked my pulse himself… We took our time getting to the top of the third waterfall, and thankfully it evened out shortly after that. By time we got back to the car I had burned 2305 calories.

Here are a few pictures of the beautiful scenery and our adorable dog. I really can’t express enough the importance of getting out and exploring your surroundings. A lot of my Arkansas friends complain about being in Arkansas because there isn’t a lot to do. Some of Graham’s coworkers complain about being here at Langley. Every place you live, military or not, has its ups and downs, but it’s all about what you make it. Get out and explore the area. Find fun things to do. Take day trips. We wasted two years in Arkansas, and I don’t plan on wasting our time here in Virginia.

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Hermione was instantly in the water. This dog loves the water so much. She couldn’t submerge herself completely, thanks to the backpack, but she still enjoyed it.

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Seriously, is she not the cutest dog ever? The puppy backpack people need to hire her as a backpack model right this second.

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We’re not nearly as cute as the dog is… Interesting tidbit: I’m wearing a King of Pops (Charlotte) shirt, and we met another couple on the trail from Charlotte. The last time I wore the shirt, I met a cashier at Trader Joe’s who was from Belmont.

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Since we drove all the way up to the mountains, we stopped at an overlook on the way home to admire the view. It was hazy, but still really beautiful.

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